I Won't Give Up
I'm Not Afraid
January 16, 2009
I wrote this piece June 15, 2006. I was inspired to write this after certain events had happened in my life and thought I was ready to give up, and realized that I am in control of "My Story" .
I have found that each day does get a little easier, simpler; I find that when you don't sit around and think about the possibilities or purpose, that life just... well happens. I am finding that with this journey comes many lessons learned, some good, and some bad but all in all a lesson.
They say that you should live in the moment, live today and not focus on your past or what the future holds. They say you should open your heart and arms to new experiences, take risk and embrace life. They say that if you are too busy talking about your past then you aren't living.
That was me, afraid of risk, yet I find that everyday for me in my life lately is a risk. I don't ponder about possibilities, or destiny, or whether or not I'm living life the way it's supposed to be. I don't question or over analyze what it is that is supposed to happen, or why it doesn't. The strange thing is I am finding contentment. I am finding me.
There once was a voice never often to be heard inside of me that now is not afraid to speak. I find that answers do appear when you pull back from asking, and that all things find a way of resolving themselves if you have just a little bit of faith.
Faith, now that is a good one. I use to blame God for things that happened in my life, for I could not understand for the life of me why it was I had to endure so much pain, or what the meaning was for certain events in my life. I questioned everything and often wanted to give up not only on myself but God.
Many would remind me often that God only gives to you what he knows you can handle, my response was always "well then he does not know me very well". But then as time heals pain, and I began to open my withered broken heart I realized something so simple, something that was always in front of me but so afraid to see.
"God did not make those things happen to me, people did. For it was through people's actions that made me feel a certain way. People make you feel happy, sad, they push you to be a better person, or bring you down, they can motivate you, open your heart and your eyes to new experiences and life long memories, or they can steal every ounce of strength you have... if you let them."
Did you get that last line.... "If you let them".
It finally dawned on me, I had let them. I allowed and enabled people to dictate how it was I was supposed to feel, live, and experience life. Instead of my choice, I gave them opportunity to break me, to second guess who it is I am, and more importantly help me to lose faith; faith in God, faith in myself and faith in living. Always too willing to please everybody else that I lost track of what it was that made me happy, and who I was within.
I thought if I focused on everyone else's problems that mine would somehow go away, or that I could shove them in corner and not worry about what it was I was going through or what it was I needed. It was easier to be a clown with a smile on my face and disguise what it was I was really feeling. It was easy to laugh, and wear my mask; it felt better, more secure.
I reached out to everyone else and that is how I liked it... anything than having to focus on my own needs. I would not allow anyone to enter those gates I kept locked down so tight. I would not allow anyone to get a hold of the key, and if they tried, I made sure that task was not easy for them.
Funny, you find that living that way makes it very lonely. You begin to settle and think that you need to be accepting of how it is. You shut yourself from everyone and everything for fear that something may make you feel the slightest bit of happiness, and you find that your self worth has hit rock bottom.
Instead of focusing on the positive things that surround you, you choose the alternate path and would rather criticize yourself for all the things that have gone wrong as opposed to looking at all of the right. Your emotions play on you and like the seasons in a year your feelings change from love, to hatred, to just plain resentment.
Bitterness will begin to consume you if you let it. Then one day you awake and you find that enough is enough. Suddenly life is not all that bad and as you begin each day you find and focus on the many things in your life to be thankful for. You begin to realize just how fortunate you are, and each day becomes easier, and you begin to breathe. You exhale, and you breathe.
Then out of no where, when you least expect it the guard comes down, a door opens and someone finds their way into your foyer. Next thing you know you are experiencing life and love for the first time with arms wide open, eyes shut, and suddenly your driving on a road unpaved taking each mile with caution, yet enthusiasm to see where it is your journey takes you.
You begin to allow your heart to open and you find gratification in the smallest of things. You view your experiences differently and begin to build that bridge as opposed to tearing it down. Again, you find you begin to breathe, you exhale, and you focus on the moment.
You find that love is unconditional and hopeless. You believe in dreams and that love can conquer all.
You believe that good will overpower evil, and you put trust not only in yourself but also in others, and find the courage, the strength, and the empowerment to learn.
Life is not a fairy tale, in fact just the opposite. I do know that we are in control of writing our own story; that each page is blank until we create the words that are to be imprinted on the paper.
We have the right to change our ending at anytime, and we find the courage to take risk, to fail, to fall, and most importantly to get back up and to try again. Without failure there are no lessons learned and without lessons learned you do not truly live life to your fullest.
I have been writing my story for a long time and as referenced above, my ending has changed multiple times. It is with each change that I find new awareness and answers that I have longed for. I may not always like the answers but then again, if life could be predictable where would the adventure be? Everyone would be the same and there would be nothing that separates one from the other. What kind of life would that be?
I have come along way, and although I may not have liked every curve or bend that I have traveled, I know that there is a meaning and a purpose behind each one.
I know that people come into your life for a reason or a purpose and just maybe, if you open your heart to some of those possibilities, you can begin to get a better understanding of what it is you are truly searching for, truly need.
It takes great discipline to stay on track and not be afraid to find what it is that makes you happy, what it is that makes you want to soar and open up to those around you.
The hardest task for me to overcome is to trust. You think that if you trust someone and that trust forsakes you that it is a mistake, in reality it is just another lesson learned.
You write your own destiny, you write your own story. Trust is a heavy word, for with trust you can sink or you can swim.
You choose who sits in your theatre and with this choice you can move those seats many times rotating, weeding out the weak, and putting in front of you those that make you strong and give you the confidence to be the best that you can be.
You learn to shake away those that break you and replenish them with those that make you strive to be better, those that make you strong.
People use to say that a dreamer wastes him time and energy on things that are never attainable. I think that without dreams there is no vision. Without vision there is no faith. I have faith and vision and know that with determination I will always dream of possibilities, and of chance.
I certainly do not have all the answers, but what I do know is that I am no longer afraid to ask. I may not always get an answer right away, but with patience and persistence eventually they will come.
I have learned that in order to get answers one must seek and search out the truth and although not always easy, the truth will come, it always does.
Many use the things in their past as a crutch, they justify their actions on what they have gone through or what they have experienced. I am just the opposite. I am stronger, and I am who I am because of my past.
Truth be told, if I had to do it all over again, there are many things that I would not change. I have never used my past as a crutch or a means to make excuses for the choices I have made in life.
Reality is that I have and will always be in control of my decisions, and what it is I want to achieve. I put my two feet on the floor each morning and it is there that I, and only I, decide what kind of day it is that I am going to live. Attitude is everything!
You have a choice to either embrace life or hide from it. I no longer want to hide. I have many things to learn and may roads to travel. I want to EMBRACE it and hold it tight!
Fear is an evil beast and it takes much determination to conquer it. It begins with confidence and faith within yourself and if you do not have those qualities you must search until you find them.
They say leave your fear on your doorstep at night. If only it were that simple.
I use to be afraid of many things whether it be the dark, chance, or loneliness. I was so exhausted thinking about the "what if's" that it distracted me and kept me from what really was or could have been. I always thought that all I needed was myself, that I did not need any help, and that there was nothing I could not do alone.
Reality is we are never alone, we may try to choose it, but we are not. If you look closely on the ground you will always see two sets of footprints everywhere you go.
The truth of the matter is that everyone needs someone. Whether it is to be a friend, a confidant, lover, a mentor, a teacher, leader, a follower, or philosopher, we all need someone. We teach and share with one another our strengths, and we learn from one another how to overcome our weaknesses. We all need someone, at sometime in our life; we do.
What baffles me the most, and to share with you one of my weaknesses, is this:
Why is it that I know how to say all the right things to someone else that I can feel their pain, have compassion and know what it is that troubles ones heart?
How is it I can look inside a person and know that they are in pain that they need someone to confide in?
I can be their support and I can give them loyalty and friendship. I can help them find themselves and give them direction to get back on the path they have stumbled from.
I ask this because for the life of me I cannot understand why it is at times I do not take my own advice. I can remedy a situation and offer love and understanding yet when it comes to myself, I look into the mirror and the reflection looking back is one that cannot comprehend what it is I should accomplish or what it is I need to do to get resolution to my circumstances.
It is there that fear begins to consume me and I must focus on my faith to pull me through. It is here that I find that I do need someone... that I want someone to assist me with my struggles to overcome this fear, this trust.
It is here that I await patiently, quietly for the answers. I know that they will come. I hold onto the faith, I believe... and I wait.
Maybe this is my gift that I have been given, and just maybe... this is my purpose.
We all have many gifts in life, we are unique and hold many talents and are each blessed in different ways. The key is to find that gift and ways that you can extend it to those around you.
I know that life will never be perfect and it is because of its flaws that make life worth exploring; every obstacle, every crack to be viewed as yet another challenge in creating a page in our life long story.
What compels me to continue my journey is that I have come to the realization that I have more to learn, many things to offer, and many failures and mistakes to make.
I realize that at this time I have not lived long enough nor made enough of an imprint on who I am and how it is I want to be remembered.
What I do know is this: that I rely on as well as am thankful for the "someones" in my life.
The philosopher who states that, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away".
The spiritual influence that states, "Faith is not trying to believe something regardless of the evidence. Faith is daring something regardless of the consequences".
To my mentor, my grandfather, who use to say, "Life is not about what you do each day, the treasures you have, or how much money you can earn, but by the imprint you leave behind on those that surround you, and all that you are remembered for when you are gone".
To my confidants, my friends,( and you know who you are), I thank you for giving me the courage and the strength to continually look forward, for understanding my past, believing in my future and always accepting me for who I am.
It is here I leave myself to complete the pages of my story, to continue to strive towards taking risk, to overcome fear, and open my heart to new experiences, to trust, and continue to open one door at a time as well as to focus on only positive things.
To continually surround myself with those that allow me to see the goodness within and the beauty in life that mystifies each and every one of us. To take in all of life's aromas and savor each and every moment that I have been blessed to take yet another breath.
I know that I will waver, and may even fall, but I will be determined to get back up and live strong. Again, attitude is everything and I will not be content until my story is complete.
I will not be afraid of my journey, I will not be afraid of defeat. I will open my heart as well as my arms to embrace life. I will find the freedom to sing a new song, and dance even when there is no music. I will rewrite and rewrite and never ever be afraid of consequences.
This is my story and I choose the characters, the plot, I choose the beginning, the middle and the end.
This is my story.
--- Copyright © 2006 Kim Johnson
If you would like to send Kim Feedback: jkim826 at yahoo.com
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