This morning, as I sit here at my desk looking out the window at a beautiful, sunny fall day, I’m a bit at a loss on how to begin this article. This article isn’t any different from the others I share with you each week. As usual, it’s about my own life and the reflections that I believe are helpful to other Smart Women. This article is about loving deeply, giving gifts and feeling fear along the way. Sounds like something all women deal with—yes?
Over the last few months, I’ve been going through testing at UCLA Medical Center here in Los Angeles to determine if I might be a possible match to donate one of my kidneys to my husband, Greg. Greg has Polycystic Kidney Disease and one of the affects is possible kidney failure over time. His kidney function has steadily been declining and we’ve known for some time that this day would come. What we didn’t know until now, is that I am, in fact, a match! On Tuesday, December 1, we will go together to UCLA Medical Center where I will undergo a procedure to remove one of my healthy kidneys and Greg will receive that kidney so he can feel healthy, energetic and enjoy life to the fullest once again.
Why do I tell you this story? Because what I’m going through right now holds many similarities for women. Women love. Women give. Women have fears. Some days I want to go jump in my bed, pull the covers over my head, go to sleep and wake up to realize that this has been a bad dream. Do you think I’m scared? You bet. Do I have anxiety? Of course. Will I feel the fear and do it anyway? Absolutely. How do you feel the fear and do it anyway? I’m sure, as you are sitting here reading this, you are thinking about some fears that you have, right? And it’s possible that you haven’t been able to overcome that fear yet.
My definition of Fear is…
Because they are real—right? When you feel your own fear, it seems almost impossible to move through it. And this is what keeps you stuck and trapped.
What do you fear that keeps you from stepping into who you really are? Do you:
~Fear cultivating a loving relationship because of past hurt and emotional pain?
~Fear letting go of a relationship that’s toxic and no longer serves who you are?
~Fear leaving a job or career that you’ve outgrown long ago?
~Fear taking on the idea of starting your own business even though it’s always been a dream?
These are just a few of the “fears” that women may have at different times in their lives. Fear is natural, it’s healthy and it’s never going to go away. The key is to find solutions to “manage” your fear so that you can move through it. Fear is a natural partner to your creativity. Anytime you have a new idea (or in my case, a health crisis that needs to be handled) you have the opportunity to take the pieces of the idea or situation apart and make choices about how to move forward in a way that serves you and will be in your highest good.
Here are some of the ways that I’m “managing” my fear and doing it anyway:
1. Create an air-tight support system – I’m so blessed to have an amazing support system around me. By the way, it’s not by accident. I seek out positive, nutritious people to be a part of my life and my families lives. I’m intentional about decreasing the amount of toxicity and negativity in my life as much as possible.
2. Become “Curious George” – Recently, I had a very Smart Woman explain the difference between “healthy anxiety” and “unhealthy anxiety” to me. “Healthy anxiety” propels you into asking curious questions of people who can help you break down the fear barrier and move toward positive resolution. “Unhealthy anxiety” keeps you stuck and trapped—unable to move at all. Yes, I’m driving the doctors crazy with all of my questions and I’m sure my family is a little crazy with all of the planning I’m doing but it’s what I need to feel clear and calm.
3. Create a Vision of What’s Possible – Instead of focusing on the fear of not being able to do something, focus on what will be possible for you on the other side of the fear, once you conquer it and move through it. Think about how your life will open up to new beginnings once you take that first step.
What’s possible for me once my husband has a new, functioning healthy kidney? Our family can begin a renewed life and fully embrace living whole once again.
What’s possible for you once you feel your fear and do it anyway? Loving relationships, a Renewed life, a new business?
I share this article with you in the hope that you can take my current situation and look at your own life with a critical eye. Explore what’s holding you back in different areas of your life. Every time fear rears her head, use these solutions to help you move beyond your fear. I’m a woman just like you who loves, gives and feels fear…..and I’m doing it anyway. You can too.
Whether you’re donating a healthy organ to a loved one or making a decision to have more of what you want in your life and less of what you don’t, feel the fear and do it anyway. I’m doing it and you can do it too. I believe in You.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2009 Joy Chudacoff
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