As the seasons change, we are reminded of the universal truth that nothing stands still. Life is forever going on in spite of anything that we might be experiencing individually. The only constant we truly know in this world is change, and even though you might think that would render us accustomed to it, that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
In real life, change is hard. It’s scary. We get comfortable with the way things are. We know very well the routines we’ve established; and even when we don’t like it, we tend to stick with a monotonous lifestyle for the sake of familiarity. Familiar things aren’t scary.
But what happens when change is inevitable-when the winds of change are too hard to ignore?
In times like these you can count on fear showing up. Fear, with its dark, cold fingers, reaches out and relentlessly grasps for your dreams and aspirations, eventually taking them away from you if you let it.
Elicia McIntyre writes, “Fear is the number one emotion that keeps us immobilized. Fear prevents us from taking risks and from trying new things.”
Have you ever had a dream so great that the thought of it overwhelmed you with feelings of both excitement and apprehension? Have you ever felt like you were destined for a future not aligned with anything you were currently pursuing, but instead of following your passion and chasing a dream, you sit back and obsess over all the things that could go wrong? Fear of the negative unknown paralyzes you, and before you know it, you’ve let fear take away your dream.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”
Mr. Roosevelt’s words take on a very personal meaning for me. Just the other day, I received word that one of my high school classmates had passed. The news was devastating. As I tried to make sense out of it all, what became most evident to me was the level of courage Brianne Harrell exhibited, not only in sickness, but even when she was well.
Brianne did the unthinkable: She chased a dream-her reward, a successful fashion line and fulfillment of the desire to bring something beautiful to the world. Despite naysayers, despite the way that the pursuit of art is often frowned upon, despite fear, she persevered. In more recent years, as her health declined, I’m certain Brianne was not without fear. Her journey was full of hardship, struggle, and pain. But in spite of fear, and in the presence of that fear, she rose and established a new dream. One where she was able to make more people aware of the need for organ donation. For Brianne, something else was more important than fear.
With Brianne as your inspiration, I encourage you to find the something else that is more important than the fear that holds you still. Realize that life will continue-the world never stops moving. But you have the power to decide how you will move within it. Move courageously.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling as you move away from a life stilled by fear, please call The Stone Foundation at 410-296-2004.
Melissa Brooks-Cuffee holds two Bachelor of Science degrees from Towson University: one in Psychology, the other in English. She has sustained memberships with both the Psi Chi and Lambda Iota Tau honor fraternities, and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore. Melissa also volunteers with E-buddies-a program of Best Buddies International.
You can learn more about Melissa and read samples of her works at melissabrookscuffee.com. Follow her on Twitter @MrsCuffee.