Needle In A Haystack, Part 2

“Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength.” (Brigitte Nicole)

I was hesitant about going ahead with “part two” of my post, as I felt vulnerable after last time and the responses I received left me overwhelmed. When I was told my blog played a role in helping a reader recognize a destructive pattern in their own life, prompting them to make a positive change, it encouraged me to not be afraid and keep talking about these things. I am a work in progress when it comes to learning to express myself and although writing has given me an outlet, I have to regularly fight the urge to return to my safe place of being quiet and invisible.

A few weeks ago I felt like I had lost my joy and nothing would satisfy the ache inside. No amount of positive thinking, pep talks or peanut butter could make it better. (I eat peanut butter on a daily basis because I absolutely love it and recently upgraded my humble jar to a 900g bucket instead.) It does require self-control and when I am having a tough day it is tempting to let the regular couple of teaspoons turn into one too many! Thankfully I recognize I have a choice about how I am going to feed my pain and a short-term fix, like giving in to my craving for example, will not solve the deeper problem.

Healthy appetites or hobbies, like food, work, shopping or relationships can become destructive if we let them get out of control. If we look around there is plenty evidence that this kind of behaviour if rife in our world today. Often we don’t need to look further than ourselves to realize many of us have activities and habits that we use as buffers, instead of expressing our emotions appropriately. I used my peanut butter as a light-hearted example because ‘cravings’ often mask some negative emotion, be it depression, anger or loneliness that we’d rather not experience. Always ask yourself what you are feeling before indulging in a craving and don’t shy away from facing that emotion.

We are never going to be perfect and our lives are always under construction (and that’s okay!) Spending time with God is essential to helping you stand firm against temptation as only He can provide the lasting fulfilment you seek. Remember what was said in the beginning too…don’t be afraid to show your emotions and let us be a community that supports each other and opens our hearts to those that are struggling.

Do It Afraid

Thank you for the comments and encouragement I’ve received as I begin this new blogging adventure. One response was, “You’re so brave! I could never open up about stuff! Isn’t it scary?” This has prompted the topic of today’s post. When you see someone taking steps towards accomplishing a dream or doing something that you would consider brave, it doesn’t mean that they don’t feel fear. I know I had fear, especially before I pressed “publish” for my first blog post on Monday! My stomach kept churning and I almost lost a day’s worth of meals on the spot (which wouldn’t be ideal when I’m training towards a fitness competition and every mouthful is precious!) This reaction is quite common when I am asked to do something unfamiliar and even thinking about a new challenge can leave me shaky and weak.

When this happens, when you feel fear, you could shrink back and walk away or alternatively you could confront it. The decision is up to you. Will you let the fear stop you? Or are you prepared to feel the fear and do what you need to do anyway? I spent many years letting my fear and lack of confidence prevent me from stepping out into new things. Now I make an effort every year to do something that requires me to be bold and break out of my comfort zone. (Perhaps I will share some of these examples in future posts.) I wish I could say it gets easier every time. I will have to keep trying to find out! But I believe the more we continue to confront our fears, the smaller they’ll become.

I am currently working towards a goal that terrifies me. It has literally reduced me to tears (on more than one occasion!) But I am determined not to miss out on the opportunity of accomplishing my goal, due to fear and intimidation. I want you to have that same attitude.

Is fear holding you back from reaching your full potential? I encourage you to step out boldly and don’t let fear rule you any longer.