“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” F.D. Roosevelt
This quote comes to mind when I think about fear. Sadly, I don’t live by these words.
As I self-proclaimed worrier, I gotta be honest. I worry because I fear. Why else would I worry, right?
I fear that something bad will happen to my children.
My husband and I have talked about this before and I think we agree. If either of us died, it would be difficult to move on, but because we’d be so concerned with taking care of our five children — and because if we were to die at this point of our lives when we’re both over the age of 40, have lived life, and our children are old enough to remember us — we would manage.
However, if one of my children died, I know that I would either blame myself to the point of driving myself insane (I don’t say that lightly) or I would blame my husband and threaten our marriage.
It would be incredibly difficult for me to get over the death of one of my children.
Not only death, but I worry about them at school, especially my older children. Yes, my teenagers.
In elementary school, teachers have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in class and in the hallway. In high school, this is definitely not the case, even with security camera surveillance almost everywhere. My 13 and 15 years old teenagers know far more about drugs and sex than I did when I entered University at the age of 18.
And even though they’re “good” kids, I worry that they’ll either make some bad decisions that will break my heart or they’ll stand up for what they believe in and suffer negative consequences for that.
Either way, I worry.
I worry about my health.
And the older I get, the closer I get to dying. I realize everyone dies and it’s not really death itself I fear, but the illness or injury that might be the ultimate cause of it.
I’m not a big fan of pain or sickness. I’ve experienced drugless childbirth five times so I am well acquainted with pain. But it ended with something positive.
The kind of pain that could lead to death frightens me. I hate the out of control feelings I get when I experience excruciating pain or extreme illness. I don’t like feeling out of control. Again, I realize most people don’t like it, but it is something that is high on my list of fears.
I fear unhappiness.
By “unhappiness”, I don’t mean sadness. I am referring to a general discontent with my life.
My goal is not to live a life where I am constantly happy. My fear is more one of regret. That I will come to the end of my life, look back, and wish that I had lived my life with greater joy and less anxiety.
So really, I am anticipating the anxiety I could possibly be feeling twenty years from now…which then turns into anxiety now.
How does that work? I guess you could say it is a special skill I possess. One that I am not proud of, but one that I work on.
Keeping in mind that I don’t want to have regrets later on, I strive to live life with as much enjoyment and happiness today. For me that includes experiencing the bad along with the good. I used to run away from the negative, difficult emotions and I do still struggle with facing them. But I have learned that I can not fully embrace the joys in my life if I can not sit with my sadness, my anger, and my frustrations.
And I have a lot of anger and frustrations. Mainly with my healthy children.
This is where Gratitude comes into my life.
Gratitude reminds me to be grateful for my healthy children when they’re being rude and obnoxious.
It reminds me to be thankful for the free healthcare in my country.
I am thankful for my husband, who, although is not rich, is now my best friend after months of marriage counselling.
I have a roof over my head, I have a vehicle that drives, I have money to buy groceries.
I have a family that loves me.
I could spend my life worrying and living in fear, or I could fight against the demons which try to pull me under and practice gratitude for the things that I have.