Thursday, March 28, 2013

Your Worst Fears...

For new readers, please click here to follow this journey from the beginning.

People of the world, tell me this - what (or who) is your worst fear? Here’s what I’ve learned about fear – as adults, most of us walk around cloaked in it, whether we know it or not. ALL. OF. THE. TIME. Somewhere along the way, our child-like wonder dissolves into The Sea of Scared Shitless. Good times. We’re scared of what others may think, of what the future holds, what could happen to our kids, going insane, being a burden, pain, mortality, abandonment, not finding meaning in life, imminent death…the list is endless. We live in a state of fear, not trust. It’s this thing called our amygdala…it’s always on guard for our protection. It’s our very own personal alarm system, an inherent defense mechanism, rearing its tiny wee head and scanning the environment for anything that may pose a threat to us. Threat identified? Then game on, baby - it’s fight or flight time. Let’s take the fear of snakes as one example: some would argue that this fear is built in, because hell, snakes can be dangerous. Don’t believe me? Just ask Eve. Others would say that’s a load of crap; if you’re scared of snakes, then you’ve likely had a bad experience with them. If you call being chased around the yard by your brothers who were flinging snakes at your head like their collective lives depended on it a bad experience, then yes, I’ll subscribe. Alas, the nature versus nurture debate continues to wage war.

There’s another type of fear – the fear of the unknown - our mortality, running out of time, the concept of eternity, the thought of something happening to our children that would rob them of life. Here’s the thing though: your fears can often rob you of living your life to the fullest. Where we can, we need to act on our fears because sometimes, circumstances permitting, we can be part of creating a different outcome. If you’re worried about not being a good parent, or not telling your loved ones exactly what they mean to you, then do something about it before it’s too late. Rewire that brain of yours. It is possible - hard as hell, but possible. Live your life in such a way that your fears don’t morph into regrets, because therein lies a completely different kind of fear – the one of knowing that you had the knowledge required to approach life differently and alter the course, but you lacked the perseverance and courage to do so. That one, right there, gives me the shivers.

Here forthwith, are your worst fears.


One of my kids dying…not knowing if he was going to make it.

Surviving my children or grandchildren.

Mortality, and the concept of eternity, terrifies me.

Dying too young and missing out on all the fun.

A painful, agonizing death.


Not making it back up that hill.

One of my children or spouse leaving this life before me.

Dying with regret. I don’t want to be on my death bed saying: “I wish I would’ve…”

That I will lose my kids or my husband. My Dad died when I was young, so I’m terrified that something will happen to my husband too. And I have a deep fear of failing but that’s between me and my therapist.

Being a burden to my family.


Being old and unable to care for myself. I can’t stand the thought of it.

Going insane.

My worst fear is to not be here to see my children grow up.

My worst fear is getting Alzheimer’s like my Dad did and becoming a burden to my kids and others. The ultimate fear is loss of memories and moments in time I have locked in my heart.

Burying my far-too-young husband.

Losing my faith.

My worst fear is losing one of my greatest loves.

Heights. I almost had a panic attack at the gorge in Colorado last year when I was faced with the possibility of going across the great abyss in a tiny cart suspended by only a cable.

That I will do something totally stupid and annoy my children and they will no longer want to visit me.

My parents dying.

Car crash.

I have no fear of dying, I only fear that I will die and leave no legacy behind. And spiders…those little suckers.


My worst fear is that my children will lose me. I would never wish the feelings I’ve experienced since my Dad’s passing on them. I understand my husband better knowing that he had to go through that loss as a very young child.

Something bad happening to my children. That, or something happening to me and them not truly understanding just how much I love them.

In my efforts to keep the family farm together, I’m not certain all my children will still talk to each other in years to come. This is my greatest fear.

Being old with no children of my own.

My worst fear is dying alone or nor experiencing all that I want to. I sometimes have panic attacks of: “I’m running out of time!”

Never finding that one person to spend the rest of my life with and never having someone to start a family with. Also, losing someone I love scares me to no end.

Disappointing others.

Getting older.

That I will be alone for the rest of my life. Not alone as in 'I have no friends', but I want to have a life partner, a husband that I can call my best friend, someone who I can share my life with. I want to feel loved and accepted for who I am. I dream of living in a home, sharing meals together, taking family on road trips, and even someone to curl up with on a Friday night to watch hockey. And yes...I'm even excited about the fights, arguments, disagreements- all that comes with love and marriage. But I'm so scared I won’t have it. That I'll be 'the friend/sister/aunt' that lives alone and whose invited to functions and events simply out of sympathy because I'm alone.


My worst fear is probably fear itself. And heights.

To become like my Mom. She prays a lot but is still full of anger and hurt. I find it hard to be around her.

My worst fear is something awful happening to my daughter…things I can’t even type, you the know the stuff you read about that makes you vomit. Or something happening to me too early for her to be able to deal with.

Losing what I take for granted.

Failing as a parent.

That my children do not feel accepted or loved.

That at some point in time, those I love will be the target of pain.

Dying and not having accomplished anything, or touched anyone in a special way, and being remembered for someone I once was in my past. I don’t let my past dictate who I am, but it’s part of what I have become.

Every parent’s worst fear.

That I’ll never truly understand the meaning of life, nor pursue what I was meant to do to lead a fulfilling one. That takes a level of courage I’m not certain I possess.

I definitely don’t like being around bats.

Ghost hunting.

My greatest love is my wife. My greatest fear is my wife.

Screwing up in parenting and not finding the words that lead the way to truth.

One of my children being abducted – not knowing where they are, who has them, how scared they are and how much pain they are in. The not knowing would kill me.

I fear how the world will be for my children when I am long gone. It already scares me the way it is now.

That people will see me as I see myself. Not the myself that I put out there…but the myself I see when I am naked alone in the bathroom or the myself I see when I lay in bed reviewing all the choices I made and the things I said.

My worst fear is totally unidentified.



My worst fear is my children or grandchildren becoming incapacitated. My sister became a quadriplegic at a very young age and I don’t wish that upon anybody. She does remarkably well in her life…it just makes her life harder.

My worst fear is me.

Fear of failure, as I was unsure of myself and lacked support from my father as our relationship was completely dysfunctional. That was then and I can confidently state that his opinion or anyone else’s has no effect in my decision making process.

This was the one question I was asked during my cancer treatments and the answer came very easily at the time and remains the same today. I actually have two - one is causing tremendous pain to my family if I should die young and the other is the fear of being forgotten.

Being alone and cut off from those I love. Being forgotten.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Your Greatest Love...Part Two

People of the world tell me this - who (or what) is your greatest love? For those who missed Part One, you can read it here. For those who have been patiently waiting for me to get my shit together and share Part Two, let's get tucked in shall we?

I've shared this poem before, and now I'm going to share it again. I'm quite certain one can read it 57 times a day and not grow weary of it. It was written by Kahlil Gibran, published in 1923, and it goes as follows:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

We all arrived through someone. Our childhoods may not have been perfect, but that’s not the point. As it relates to love, our families were our first teachers, for better or for worse. Some had a stable bow, others did not. Here’s the thing though, about love – regardless of our own upbringing, it’s up to us to willingly bend in His loving hand and send forth strong arrows. The children of this world deserve nothing less - neither do you. Love each other fiercely, so we grow to be stable bows.

It's the most noble thing we can do.

Here forthwith, are the remaining responses for your greatest loves.

This has varied throughout my life, however at this specific point in time it is my husband and two beautiful children. You do not realize how children change you – they become an irreplaceable part of your life. I always heard that having children is amazing, but it is far more than that.

My greatest physical love is my family…husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, parents both deceased, my extended in-law families. My greatest mental love is God and my greatest spiritual love is Mother Earth.

Me. In the past I did not believe or trust in myself which led to a lot of mistakes and heartache. Discovering that the power of the universe is within me has created a love for myself, the people around me and the world.

Perogies with salt and full fat sour cream, freshly baked white bread, a sleeping child perfectly molded into the crook of my arm early on a Saturday morning and kissing the plump, soft underside of a baby’s cheek.

Hair and music.

I love freesias. I think it’s one of the most beautiful smelling flowers.

The land.

Music, pets and art.

My relationship with Jesus…then my husband and son.

This would be a toss-up between my husband, grandmother and stepmom. I love them all so dearly for so many different things. My Spice Girls Greatest Hits CD and Sound of Music DVD come in as close seconds.

My husband - the daddy of my little girl and my best friend.

That would be a three way tie – my husband and my two kids. Tough to say who I love more – my kids or my husband. My kids will move away and I will need (and I want) to spend the rest of my life with my husband. Amazing to say that even though we’ve been together for so many years! Having said that, sometimes watching my kids is like having an out-of-body experience. They are ‘me’ but walking around separate from me – I don’t know if this is captured well in writing! How can you not love you? OK – so not ‘you’ but you?

My greatest love is a man I’ve known for years upon years, but only recently and inadvertently got to know. His belief in me took me through the trajectory of fully knowing myself.

My life partner.


Nothing remarkable about this answer: my sweet little family of my husband and two lovely, hilarious daughters. Not that I don’t also love my big crazy extended family, I certainly do, but the truth is that despite belonging to a very large family, I’ve spent most of my life feeling like an orphan. That is, until I built my own little clan who taught me what it is supposed to feel like.

My puppy.

My daughter.

My Dad.

My kids, my husband, writing.

My greatest love is God, for without him we don’t have love. He truly is the only one we can count on through rain and shine.

Mommy and Daddy.

Music. It can lift your soul, comfort you when you need it. Singing lifts your heart and sometimes lyrics hit you in the gut for how it’s so fitting in your life. It can inspire. Bring people together and I really believe it has an energy all on its own.

My husband is my greatest love. He is my yin or my yang, whichever I need him to be.

My God. Second to that, my family.

My greatest love would have to be my families. I consider myself to have my blood-related family, and my extended families of friends and coworkers. I do not know where I would be without these people in my life – I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

My daughter. Is that a fair answer? She’s the only person on this earth I would die for in a heartbeat. Her Dad was my first real love, and the only man who asked me to marry him and I guess he gave me my greatest love, so he’s right up there too.

Gratification from accomplishing a goal.

My greatest love is for life and new discoveries…sharing something new with special friends, riding along and seeing a beautiful waterfall and wondering where its source begins.

My son.

The wife and kids. The great non-person loves are jazz, basketball, reading and writing – a four-way tie.

My greatest love is myself. When I get to feeling something less than love for myself, that is when I start treating the most important people in my life poorly. I think because when I feel that I am not deserving of their love, I subtly push them away. I dare them to leave me because why would they want to be with me anyway? To thine own self, be true.

Wow…that’s tough. Is it me? My Mom? God? Life?
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