Whether we like it or not, we are all passengers on the fear train because, well, that’s just life. None of us are exempt from the adversities that life doles out. We can count on them like unsolicited opinions on a Facebook feed.
Adversity – the foreshadowing of change… which is the master of uncertainty… closely followed by its partner in crime, FEAR.
I remember when I received my breast cancer diagnosis… talk about a super-sized package of hard knocks. The list of unknowns was exhausting…
How bad is it? What type of financial toll will it have on my family? Will I be able to work? Will I live long enough to see my children grow up? Etc. And the list of “what ifs” was inevitable.
But you know what I did? I made a choice to survive, and that decision gave me a positive attitude that no one was expecting.
My friends would ask me things like, “How can you be so happy? How do you keep going? How do you keep laughing?”
This was my reply…
“I am not dying until I can show my kids what it means to be in a loving relationship.”
Their early childhood and upbringing was not an ideal situation. I did not want my kids to lose their mama and spend the rest of their lives with a distorted view of real love between a husband and wife.
Now that my marriage with their father was over, I was ready for true love. Yes, I had a burning desire to find my soul mate (because duh, I’m human, girls), but even more than that, I didn’t want my children to spend the rest of their lives thinking a disrespectful, unhealthy relationship was the standard for true love.
Learning how to live life post double mastectomy (sister, nothing… and I mean nothing can prepare you for those emotions) was the epitome of adapting to change with a capital “CH”.
There was always a friendly reminder that things will never be the same… like ever.
The next step was reconstructive surgery. But instead of proceeding the way you would expect most women to do, I told my doctor that I prefer to hold off and talk about it later.
I was cancer-free, and for now, that was all that mattered to me. Honestly, not enough time had passed for me to really care what I looked like.
I was still in survival mode and had no one to impress.
My heart was content with the fact that I was going to be a marred female with no boobs searching for a man.
You see, adversity and all of its components are inevitable. However, YOU get to determine whether it will occupy the locomotive or caboose of your life train.
When you give fear permission to dictate the railway, tell you where to travel, and tell you how to travel, he will do just that. He will predict the worst outcome of every scenario and make you a prisoner to all the excuses in the world.
But, when you send him to the back of the train (and you sure don’t have to be polite about it), he has to follow your lead.
You can occasionally expect him to bring up the rear with reminders of why you will persevere (remember what I wanted for my kids?). That’s not a bad thing.
Sister, you are in one of three places – coming out of a trial, in the middle of one, or getting ready to face one. Regardless of where you might be, decide today that the only place you will allow fear to buckle up is in a seat at the back of the train… and make that sucker work for YOU.