How Fear Can Be The Death of You

fear, scared, scary, death, faith, doubt, fearless, chances, shiftI grew up in a bubble created by my parents. The bubble was beautiful, naive and cellophane. It was as real as those fairy tales we read as children. And while it had just about everything I needed as a child, it became something I fought to desperately break away from as an adult.

Since I was a bubble girl living in a bubble world, I learned to be afraid of just about everything. I could never play in the dirt so I was scared of getting dirty. I could never take chances becuase my entire life was calculated. I think I only scraped my knees once and I remember secretely loving it. It was like I was feeling for the first time.

The moment I escaped my bubble was a moment of complete and utter terror. I was scared of everything. I was scared of life. I quickly became my own worst enemy. The only way I thought I could deal was by numbing the pain and hurting myself in more ways than one.

Since I had never felt any pain or suffering, I thought I deserved to feel a little of both for once. I lost balance and sight of what truly mattered as I tried to prove to myself that I was fearless. In my early 20s, fearlessness meant being invincible. It meant pushing yourself to your limits but in the most negative and unproductive of ways.

I am reading a powerful book that states, “Nothing stands between man and his highest ideals and every desire of his heart, but doubt and fear.”

I have doubted myself for most of my life. I lived in fear since the moment I was born. These are the “truths” I have been telling myself throughout the years and these fabricated lies are what have held me back time and time again.

I have experienced a serious shift in my mentality. I believe in dreams again and all that is good. Although I had to experience some darkness and pain to really appreciate the beauty of the world, I finally realize there is nothing to be fearful of.

Of painful moments can come great works of art. Of scary moments can come great feelings of accomplishment. Of doubtful moments can come great moments of clarity.

The trick is to not be paralyzed by fear and doubt but to rise above it and use such feelings as guides for becoming the best possible versions of ourselves.

My magical book also says, “We must substitute faith for fear, for fear is only inverted faith; it is faith in evil instead of good.” It’s true. The minute we replace fear with faith is the moment fear loses all power over us.

I have become fearless as an adult and not in a careless way but in a spiritual way.

My spirit is fearless. It knows of no limits. It knows dreams are real and can materialize if you just have faith and fight for them. Life shouldn’t be about worst-case scenarious or surviving with the bare minimum. It should be about reaching for more, wanting more, and never settling for less. The moment we settle is the moment we let fear win and let faith die along with our spirit.

Choose bravery. Choose life. Choose more.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why It’s Okay To Need Help

help, helping, okay, need, friend, family, love, support, pride, cowardice, anxiety, future, insecurityAs a 20-something year old, I have learned how to deal with chaos in the most graceful of ways. I don’t cry as often as I used to at the sign of dismay. I try to make the best out of every situation even if it might not seem like it at the moment.

I have done a really good at job keeping it together over the last two years. I always realize I will “be okay” and that one slight bump in the road is not necessarily the end of the world.

I have found zen within my soul on a daily basis. I can drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic with a huge smile on my face and tons of love in my heart.

While I have learned to keep my emotions and life in check (for the most part), I still have my moments. I still have anxiety visit me once in a while. It likes to remind me that I still have a lot more growing and healing to do. It reminds me not to look to far into a future that is still so very uncertain.

The best I can do is remind myself to stay in the present moment and realize life will knock me down more times than I would like to admit. The trick is to fall gracefully.

I broke down last week. I lost my composure. I cried in frustration. It was a true moment of weakness for me. I phoned all the people I care about. I let it all out.

I quickly realized I needed help. I didn’t want to admit that I don’t have my life completely together, but then I realized I don’t and that’s totally okay. Like I have said before, we never really have our shit all the way together. Anxieties will always exist and push us to overcome them in the best way we can.

I hate asking for help. I have always thought it was a sign of weakness. I am not sure where I made this idea up, but it is not healthy to think this way. I am at a point in my life where I do need help sometimes and I have a team of loved ones that are willing to lend a hand.

I feel guilty asking for help because I often feel I have nothing to give others.

And this is where my insecurities come in. Giving does not have to come in a monetary package, we give to others each day whether we feel like we do or not. We give each other love, support, service, advice and comfort. Life is a series of constant exchange.

The minute I talked to my team-my friends and family-I realized I am not alone in the world and asking for help is not a sign of cowardice. I realized I add value to the lives of others and I must acknowledge this each and every day.

I also realized that people want to help those they care about and it’s okay to take part in this exchange.

We are all in this together. Although it is easy to let pride get the best of us, help can give us more power than we ever thought possible. Accept help when needed and remember to help others in need. You never know when the next helpful exchange may happen.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

What Being a Brat Taught Me

brat, bratty, spoiled, life, empathy, learned, world, lessons, personality, pain, realityI grew up as an only child for the first seven years of my life. I was spoiled to the point of no return. Santa brought me everything I ever wanted and more. I often cried to get my way. If my mom said I could only pick one thing at the toy store, I often left with five. Birthdays go without even saying. They were the celebration of a young princess of England.

I look back at old videos of these moments and cringe. How could I have been so rotten? Was life really better back then? Or was I in a strange bubble I enjoyed way too much?

At 17, I decided it was time to pop this bubble. I told my parents I was moving away for college and they supported me every step of the way. I thought I would have all the luxuries of home while away. Boy, was I wrong.

My parents quickly replaced “my” brand new car with a pink bicycle. I attached princess streamers to avoid feeling completely out of my element. Ridiculous? I think not.

I rode my bike to school and In N Out Burger everyday. I was still a princess. I was the princess of french fries. I cried for a car for over a year even though I lived at school and my job was about six blocks away.

The car I longed for never magically arrived at my dorm parking lot. It rained and I often got soaked in puddle water on my way to and from work. I struggled but I refused to move back home. I refused to give up. I was desperately trying to run away from that brat I had become as a child.

After many mistakes, some deadly, it was safe to say I was humbled by my college experience. I met people at work who had only owned a bike their entire life. I met people who had to work overtime just to “make it.”

Coming from a bratty background, I realized the bubble I had lived in for so many years was a sad one. I hadn’t seen the world yet. I hadn’t felt any pain yet. I could honestly say I had never once suffered in the past.

Coming face-to-face with the real world was extremely painful for me. Mostly because I have the great gift of empathy. I feel what other people feel. After my brat phase, I was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and gratefulness.

How could I have enjoyed life so much as a sheltered little girl? How could I have not seen the real world for so long?

I became very angry and bitter for the next few years. I was angry at the world for treating every person in it so differently than the next. I was angry that the world I once knew was completely shattered before my eyes.

After all had been said and done, I came out on top. I realized I needed to stop trying to punish myself and embrace the beauty of the world again. Not the beauty I had once known, but the new beauty I had found as a result of my painful reality check.

I now find beauty in other people’s journey. I find the old lady with the colorful fuzzy hat to be extremely intriguing. Vulnerability inspires me to do more, learn more and write more. I share love instead of words of hate because I know I can greatly impact just about anyone I cross paths with.

The brat version of me still likes to make surprise guest appearances but I quickly tell her to stay grounded, humble and kind. She’s sometimes quicker to leave than other times, but in the end, I am no longer defined by her. I might struggle with multiple personalities at times, but I love the 20-something humbled version of me best. She has the ability to change the world.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen