If you’re reading this, I probably don’t have to ask if you have ever dealt with anxiety and fear. Barring the off chance that you’re not human, or you don’t experience emotions, you’ve lived with anxiety at some point in your life.
Sometimes, though, that anxiety becomes more than a passing glimpse. Sometimes it takes up residence in your mind and sets up shack. Sometimes it tries to become your identity.
It’s something that I think we can all relate to. I’m happy, today, to share an article with you that my sister, Marisa, wrote for me. She had a burden, she asked if she could write to you, and of course, I said yes.
I hope you are encouraged as I was!
There are exactly twelve steps from the first-floor door opening to the cold ground of the basement at my house. Yet, every time I walk down those same stairs, I think a thirteenth step will magically appear and trip me up
Within the last few weeks, every time someone says they want to go to the park to walk or play, I want to tell them that it is too risky.
I don’t like going anywhere alone because people are cruel, and there is no place that is safe.
I remember the day like it was yesterday….
The rain was lightly falling on Friday morning. I was running late to work. I rang the bell to let someone know that I was standing outside. I knew something wasn’t right because both managers were too busy to get the door.
As I walked to the back to clock in, my main manager looked like the weight of the world was on his shoulders. We walked up to the registers and had our usual morning meeting. This day was different, though.
Our manager told us that one of our family members was killed the night before at the park. The only response he got was gasps and eyes that immediately glanced away. I can only imagine that we each wished that this was a dream.
This young man was only 22. He had passion. He had a joy for life. I sat at my register, eyes fixed on the rain falling from the heavens. All I was thinking was “Heaven is crying while hell is laughing.”
It made me mad. I pictured Satan just laughing at our tears. Laughing at our mourning.
For the next six hours, time went by slower than it ever had in my life. Constantly wondering why I was still alive, why I had the chance to live and not him.
I started to become angry at time. The thing that kills how we live. The one thing we constantly say we don’t have enough of. In all reality, time is what we have the most of.
I thought about my life. I thought about how I was living. How every day I was just showing up to things. I was going through the motions.
I grew up hearing the quote, “Live as if today is your last.” But have I ever truly lived as if today were my last? Have I ever truly thought about what I would be wanting to do if I could choose my last day?
Once I got home that day, I immediately found my dad. I sat in his lap and cried. Cried because death stung. Even the thought of death for another family member stung.
Dad spoke truth into my life after spending 6 hours with a group of people that were in the same predicament as myself. He grabbed my glasses and told me he wanted to write on the lenses. He spelt out the word “faith” and told me that I needed to look through my eyes of faith. That God has a plan for everything. That with death comes life.
That God has a plan for everything. That with death comes life.
That with death comes life.
This existence we all have, yet we often struggle to want. We don’t see the gift that it is. We wonder why we feel the things we feel. We wonder where we will be in a few years. Sometimes, we hope that we won’t be alive in a few years.
Our minds, quite often, hold us back from living. I know how much depression hurts. I know how much I just want my brain to stop thinking. I know the struggle between what I know and what my brain tells me I want.
In the last year of my life, I have made it my effort, that if a day comes around when negativity just clouds over everything that I know to be true and right, that I stop and look at beauty. Whether that beauty is creation, the blessings in my life, or the breath that I have filling my lungs. Some days it works, and others it doesn’t. But I am here. Alive. Breathing. Blessed.
The strain between the two…
I have lived. I have experienced how beautiful living can be. I have fears. I have had moments when my fear has kept me from living. I have seen what happens when we open ourselves to fear.
There is a life that many of us have never experienced because we are focusing on the “what ifs” rather than the “why nots.”
Can I tell you something? Life is beautiful. I remember it. I’m learning to get back to it. Following my true passions. I’m learning how to dream again. All the while, allowing myself to face my fears. I no longer want them hindering me from life.
What is your biggest fear? What is your goal in life? Is your biggest fear inhibiting you from meeting your goal?
Sometimes on the other side of fear is freedom and other times it’s not. You will never know till you try. That is the risk of it all.
Don’t tell me you don’t have time because you have all the time in the world.
When someone dies sometimes there’s someone lucky enough to be jolted to life.
I am alive, so are you.
What is your choice?
To fear or to live?
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*Picture with permission from Devin Purgason©*