But fears are funny little demons. As we face our fears and sometimes we even have them confirmed, we recognized that as we identify them they lose a certain amount of their power over us. Does that make sense? An example would be this blog. I blogged for a bit as a anonymous blogger on a different website entirely. Under a made up name. With an e-mail account of it's own. I was afraid of being me. Silly, I know. But so much of our lives are lived being what we are expected to be that I wasn't sure what happens when you're really you and people finally see just who that is. Fear.
I started this public blog with my name and e-mail address a year ago. I wondered if giving people access to it would scare me away from being honest. What would happen the first time I faced criticism? The first time a Christian didn't think I was Christian enough or my faith bothered one of my readers who's anti-religion? What would happen when I wasn't smart enough or my ideals were threatened? Where would that leave me? Would I run back to blog as someone else, where the criticism wasn't really about ME but about the girl I created to be my thoughts on the Internet.
In the year I have been blogging I have had to face each of these fears head on. I have endured criticism, scrutiny, praise, judgement, compliments, and questioning. I have found that the fears are much like finding that the monster in your closet is really a sweater throw over your old hockey stick. When the light hits them, they're not as scary as once thought.
Mark Batterson said it like this:
The cure for the fear of failure is not success. It's failure. The cure for the fear of rejection is not acceptance. It's rejection. You've got to be exposed to small quantities of whatever you're afraid of. That's how you build up immunity.
I've faced some fears these past two years. From living away from every one of my family members. To moving. To changing jobs. To blogging openly. To publicizing my thoughts about our president, abortion, and a number of other controversial topics. To homeownership. To heights.
Blogging opens you up to criticism and while I feared that for a period of time I've perhaps come full circle. As I face the scrutiny that some of my beliefs or actions may cause, I find that I am more secure than I've ever been about who I am. I am incredibly flawed. I am ridiculously imperfect. And I am undeservedly loved in spite of myself. When you experience or in my case accept a love that isn't based on you, your good works, or what you wrote on your blog, you find that other peoples opinions just don't hold much weight anymore. While I enjoy and process each comment written here and even the sometimes wonderful and sometimes nasty e-mails I receive for my writings, I find that I am peaceful. Sometimes I pray and thank God for putting the people this blog has brought into my life, here. Sometimes I pray that God will give me the right response.
Overcoming my fear of writing this blog has held immeasurable rewards. I am thankful for all the good is had brought in my life. And for the challenges along the way that have reminded me that while my thoughts are here, my worth is not.
Face your fears...the rewards out weigh the obstacles.