Now that I am temporarily living back home, I get the pleasure (it truly is a pleasure) of spending extra time with my little sister. Especially this week because she is on spring break.
Spending time with her today was particularly interesting as I realized she is afraid. And when I say afraid, I mean she is not only overly cautious, but also literally paranoid about everything. She won't walk by certain houses because they "look creepy." She got scared while walking the dog because another person wearing a hood was also walking on the road (as a reminder - it has been in the low 30s here, so really, she was the weird one by NOT wearing a hood.) We went to Circle K and there were some men standing outside, they were roughly in their late teens and early twenties and they were just standing there, drinking coffee and talking. I was just running in to grab something so I left the car running (again its cold...) when I came back she was pretty freaked out. Why? Because "guys dressed like that" scare her.
And that got me thinking. How can I explain to her that by spending all of her time being afraid of things and avoiding situations because she "might" get hurt or something along those lines that she isn't truly living? She is 12, it is important for her to be cautious in some situations and be aware of her surroundings, but there is a difference between being cautious and being so fearful, that one cannot live their life.
I personally have dealt with being overly fearful and it is not enjoyable. Luckily it hasn't been long and I can already see the flaw in it and am working hard to change it. I fear death. I don't know why - but the idea of mortality actually scares me. I am realizing (again, thankfully I haven't dealt with this fear long) that by worrying and fearing death I am not LIVING! If I die in two weeks, will I have lived every minute of those two weeks to their fullest? What does it mean to really "Live" your life to the fullest? For me, it means constantly working. Working on being a better person, physically, mentally and emotionally. It means helping people, being compassionate. Loving more than other people think is possible. It goes on and on. There are so many ways to live rather than fear.
Something else has also happened that makes me fear less. That is awareness. I am aware that I am being "too" worried and cautious. I feel like there are signs all around me telling me to just LIVE.
I have found that things happen in life just when you need them to. You might get a message from a friend on a day you really need someone to reach out. You might stumble across something that just speaks to you and helps open your mind. And that is precisely what has happened for JT and me. We are both again at that point where we're done talking about fitness and weightloss and just doing it. JT signed up for the Tough Mudder next Oct. Part of that was finding other pages like the "spartan race" etc... well, on one of those pages we came across the blog I've previously mentioned "Living Myself to Death" It is literally like someone in the know realized the issues we were both having and got this guy to start blogging about them. I find myself living exactly what he blogs about. Today's blog is titled "Lots of time to do nothing when you are dead." And he basically just explains the importance of not fearing your life away. He says listen, we're all going to die so really LIVE while you can. It is exactly what we all need to hear sometimes. It is what I've needed to hear the last few months during this ridiculous anxiety i've been experiencing. He also always has great quotes that apply exactly to what he is trying to get across. Here is one.