New year, no fear.


Yesterday I became very aware and very convicted about a particular flaw of mine that I let define a lot of the way I live my life.

Subconsciously, consciously, sneakily, blatantly and everything in between...it creeps up when I least expect it and it screams at me loudly in the face. In fact, its ever-presence in my life sometimes causes me to miss out on pretty cool opportunities. 

2012 is the year I want its rent to be up. Its eviction from dwelling in me. Its residency getting foreclosed on. 

My big, ugly, uninvited flaw is worry. 

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It's quite embarrassing, actually, because I realized after a lot of thinking and reflecting that I worry. A lot. 

Afraid of heights, afraid of snakes and spiders, afraid of flying, afraid of something bad happening to my family, afraid of getting sick, afraid of finances, afraid of the unknown, afraid of a continually turbulent world & economy...
Pretty much anything legitimately bad that could go wrong... I'm probably afraid of it in some way. Insurance companies love me.

I don't let fear completely cripple me; I have a little bit of sense for that. However, I do have frequent pep-talks and prayer time to get over many of my fears. I have a lot of coping mechanisms; a lot of strategies to get me through those times when I'm tempted to be really afraid.

But you know what? It stinks. It takes a lot of time and a lot of joy out of things when I'm analyzing and wondering and worrying and pondering. I think it comes from a deeper desire to want to be in control of my own life and know what's going on all of the time, and that's when it hit me. 

If I'm trying to figure my own life out, of course I'm going to be afraid all the time because I've only had 27 years of experience and I don't sit enthroned on the world. Fear is going to be a natural result of me trying to control my own life & the world in general, because I don't really know how to do it. 
When the Bible says that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound-mind {patience; peace; self-discipline), it means it. If I am letting God truly guide my life, why would I have anything to be afraid of if He is in control of everything?

I'm afraid of my own bad choices and the consequences of those; I'm afraid of messing up and it being too late; I'm afraid or forgetting something and not being prepared; of a lot of "what ifs?" or "did I...?"

I have been known to leave my house and turn back around because I couldn't remember if I locked my door... or unplugged my straightener... or turned off my coffee maker...

This week I have tried really, really hard to "live on the wild side" and try not to care or think about if I did or didn't unplug my straightener.

Like the other day: I was at New Seasons and hadn't washed my hands since all the kiddo germs from my classroom. I decided to pick up my apples with a plastic bag instead of just directly touching them... (I know, I know...). however, when I brought my goods to the line for check-out, the dude checking me out accidentally dropped apples from my bag DIRECTLY ON THE DIRTY CONVEYOR BELT! GASP! I had a minor freak out in my brain but didn't want to look like a total jerk and ask him to get me new apples. So, I swallowed my apprehension and didn't want to throw away $1.89 worth of apples... and I ate them (after washing them in what I thought was thoroughly clean water). And I survived! Hooray!!

And on Wednesday, T asked me if I could stop unplugging the coffee maker every day because he has to re-set the time every night. This caused me to panic a little because, you know, what if the house burned down or something? However, I decided to test myself and oblige to his requests... and I left the coffee maker plugged in all day! (Of course I did turn the button off, though). And the house didn't burn down!!!

I'm hoping this week I can graduate towards eating something that is within a day of its expiration date instead of throwing something out on January 12th when it expires on January 13th... 

Baby steps, baby steps.

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