Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Season Of Fear

Happy Halloween!

It's been a while, folks. A summer full of fun and challenges has passed and here in New England the grayness of autumn is seeping in. Recently, I read that more people make life resolutions during September than during the January New Year. Autumn seems a natural time for renewal and change. Gardens die, leaves change color and fall from trees with no choice in the matter. Days grow shorter, and the planets have no say. Change comes simply in nature. The ground does not fear the coming frost, and storms do not fret over how much snow they will drop. People in contrast, do not have the luxury of complacency when it comes to big changes or life upheavals. As humans we possess the unique ability to worry, a sometimes enormous capacity for anxiety and an endless supply of the all crippling, most often disguised affliction, of Fear.

Damn straight.

October is the perfect month to talk about fear. While we masquerade as ghouls and ghosts with fists full of candy corn in tow, the time is right for some inward reflection, and contemplation on the costumes we wear during every day life. Some costumes we may need; the business suit at work when you want to stay in jammies, acting as the accommodating holiday host when you wish you'd opted for catering, these types of costumes are the result of choices we've committed to that we need to follow through on. They are a minor pain, a temporary inconvenience. Some disguises stay with us after work or Thanksgiving dinner however, and these need to be examined and evaluated. When one is uncomfortable or unsure of how to live life as their true self, walls and falsehoods are constructed out of fear. When we mask ourselves with fear, we rob ourselves of living the life we are meant to have. Fear subtracts positivity from life and hijacks opportunity. I have first hand knowledge, you probably do too.

Sometimes the toughest part can be identifying the fact that the fear is actually present. Next time you hear the voice in your head saying "You can't do that! Don't even bother!" or "There's nothing I can do, I just can't do it," ask yourself if it's really something you can't do, or just something you are scared to do. You can only walk through fear after your acknowledge it exists. If you make yourself believe that you are not capable of something, than you never will be. The only absolute power we have as humans, is the power over our thoughts. Shape your thoughts to the shape you want your life to take. Try it. See what happens.

These ideas aren't new, but I've been thinking about them a lot lately. They aren't airy-fairy new age ideas. Just ask Eleanor...

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."