Dear Fear

It’s been two weeks now since I wrote my well-received blog, Brave Goals. How did I know that it was well-received and read? Well, aside from the number of visits in my blog site, I also received a lot of remarks that went like, ‘Uy, yung number four!’ hahaha! Apparently, I wasn’t the only one waiting for that to happen, there’s multitude of them. There are also friends who shared with me their own brave goals and their sharing brought me inspiration again.

The truth is, the list of my brave goals was just at the back of my mind. I only put them into writing when I started the blog and it’s actually not limited to four. Other goals include conquering my fear of the waters, speaking before a big crowd, finishing my own book and a lot more. But before I could make a sequel to my brave goals, something familiar started to creep inside me – fear.overcoming-fear

What have you done?! Fear asked while I stare on my published Brave Goals. It was mean that it made me want to take down the blog and take my promises back. Are you serious?! Travel alone? Oh My! I almost gave in to Fear’s demands but I’m glad I didn’t. Though it has always kept me feeling safe in my comfort zone, I know it has also prevented me from becoming who I want to be.

My writing for instance, has been hampered by fear for the longest time. While growing up, fear made me think that I was not a good writer enough, that I will never be like those people I look up to in our school paper, that what I am going to say through my pen has already been said, that I will not be taken seriously, that there will be no one to read me. I could actually make a litany of all the other things that fear taught me.

Thank God my curiosity on what lies out there set me free from my fear. I started writing more often, friends started reading. And though I have to convince myself every single day that writing is my gift, I walked past fear on this area of my life.

But here it goes again!

 

Fear is Normal

Fear is good.

Yes, I said that, you may now pick up your jaw from the floor.

Fear keeps us alive. It is the one who prevents us from jumping off the rooftop of a high rise building or from swimming through the big waves of the ocean. Fear is the one who whispers in our ears things like, ‘it’s dangerous out there’, ‘don’t go beyond this point,’ or ‘you can get killed when you do that.’

Fear is good and so I will never advice for anyone to try to be fearless. My favorite writer and brave soul, Elizabeth Gilbert said that the only fearless people on earth are toddlers and psychopaths and those aren’t good models for anyone.  Imagine living your life patterned to a three year old, you’ll just cry when you don’t get what you want.

 

The Fear that You Don’t Need

Although fear is good and normal, we all know that we don’t need it in pursuit of our passion or purpose or creativity.

So here’s what I’m going to do to the fear that confronts me now after my brave goals, I will tell fear these things:

            Dear Fear,

My reference to you as ‘dear’ is only because of our long-time relationship which unfortunately prevented me on becoming who I am supposed to be. Never assume or think that you are a dear in my life. You have actually tried to ruin it along with my dreams. Good thing, the universe is full of chances.

Thank you for keeping me alive. I want you to know that I acknowledge your presence in my life. From now on, that’s just about it, I will acknowledge your presence but I will never give in to your demands. You can talk but I will not heed your advice. You can come with me but you cannot stop me. You can try, but know that I will always defy. *wink

Neri

 

Don’t Listen to Fear, Listen to the Word

I am currently enrolled in The Feast Bay Area’s Bible Study just so I can learn how to pray a prevailing prayer through knowing God more. But it’s only just the third session last Sunday and I think I am getting more than my reason for enrolling.

Last Sunday, we talked about Abraham’s story. As you may know, God called Abraham out of Ur to save the His people (Going out of Comfort Zone #1). When Abraham came to the land that God showed him, there was famine (Going out of Comfort Zone #2). To be able to eat and stay alive, he and Sarah had to stay first in Egypt. But Abraham thought, what if the Egyptians find Sarah beautiful and kill him (Going out of Comfort Zone #3). After the famine, they went to Bethel where an argument arises among the herdsmen of Lot and Abraham (Going out of Comfort Zone #4). Abraham was generous enough to offer Lot the choice of the best land. But that is not the end!

After a while, a four-king coalition conquered Sodom and took Lot as captive (Going out of Comfort Zone #5). In the end, God prevailed and helped Abraham win the battle with 318 men. (Beat that! Oh, I think someone else in the Bible went in a battle with 300 men  versus 300,000 enemies. Who was that again?)

Did you think that Abraham’s testing of faith ends there? There’s more! Please realize that ten years have already passed since God first called him and promised him that he will be blessed and be the father of the earth. After 10 years, he remains childless. (Going out of Comfort Zone #6)  And so here comes Sarah with her servant, Hagar to bear them a child.

God spoke again, ‘I wfaith-versus-fear2ill give you a child through Sarah.’ Abraham laughed. Sarah is barren and we are too old, how can we still have a son, Abraham thought. BUT – yeah, you know the story – after a year, Isaac was born.

WE all know what happens next, God asked Abraham to offer Isaac to Him. (Going out of Comfort Zone #7) When Abraham was about to thrust the knife unto his own son, God intervened.

What am I really trying to say here? What I would like to emphasize are 1.) We can all draw inspiration and faith from the Scripture and 2.) Armored with FAITH, Abraham surpassed every trial and testing he faced.

All we need is faith in God that He will be with us along the way. And faith in ourselves that we can succeed in the things we dream of.

Let’s not feed our fear, but fortify our faith!

 

 

 

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Brave Goals

I learned cutting classes as early as six years old. 😁   I was a transferee then in St. Mary’s and so when I arrived in school earlier than usual one day, I decided to explore the whole compound (all four buildings, I guess. Even the garbage dump of the school!).

It was too late when I realized that classes were already starting! I was gone too long that recess has already passed! What will I do? I was afraid to go back to my classroom where my teacher was already discussing the lessons. Will I pretend that I just came out from the comfort room? I don’t know what and how to explain to my teacher.

Peeking through the door of our classroom, I decided to just roam around the school that day. But when I turned around to run away, my teacher caught me, scolded me and asked me to go inside. 😰

Seven years after that incident, I found myself crying towards the gate of the same school. My classmate embarrassed me in front of our classmates. She accused me of so many things just because her cousin who is in senior year asked me a favor instead of her. I did not do anything wrong but I remained immobile while listening to her insults. I couldn’t defend myself.

This is me; I am always too afraid and never brave.

If I could spend a day to think of the many instances where I wasn’t brave enough, maybe I could fill this blog up more with similar situations above.

But then remember when someone wise says that whatever we focus on grows? And so instead of magnifying my mistakes and not-so-brave moments of the past, I resolved to focus on what more I can do today. Specifically, what brave thing I can do from now on. ☺(OMG, this is fun! This should be fun!)

So far, I listed down four brave things for me to do. Wah!!! Here are they:

  1. Travel Alone

I have never loved traveling so much than today, I mean this moment of my life. (Big thanks to my job and to my boss! :D) When I was younger, I get motion sickness and so traveling never excited me. But growing up, I was able to conquer each motion sickness after the other. Suddenly, I found myself to be a travel addict! I love seeing new places, talking to locals and eating their delicacies.

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.

-Francis Bacon

For my brave goals, I decided that I will travel alone soon. I wish to visit Vigan or Bohol later this year and maybe South Korea next year? Hahaha! (Lakas ng loob oi!)

 

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Stride through the Haji Lane (SG)

 

 

I CHALLENGE YOU: For this brave goal, I am also challenging people who have been through a break up recently (though I didn’t… OR maybe I did! :D) and the people who are in search of meaning (well, you can read Viktor Frankl, but travel should do you good). Maybe for the longest time, you have always been with someone – dining out, playing sports, watching movies, eating ice cream with that someone, then suddenly, the moment’s gone. TRAVEL ALONE too! (And tell me about it! Maybe I can blog you! :P)

 

 

 

  1. Go on Fasting even when it’s not Lent

Catholic teachings dictate that Catholics aged 18 to 60 should fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday while people aged 14 and up should abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. Yes, Catholics are just asked to fast twice a year and yet most of the time, I fail here.

My brave goal from now on is to be faithful in fasting in these two important dates of the Church calendar and to fast more often to acknowledge that God is supreme above all my earthly desires. (Takot kasi akong magutom lagi.)

 

The purpose of fasting is to loosen to some degree the ties which bind us to the world of material things and our surroundings as a whole, in order that we may concentrate all our spiritual powers upon the unseen and eternal things.

– Ole Hallesby

 

I CHALLENGE YOU: For this brave goal, I challenge the people who are seeking God’s answers or those who have special intentions. Deny yourself to yourself and witness how God will reign over your circumstances. 😉

 

  1. Lead a Light Group/Disciple Group/Caring Group

I have always evaded leadership posts ever since I can remember. In school, I would usually be selected as a leader and I hated it. That’s why in situations when I have a choice, I choose to just follow and not lead.a22f6f6ece3f206d4e8f5c2defdb711b

Now that I’ve grown up, I want to blend the wisdom I gained over the years to a braver version of myself. And I want to do this while glorifying the Lord through leading a light group.☺

I CHALLENGE YOU: For this brave goal, I challenge everyone to belong to a light group! C’mon! You can’t do this journey alone, you need friends. 😉

 

  1. Fall in love

Just a heads up before I proceed further:

  • Putting this item on this list is a brave thing for me already. But I know you won’t be all convinced if this remains to be on the list forever. Hihi!
  • It’s actually and supposed to be ‘walk in love.’ I read somewhere that we don’t fall in love because everything that falls breaks. We walk in love. 💛

This brave goal was not forced on me by anyone else, much more by myself. I put this here on my own will after my own decision. Haha!

Seriously, when I think about allowing a person other than myself to know everything about me, stick with me through thick and thin, and grow with me, I feel daunted.

But it dawned on me that as long as I’m doing every step out of faith and out of reverence to the Lord, it is not impossible. If the Lord shall put me in another season, I realized, I can only thank Him for bringing me here, for molding me into what I am today, and for continuously working in me to fulfill His grand plan. And as you may know, if He puts us in it, He brings us through it. Right? 😉

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I CHALLENGE YOU: For this brave goal, I challenge everyone to give love every single day – to your family, friends and even to strangers. I believe we all have a love in our hearts that can accommodate the world. Whether it’s a sandwich for a street kid or a smile to a fellow commuter, give your love away. ☺

Once I’m done with each brave goal, I promise to share them here, so you better return on this site! Haha! If you want to create your own brave goal or if you want to suggest a brave goal for me, please let me know through the comments below.

Let’s be brave? ☺