Will You Live in Fear or Faith?

{Flickr photo by 27147}

{Flickr photo by 27147}

Between moving to our first home and landing a new writing gig, I haven’t had spare time to write for fun, much less keep up this blog. [insert =( here.] But I know the value in doing it. It’s forced me to sit on the ground with my laptop, exhausted after 5 hours of moving behind me.

Why?

Reflecting on this moment is of the utmost importance and sharing all the mini lessons I learn along the way makes it all worthwhile. Even if there are only a handful of you still reading this now.

2012-2013 has been filled with some of my most exciting and painful moments. I’ve said goodbye to good friends, got slammed with unexpected good and bad news and was continuously tested on my faith. The question that kept looping in my head was: Do I choose to live in fear or faith?

To live an inspiring life, many might assume that it means living a pain-free one. Some might think that true happiness is a life void of difficulty and filled to the rim with constant joy, and luck. Those who feel this way can get pretty tied up in feeling sorry for themselves (I can vouch for my own self-pity parties in the past.). But what they don’t realize is true happiness and joy stems from having the confidence to overcome obstacles, from being able to put one foot in front of the other regardless if you know where that path will lead.

Any one of us can easily fall into the gap of paranoia and fear especially in regards to the news lately. Any one of us can stay in the past and glorify a frozen moment. It’s easy to let yourself get overwhelmed by difficulty, problems and uncertainty. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

On the other side of the fence is hope. It’s still scary there. Unknowns lay like hidden potholes. But love, courage, faith there are stronger. I’m not saying that the road is easier. In fact, if you decide to live your life with faith, it may even be harder. But if you choose it, your confidence will grow. And in doing so, you will reap the benefits of a truly lived life.

I meet a lot of people these days who like to play their lives safe. Being cautious feels smart. It feels like the best way to live your life. But play things too cautiously and you’re putting yourself at great risk. You’re risking your ability to love deeply, laugh loudly and experience the life you were meant to live.

We were not meant to live life problem-free. We were meant to bend in the wind, to fall, to bleed, to shed our leaves and grow beautiful like the trees…

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Why You Should Never Give Up

{Random abstract watercolor painting I drew up with watercolor pencils and a paintbrush.}

We often hold back from our true potential out of fear. There is a small, but demanding voice that screeches at us and says, “No one cares about what you do. You’ll never be good enough. ” Like a mosquito, it buzzes in our ears, annoying even the most confident and successful amongst us.

It’s not that some people are just more talented, hard working or lucky. It is true that there are people who fall into those categories. But that’s not what got them where they are.

What gave them the ability to surpass the doubts and hurdles that overcome all of us is the belief they will eventually get there.

Even if their prose is so bad that it causes loved ones to swallow criticism in fear of hurting their feelings.

Even if their hours of work is not only monotonous, but heartbreakingly unproductive.

Even if you are not where you want to be.

Even if all signs seem to point to failure.

If you still are passionate about what you do, do not give up!

I realized after five years of writing professionally that there is a natural ebb and flow that comes with the territory. There will be moments when my ego believes, “This is it! I finally made it.” As if a single project could validate my existence. And there are equally moments when the jobs start to dry up that I begin to question my purpose.

None of that is important. These are mere external circumstances required to change as we do. If anything, they are there as lessons-inevitable opportunities to practice patience, faith and the type of unrelenting persistence required to accomplish big feats like finishing a marathon or that story you have tucked away in a drawer.

It took me a long time to realize that it’s not about proving myself. It took me years to realize that there’s no magic fairy dust that graces the head’s of only certain individuals. The way you make luck for yourself in life is to keep trying.

This means that I will pick myself up after every inevitable fall. It means that just because my rough draft sucks doesn’t mean it won’t sing after a dozen or more revisions.

What it means it that I don’t equate my bad days with the good of my soul.

It takes courage to meet our fears. But it’s the only way we’ll get there. And dear friends, we will get there, as long as we keep on going.

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