Friday, December 01, 2006

Fear and Hope

I was reading Brad Listi's (http://www.myspace.com/attentiondeficitdisorderb) blog yesterday and read a story he told about a friend of his. It went something like this: This lady just had her brakes worked on and was driving down the interstate with her two small children strapped in the back along with her golden retriever. I think she almost missed her exit or something and hit the brakes too hard and ended up flipping the SUV. My heart sank at this point, being that I frequently drive my SUV around with my two small children strapped in the back and my golden retriever happily coming along for the ride. I also frequently run this exact scenario through my head as I'm driving and find myself paralyzed with the fear of having these precious lives in my control.

The story continues with passer-by's coming to help her. She's okay and asks about her children. They somehow are still strapped in, hanging upside-down and staring out the window. Great relief! Of course, I scanned the rest of the story frantically to find out the fate of her dog. Turns out, he had gotten thrown from the back window and was sitting on the side of the road, wagging his tail and waiting for his owner. Gotta love the breed.

Then I got to thinking about fear. I hate fear. It is something I'm constantly battling in my own life as I was raised to literally be afraid of everything. My childhood was full of so many warnings and overprotection, it's very hard for me to even get out on the road without all the terrifying "what if's" running like a cinematic production in my head. I am not resigned to this, and I am constantly looking for ways to rewire my thinking.

This little story helped a lot. The next time my imagination runs rampant when I'm on the road, I can squash it with the knowledge that even if the worst happens, it's possible to come out of it alive.

This is what sharing stories is all about, isn't it? Showing each other the dark side of life and how even in that there is hope.

If you're interested, Brad has got a cool little experiment going on where if you send him a letter, he will write you one back!

THE A.D.D. LETTER WRITING EXPERIMENT.IF YOU WRITE ME A LETTER, I'LL WRITE YOU BACK WITH AN ORIGINAL LETTER OF MY OWN. JUST SEND A LETTER (STANDARD SIZE, NO BOXES PLEASE) TO THE FOLLOWING MAILING ADDRESS:
BRAD LISTI
P.O. BOX 69A18
LOS ANGELES, CA 90069

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

In January of this year...yes, almost a year ago...I made a personal mission statement for the year, as I do every year. At the top of my list was this:

Live for one year without fear.

I posted this everywhere where I would see it. When a situation arose where I felt out of control or fearful, I physically stopped, took a deep breath, and asked myself, What is it that I'm really afraid of? That started an inner dialogue to help me analyze the reasons I felt fear. And you know what? Nearly twelve months later, I've pretty much conquered that feeling. It has taken a lot of deep inner work, but once I addressed the source of my individual fears, I was much better able to banish them.

Thanks for a great, thought-provoking piece!

Christian
http://www.mentaldeviant.blogspot.com

Shannon said...

Okay, I think I will take the Christian challenge and make "one year without fear" my new year's resolution. I think that's a wonderful goal. I'm feeling a bit anxious about this all ready, isn't that funny?
If you read any good books that helped you in this journey, let me know!
Thanks for sharing.

christian.marcus@gmail.com said...

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz went a long way toward helping me being able to first identify my fears. That was the hard part. Once I knew what they were, it was easy to recognize them when they appeared, and therefore, became easier to dismantle when they reared their oh-so-ugly heads.

Anonymous said...

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz went a long way toward helping me being able to first identify my fears. That was the hard part. Once I knew what they were, it was easy to recognize them when they appeared, and therefore, became easier to dismantle when they reared their oh-so-ugly heads.

Good luck! Keep us posted as to how you're doing.

Christian