A Fear Not To Be Wasted

A Fear Not To Be Wasted

Rather than holding us back, it should push us forward.

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Fear is an interesting word.

A combination of four letters, a stigma without the need of any additional information, a mental state that derives its form from any area of life it so chooses, fear is a tour de force of human communication. Fear is powerful, dangerous, foreboding, ominous. It is one of the many great points of pride of the English language, for what better for a word to achieve than the ability to weave an intricate medley of emotions into the mind without needing the addition of even a single letter?

Is the typically ascribed sensation of fear what fear is? Is fear, despite all its complexities of face and form, relatively one-dimensionally bleak?

I recently overheard a discussion of the use of the word "fear" in older works of literature and its translation from different languages into modern English. I'm not entirely sure what drew my mind to this exposition, but I know what kept it there. As the topic of conversation turned towards vocabulary association and flexibility, my interest was piqued when I learned that fear is actually heavily associated and has been interchangeable with a very specific kind of terminology. As I listened, I was given the word that is used in conjunction with fear to mean the very same thing.

Awe.

Reverence, wonder, amazement, throw me your Thesaurus.com synonyms, it makes no difference. Each and every one of these has been used in significant written works of the past to stand in place of fear. This interchangeability speaks volumes to what fear itself was considered to mean in the past and perhaps what it should be explored as in the present.

See, fear can oftentimes seem in our lives to be, as I said before, wholly one-dimensional. It is the evocation of very specific, terrifying sensations and comes with a warning label of negativity plastered across its front. Fear is a stumbling block to the actions we wish to take in our lives. Fear is the excuse for inactivity, the controller to our daily going-through-the-motions adventures. Fear is...well, it's fear.

But for just one moment, just one small moment in time, imagine fear as being more than its stigma.

Think of fear as a moment of awe. It is daunting awe, the kind you can't explain. You lack the words to even begin to describe this sense of wonder building, and you lack the willingness to attempt to explain it. You are simply living in and experiencing the moment. This fear is a recognition of power, admiration towards the might of the obstacle being faced. You have no idea what your composure should be around this thing that so happens to cause you so much awe, and frankly, you lost it ages ago. Your mind pays homage with its attention.

If fear is an awe so magnificent I lack the coherency with which to describe it, then shouldn't I choose very wisely which pieces and parts of my life I want to say I fear? And if fear is an awe this magnificent, then shouldn't I stop allowing it to control my thoughts so negatively?

From the oldest of manuscripts, fear has been considered awe, a sense of beauteous wonderment. Fear should not be something that stops me in my tracks or derails my life goals. It should motivate me, inspire me, encourage me to look closer, to try harder.

I am tired of falling prey to letting fear run wild through my life in such a predictably miserable pattern. Instead, I want to face the things that terrify me and see only something to respect, learn from, and move through. I want to decide what is worthy of true awe and leave behind things that only cause fear because I let them get the best of me or I let myself overthink them. It is hard to break the mind of an ingrained habit. But that won't keep me from trying to remember what fear means. What fear has been. What fear will be.

I will embrace my fears with awe and with respect. I will set aside the trivial bits of life I allow to get to me all too often. I will view fear as a challenge, a mountain to climb, a privilege to face.

Fear is an interesting word. I will strive to keep from going back to what it meant before. I will respect it for how it can enrich my life now. And I will work to keep it from stopping me ever again.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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