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Go With Hope

Seems I’ve managed to catch on to another one of life’s hidden lessons (and it only required having this lesson come repeatedly barreling toward me from many different directions, in many different forms, and both personally and professionally)!

Nevertheless, this lesson is in the true realization of how tempted and controlled so many of us are by fear. How, in most every decision, even the positive and exciting ones, it’s not long before we’re experiencing instant flashes of our dreams and goals shattering as we take imaginary wrong steps. We are immediately drawn to all that could go wrong, while what could go right is just as swiftly shoved into the background somewhere.

Take the thought of going for that promotion at work. The feelings of excitement and pride are almost simultaneously smacked down with visions of possible rejection, or our co-workers’ angry jealous faces and comments. How about simply thinking about marriage? In an instant, the joyful flutter is extinguished as we’re transported twenty years into the future and involuntarily developing home-movies in our minds, featuring us and our spouses reenacting those terrible fights between our parents that we had front-row seats for as kids. Even the slightest consideration of buying a house is enough to hijack our minds with images of overdue mortgage payments, eviction notices, or the word BANKRUPT in bold red print.

The fear seeps in so fast that we can’t even slow down enough to actually realize what we’re fearing.

Fear has a kind of creepy black-out effect. One minute you’re enjoying outlooks of a better life and the next, you’re suddenly sucked into a terrifying whirlpool of disproportionate negativity and trying to stay afloat. We can’t seem to put our fingers on what happens in the middle. All we know is that we want this terror to go away, so much that we’ll all-too-willingly abandon the very goals, dreams, and thoughts that initially brought it on.

But you know what? That right there is never a solution. Such avoidance only sparks yet another treacherous feeling you may have heard others refer to as “frozen.”

The “frozen” in this sense are not cold in body temperature, nor are they necessarily insensitive or mean in attitude. The frozen are those incapable of decision. They are immovable, stiff, still, stuck.

To be honest, they’re scared straight.

So let’s tie this together. In all too many cases, we allow fear to trick us into thinking it’s protecting us, when really, all it does is bully us into remaining its hostages. What if fear were a person? How do you think he or she would look? I don’t know about you, but I picture the kind of person you yell at your kids to never go near or talk to. Could be that kind of dark shadowy figure lurking behind trees, scheming up creepy sneaky ways to lure you into your own demise…

…if this person emerged out of nowhere in the night, blocked your path, and reached out his or her long, bony, shaky, index finger to signal for you to come closer, would you go? I’m assuming your answer is a big “no” (with quite possibly a swear word or two in front of it). My point exactly.

If you wouldn