Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Question that Changed my Life

A couple of weeks ago, my darling friend, Devia, asked me a question that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind since she presented it to me. Quite honestly, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind because I have not been able to develop a real answer to the question that was posed to me on that late Saturday night-early Sunday morning.
To me, the question was so profound, so deep, so probing that I was left somewhat speechless when she asked me the question. And this morning/tonight (Yeah, I haven’t been sleep yet.), the question still leaves me void of any words to pain an honest, in-depth answer to her question.

Here’s the question:
What would your life look like if fear wasn’t present?

When she asked me that question, I shuttered as a blast of light quickly rushed into my head. In less than what felt like a second, I realized that my life, which is seemingly speckled with acts of courage and defiance, would look incredibly different if my enemy, fear, was not allowed to intimidate me so often.

I quickly skimmed over my life, and in a flash I saw opportunities that I passed up, challenges that I avoided, books that I should've published, plays that I should've produced, speeches that was supposed to be made, business ventures that I have delayed, places I didn’t go, people I chose not to meet, projects that I ducked, phone calls that I should’ve made, money I could’ve earned, and relationships that I safely/fearfully/apprehensively approached. And it was all because of fear.
I realized that my life, a life that is clearly ornamented with medals of accomplishments and triumph, had and still has room to further blossom if fear wasn’t allowed to push me around.

After thinking about fear in the last few weeks, I came to the conclusion that fear can only have as much power as we allow it to have. Fear in itself is powerless. But it becomes powerful beyond measure if we fuel it by responding to it, obeying it, and shrinking because of it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was faced with the challenge of facing one of my fears. I was so afraid of the approaching challenge that my body had started responding to my fear. I developed a headache, I couldn’t sleep, and I was feeling nauseous. I spoke to a few of my friends about this monstrous fear that I knew I had to face. They talked me into standing up to my fear, looking it straight in the eye, and shouting to the world that I will not be a slave to fear.
I did just that. And I was triumphant in the end.

I discovered that most of the time fear is not based on reality. Most of the times, it is based on imagined possibilities, often derived from a mountain of “what ifs”.

I still don’t know what my life would look like if I hadn’t allowed fear to stomp all over me in the last 20 years. I’m still trying to figure that out.
But what I do know is that I refuse to allow fear to control me/intimidate me/shackle me from this day forward.
Like I said in a
previous post, I am a slave to God. I’m certainly not a slave to fear.

Free from the shackling chains of fear,
Angela Braden


Anonymous said...

Thank You.

this was like the eye opener that ii so desperately needed. right now im facing some things in my life and ii am terrified of what is coming. althought ii tend to keep my game facce on, ii have realized that the only thing that is holding me back is my fear. the fear of not knowing what is to come. the questions of what if this happens or that happens. the fear of what if im not good enough to get thru whatever is ahead.

but then ii stopped by here. and then it me. fear is all in our minds. we create barriers that are not really there. we make things more challenging for ourselves because ultimately we know that if something stands in our way we'll have the excuses necessary not to go forward and be ALL the we can be.

so thank you sweetie...you just broke down a few of my barriers.

my prayers are with you always

Angela L. Braden, Writer, Speaker, Professor said...

Hey Tae' Tae'!
I always love it when you take time to visit me. And I love it even more that my post was able to inspire you. Girl, that's what life is all about. Reaching out, touching, and loving...
Peace to you, my sister. I wish you the very best.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you Angie,whenever I pop in for a quick visit you always inspire me. I truly needed that and may God continue to bless and allow you to share your wonderful gift.

Amenta said...

Angie, this is a question that most never think of really struck me deeply. Wow what would I do if I had no fear...??? Deep, I will be back on this one!

Anonymous said...

I really do like your blog.
I really like your effort you are really a strong person.

Anonymous said...

Wow! For so long I too have let fear prevent me from accomplishing many things. I agree that we should not allow fear to enslave us. Although it will take time, I am ready to start accomplishing my life goals (whether big or small) without allowing my fear to stop me!

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog has me view life differently. Many poeple complain over nonsense, you on the other hand seem to be so positive. I enjoy attending your class every day,becauset the way you deliver the information is very clear and i can actually remember something. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This question also caught my attention,which made me think of the time i decided to have a baby. We all mothers know that giving birth is not a fun ride. After the first baby, i said there is no way I am having another child, but what happened a year later? I surprised my husband with the second child. I would go to bed afraid just thinking that one day this baby had to come out, we all fear that moment, but it's part of life.

tracey n. said...

You know my husband always told me that "what if's" don't exist; that either you decide to do something or just don't bother with it. I never really understood what he meant until reading your article. I now realize that fear controls what we do in life but only until we allow it to take over. I think my husband doesn't even realize that it's fear that stops us from achieving what we could have completed. I now have something to share with him and all thanks to you. I really enjoyed it.

Marie K. said...

Wow! you're right! That is a deep question. "What would life be like without fear?" you did an excellent job of breaking that down. I agree, fear only has the power over us that we let it.

Marie K. said...

Wow! You're so right about that! That is a deep question. "What would life be like without fear?" I think you did a great job of breaking that down. I agree, fear only has the power over us that we let it.

Marie K.

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree that Fear really does have an impact on how a person may choose to do something. For me it was the fear of leaving a sport that i loved so much for school because i knew in the end school was going to be more important...