But, What If I Fail?

This week we've had nearly perfect weather here at Chez Ray Country. It's been cool and clear at night and mid 80s with a breeze during the day. I've been trying to eat lunch at the park more so I can enjoy fresh air before it's too cold. Today I was particularly aware of the moms and kiddos joining together for play dates at the playground across the way. I found myself thinking, "oh how I wish that was my life." That's an every day occurance for me and it's ok. But then in the next sentence I thought, "I'll bet one or all of those women wish they were still working outside of the home and could catch a nap on their lunch break or go to the bathroom in silence, but instead sit in an infinite pile of laundry and empty packages of scooby snacks."

And that's what got me thinking. How are we doing in the here and now?  Are we living in the moment or are we worrying ourselves sick that we will fail and mess up our "life plan?"  In my last blog post, I talked about tuning out the static of our lives. I talked about the ability to face your life full-on and say, "I don't care what anyone says or what the voices in my head say, I am doing this." The flip side to this thought process is the ever-present demon voice in our head that says, "but, what if I fail?" I have a few things to say about that.  Let's begin some raw musings avec Ray.

The majority of my readers are women, sprinkled with a few brave men. I am humbled by the stories that have been shared with me as I share my story about my journey of empowerment and mental health awareness.  There are stories far worse than mine and people who have lived through some pretty scary shit in their life and come out of it better and braver.  But getting through these events doesn't mean the scars just magically disappear.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  The biggest side effect that I have observed and lived is the fear of failing.
One of my most popular blog posts is "In My Life." I share my thoughts about the great hit by The Beatles, "In My Life" and how it related to my closing thoughts after organized therapy.  I didn't share all my thoughts in that post, but there was definitely more.....lots more that I think about regularly. One of the questions and subsequent answer that I still think about is this, "Question number 2....how do you not let yourself get trapped in the "What if's" of life.  Oh my hell....if anyone has that answer ring me right up.  The word IF should burn in hell.  It is not fair that we've been taught to use the word "if."  What if I don't get married...what if I don't have babies?  Uh ya, still can't live with those answers.  I may never know if I can do it.  But all I know is I can still get up in the morning, plan my day, be amazing, and let it all pan out.  And when the evil word "if" creeps its way in...I recognize it...recognize my pain...but quickly move it right out.  That's the only way to do it."

As I read that paragraph for this blog post, I suddenly had a flood of memories from the last 5 years since I wrote that statement.  I remember feeling a huge pit in my stomach about the idea of taking risks and facing life's challenges without the security blanket of a therapist.  Since then, I've been knocked down 3 times in my career in a year's time, lost a close family member to death, said good bye forever to someone I thought I loved, gave up on God's timing, gave a second chance to God's timing, fell in love with nature, started a business, embraced aunthood in all aspects of my life, bought my first bikini top (don't tell my mother) and quit checking my bank account every hour of every day for fear of not having enough. My hardest days are those when I let the demon named IF creep in to my brain.  Anxiety is a HUGE element of depression and for many of us it comes and goes in waves, depending on the life events at the time.  For me, I have found much solace in meditation and the art of being still and turning off my brain in an effort to calm the hell down.  That is NOT easy at times, but I'm getting better at it.  The other day I was talking to my best friend about this process.  It didn't magically happen on its own.  There have been LOTS of nights where I could only turn my brain off for a few minutes and then I had to do something else. I call that gypsy flight mode. Lately, I have had the ability to shut off the noise and actually relax.  You can do it too.

For some of you, this may require medication to even out your chemical balance.  GET ON IT.  Do not be afraid to medicate!  Why in the hell would you continue to willingly let yourself be miserable?  Turn off YOUR static, that medication is bad, and give yourself the gift of mental reprive.  Remember, medication, just like therapy, does not cure you.  It merely gives you a buffer so you can freaking cope when you just want to go postal.
When it comes right down to it, our fear of failing has to do with relationships.  Relationships with those around us and with ourself.  Our fear of failure stems from unrealistic expectations that we set for ourselves and those that we perceive are set by others.  If we will cut the superficial and dig deep as the Dalai Lama suggests in his book, "The Art of Happiness," we will find peace and less anxiety.  If you don't have a copy of this book, stop what you're doing and BUY IT.  It is $2.56 on Amazon Marketplace for the paperback copy (yes, I checked) and it is a must-read.  Being still, having less fear and more faith comes by grounding ourselves and trusting our power to live.  The Dalai Lama gives such eloquent wisdom in this book and I always reccommnd it to friends who are having a tough time in life.

For all the crappy that has occured in my life, the peacful and content that has followed it is irreplacable.  When I look at the sweet faces of my four Colorado loves on FaceTime and melt all over again, I remember that I have a reason to live.  I have LOTS of reasons to live and I have even more reasons to continue my life and not fear failure and so do you.

The moral of the story: Failure is not failure unless we say so.  We can either fall down and give up or we can learn from it.  That's it!  Give yourself a chance to be amazing and it will happen.

Until next time, my lovelies!

Be sure to check out the biz side of "Let It Be & Celebrate" by visiting www.beyoudesignsut.co pendantnecklace

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