Last year, in early February, I attended a women’s meditation circle in Troy, New York where I live. I told the women that my goal for the year as to break up with fear and marry faith – and in doing so to be as bold as possible, and to live joyfully.
I likened fear to an abusive boyfriend, who tells you you are not enough, who attempts to control your actions, who wants to keep your life small and contained. Why would anyone want to stay with or go back to someone like that?
Any of us would advise our girlfriends to leave a man like that. Yet in our own lives, we sometimes listen to the voice of fear that constricts us, makes us feel unworthy, and can shut down our ability to follow our dreams, at least temporarily.
We forget that fear is nothing but thoughts, nothing but imaginary ideas about what could possibly happen at some point in the future. Yet when we hang out with fear, we sometimes start to believe in it. We may start to believe we’re unworthy of living our dreams. We may start to think it’s “too hard,” or that we’ll never make it.
But the truth is that fear is all smoke and mirrors, all bark and no bite as they say. It is up to us to find happiness through breaking up with fear, and marrying faith.
We are the only ones who can commit to believing in our gifts, and standing in our power to shape and create our own beautiful lives.
What A Year Breaking up with Fear!
For the most part in 2014, I feel like I did a good job of leaving fear in the dust, and choosing to focus on love. I leapt, creating new and beautiful opportunities in my life.
Early in the year, I fell in love, and created a happy life family for myself. We ultimately decided to part ways, but it was a beautiful experience.
I did not let fear stop me from loving fully, despite heartbreaks in the past. I dove in all the way. I created new opportunities for myself, including getting hired to write a book proposal for a dear friend. We are now working on landing an agent for my friend, and may write a screenplay in the new year as well.
Perhaps most significantly, I rounded up a team of investors in order to purchase a commercial property in historic downtown Troy. I have been a residential landlord for years, and this is my first venture into commercial. It was a leap to commit to raising $200,000 in cash in 30 days, which is what I needed to do in order to be able to purchase the 8,400 square foot property. It was a great reminder of the power of intention and hard work to create incredible results.
I was completely committed to making it happen, and was also willing to release the results. If I hadn’t happened, I would have accepted that, but I was going to give it my all first – and I did!
There is no room for fear if you are trying to raise that much cash from investors in a short time. I had to stay focused on the mission at hand, make a strong case for the return on investment, and bravely put it out there in the world.
Miraculously, just in the nick of time, on the day that we were scheduled to close, I finished raising the remainder of the funds. I am now the proud owners of a beautiful commercial property which will be part of my financial investment portfolio and is also a fun project.
Dealing with Unexpected Challenges While Breaking up with Fear
At the same time I was working on raising money for the downtown building, I was also in the process of moving into a new house. I found out that friends of mine, who owned my 3,000 square foot Victorian dream house just down the block from the house I already own, wanted to rent their house.
We agreed to do a rent-to-own agreement for a year. I arranged to rent out the house I own, and needed to be out of it by June 15th. Unfortunately my friends then changed their minds, and decided they wanted to sell the house right away instead.
When they got a cash offer, I couldn’t counter it in time. I had to move my things again – moving twice in two months. This time, I put my life into a storage unit and arranged to stay with family and friends, since the apartment I had chosen wouldn’t be available for another six weeks. I wish I could say that I handled that challenging situation with absolute bravado, but the truth is that it was tough. Fear crept up on me and wanted to wrap around me like a blanket.
For a little while, I was flirting with fear again. Let me tell you, it is NOT fun! I highly recommend breaking up with fear forever and not ever looking back. Fear for me tends to manifest as depression. If I’m afraid that life is not going the way I hoped, and give into those feelings, I tend to want to retreat from life.
However, doing the exact opposite is what brings me the happiest results. When I want to constrict and retreat, go inside myself, reaching out instead, getting out of the house, dancing, working out, being with friends, doing with yoga, and anything else that puts me outside myself and my situation tends to be what helps.
When we can remember that the only constant in life is change, and not be afraid when things are shifting, it makes for a much happier life. It is the way to stay in a space of peace, no matter what is happening in the world.
Breaking Up with Fear – For Good!
My experiences this year reminded me that there really is no reason to go back to that old abusive boyfriend, fear. It might seem paradoxically comforting to feel fear if it is familiar to you, but I assure you that leaping through your fears to the wonders that await you on the other side, and all the joy you’ll find there, is much more fun.
One of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, says that fear is boring and it only has one message: “STOP.” Fear would have you lie down and do nothing, stop pursuing your dreams, and give up entirely. And where’s the fun in that?! Half of the adventure in life is not knowing what will happen next, and if you give up, you can be sure you won’t live your dreams.
If you pursue them, you can’t guarantee what will happen, but you will likely love the person you become in the process of pursuing whatever most sets you on fire.
Having danced with fear at times, and having left it far behind me at others times by simply moving through my fears and doing whatever scares me, I can definitely say that I will choose love from now on, period. I have no interest in dating fear, anymore, ever again.
I intend to shine my light as brightly as possible, and to have as much fun as possible, and to give back in this world as much as possible. Therefore, I really have no time for fear and its scare-tactics. Anytime fear tries to convince me that I can’t, I will keep moving forward and just show myself and the world that I can. Love – for myself and the world – makes a much more fun, reliable and energizing dance pattern.
I am ending this year by once again breaking up with fear and marrying faith. 2015 will be a big year for me, and many plans for new exciting work and adventures are already underway. I hate to say it, fear, but it wasn’t fun being with you. I’m done with your negative messages and your bullying. You don’t scare me anymore. Love is way bigger than you.
Here’s to love, faith and miracles in 2015 and beyond. I’m marrying my dreams, and leaving fear behind me.
Lisa Powell Graham
Find Happiness in Dreaming Big!
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Lisa Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on the Madam President Project.