Friday, October 29, 2010

Separating Fear from Wisdom

I was talking with a friend today about the fear that paralyzes me in life.  A couple years ago I was almost arrested for something I didn't know I had done.  The charges were dropped because they turned out to be bogus, but the fear from that situation, sitting in a room all alone thinking I would be in jail when my husband left for 8 months of basic and advanced training, has crippled me since.  That day, I lost my confidence and have yet to find it again.  I am constantly gripped by fear, a fear of doing things wrong, of messing up, of making others angry at me, of failing.  I was discussing this with a friend of mine today and this is what he said when I expressed that I felt stupid all the time.

"Fear is an emotional response. Wisdom is the learned ability to recognize and control fear."
- Tyler Tidwell

I feel as if that amazing, outward, loving, confident, intelligent woman I once was has been stolen.  All of a sudden, everything I do is wrong.  I'm not smart anymore.  I don't know how to do math; I don't know simple every day conversions; I know nothing about history or politics.  I didn't forget all those things, they must still be in my mind somewhere, but the fear has pushed them away.  I feel like a scared, helpless child... and folks, as a child I never felt that way.  I was always brimming with confidence, even to a fault.  I was one of those kids that knew everything, and if I didn't, you can bet I would find out and report back to you with an air of confidence that would make you question if you really knew the answer to begin with.

Where did that person go?  Is she still in me somewhere?  I struggle with this daily.  I think I need to find the answer to this question to know for sure:  If I am in fact not stupid but have become more wise, then how do I separate this fear of failure from my wisdom?  How do I know when the fear ends and the wisdom to keep quiet begins?

I really don't know, but I found some quotes to help.  I hope if you are living in fear that they will help you too.


"A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by relaxation... is the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run."
- George Matthew Adams

"Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them."
- Brendan Francis

"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith."
- Mary Manin Morrissey

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself… ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along’."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death."
- Unknown

"The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing that you will make one."
- Elbert Hubbard

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
- Anais Nin

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

"Leap, and the net will appear."
- John Burroughs, Naturalist (1837-1921)

How will you battle your fear today?
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