In the bliss of preparing for our European trip, I was caught off guard by a recent conversation with my mother. I am not sure why I was surprised, but even at 85 she will always think of me as a little girl. She was asking for the arrangements for if “something should happen to us” and what the protocol would look like. Immediately, I got sucked into her fear. It really isn’t her fault. She is a product of the idea that something bad is always on the horizon. When we went to Italy, she was convinced that ISIS would get us because we are Catholic. I immediately unpacked my “I am Catholic” t-shirt. After all, I don’t want to make their job any easier.
But, after I hung up the phone, her fear invaded my serenity and they wrestled for several hours until I finally closed my eyes to escape its wrath. Fear is a creepy little rodent that seeps in and takes over your body. It will affect you emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The only way to rid yourself of this serenity robber is to replace your apprehension with curiosity. The unknown can be dark and lonely. If I allowed fear to rule my existence, I would never leave the house. Curiosity is a much calmer path to explore.
My mother has allowed fear to make life decisions for her. I don’t want life to escape me. I don’t want to have regrets of opportunities or experiences that fear stole from me. Life has risks. When I was born, I signed on to take the gift that God has given me and immerse myself into it by trying new things, stepping out of my comfort zone, and not allowing those dark voices to intimidate me.
The love of a mother is strong and I don’t fault mine for sharing her fears with me. What I am learning is I don’t have to take on that feeling of panic. I can’t allow other people to rob me of the excitement or the tremendous bliss that I am currently feeling. Life is full of the unexpected. I can’t allow fear to cloud my landscape.