I planned on posting something completely different this week, something light and humorous; but over the past couple of weeks a few things have transpired in the lives of people I love that inspired me to share something much more personal. This post has been in the back of my mind since I first conceived of this blog, but the plan was always to leave it until later. When I am truly honest with myself, the reason I felt it would come later was the same reason I feel I need to post it now – fear.
As I shared in my first post, In Over My Head, I have faced some very low points in the not too distant past. One of the toughest struggles was when I confronted Postpartum Depression after my son was born. During this time I felt helpless, confused and alone. But I am not here to tell you how bad depression is.
The reason I want to share this experience with you is to tell you the single reason so many people so close to me never knew what I was battling against and why you or someone you know may be reluctant to reach out for help. I also want to share with you the catalyst that caused the eventual shift in me.
During this time in my life I had lots of friends and family nearby, checking in, and helping out. If people close to me asked how I was doing, I usually responded with something vague like, “I’m ok” or “So-so”. If someone picked up on a tone of sadness in my voice, I would make a joke, stress how tired I was and change the subject. Even when I started to attend a support group, to participate in counselling and to receive visits and calls from the Health Nurse, I continued to make it a priority to keep it all under wraps.
So what drove me to be so protective of what was happening? The answer is fear.
And if I was surrounded by love and support what was I so afraid of?
In reality, nothing that was real. Fear is an emotion. Emotions are driven by thoughts. It really is that simple.
In The Power Of NowEckart Tolle describes emotion as ‘the body’s reaction to the mind.’ He goes on to say that thoughts that make us feel threatened, either physically or psychologically, cause the body to contract and it is this reaction that is the physical side of fear. So, to know what is happening in your mind take a deep breath and feel what is going on in your body. It is the best reflection of your emotion and your thoughts.
Recognizing that what I felt was fear and not something that was actually happening to me was a major step forward. Looking back, I realized what I was so afraid of was how people would react to me if I was honest; if they knew that everything I exhibited on the outside wasn’t true. Would they feel sorry for me, see me as weak or pathetic, or maybe even stop calling or visiting? I believe this is the experience of many people who face similar low points and, like me, they end up facing their depression very much on their own.
What I want to get across, is that my fear was driven by my thoughts – thoughts that I might be viewed as less than someone else, that I might lose someone or something in the process. In the end, nothing I feared came true.
Each time I shared my story rather than losing something in the experience, I significantly gained. I discovered that I was not alone on my journey and most importantly I discovered how other people were finding their way from living in fear to living in happiness.
Still wondering about the blue cup? I am grateful for your time, but it is precious. So next week I will share part 2 of this story with you and explain the conversation and technique that initiated a change in my thinking and as a result, my life.
If you still have a few minutes to spare I encourage you to watch the video below. In it, Neale Donald Walsch talks about fear, the epidemic it has become and what you can do to free yourself of fearful thoughts and live each day from a place of confidence, abundance and happiness. If it doesn’t grab you at first I recommend you persevere because the message delivered is both simple and meaningful.
Neale Donald Walsch Discusses The Emotion Of Fear
It is not easy to live a truly fearless life. I am tested on this on a regular basis and would love to hear what you have to say about the topic. When was the last time you felt fearful? How did this hold you back from experiencing something in your life? Maybe there was a time when you decided you just had to go for it. How did that feel?
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