This month we’ve been talking about fears. The thing about fears is that they hold us back more often than they help us. Yes, they’re there to protect us, but many times they’re more over-the-top than helpful. Today I wanted to share about one of the drawbacks of fear: what you miss out on. When you’re busy looking over your shoulder you’re too busy to look in front of you and see life’s potential. You’re missing out on the cool things, the weird things, the things that make you laugh and smile, the things that cheer you up, the things that challenge you and the things you fall in love with. Fear means that you’re too busy looking back to appreciate all that you have or could have.
So while I can’t magically poof your fears and issues away, I want you to take just 5 minutes to really see the world around you this weekend. Stop and check out the leaves changing colors, stop and smell the crisp scent of fall in the air, stop and see what the people in your world are doing, stop and see the changes going on all around you as stores prepare for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and see what has become of your life. Take time to see the world around you and be grateful for all you have and all those who are part of your life.
This week on the Spirituality and Life blog I shared about overcoming your fears (part 1, part 2), and sometimes the thing to do is to face them and work on overcoming them. But sometimes what your fears, your life, and the people in your life need is more thanksgiving, love and joy. When we learn to focus on those things, and not the fears and challenges that seem to be taking over our lives, we’re able to see life from a whole new perspective, and often be freed from our fears without having to do anything.
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” Henri J M Nouwen