Four years ago my father passed away and he gave me the greatest parting gift ever, only I wouldn’t understand its value for at least another year. Urgently, during one of his last days, he said to me, “Don’t let fear rule your life!”
In my grief and misery I was unable to hear the treasure those words imparted, but a year later as I began waking up, I asked myself; is fear ruling my life? Am I making life decisions expecting the worst outcomes possible and therefore I don’t try anything new at all? The truth, friends, was staring me right in the face, fear had settled comfortably in my heart, soul and spirit.
So I set out to find my version of happiness and to challenge my arch enemy, fear. I would need clarity if I was to find my life’s purpose and I so I embarked on a quest for the true meaning of happiness. I devoured religious books, self-help books, books about the laws of attraction, how to find your inner artist, and books that asked the eternal question: who am I? It all boiled down to one thing, no one but me can define what happiness is and happiness has to begin with me, within me.
First, I had to think about my aspirations and then I had to take a leap of faith and start living without looking over my shoulder for the ominous, ever-present, dream-stealing nemesis, you got it, fear. Secondly, I had to be quiet, get still and become an observer of my thoughts and align them with my actions and surround myself with friends that support my dreams and are also reaching for their own stars in the sky.
My friends did not disappoint, when I stepped outside of the shadow of fear, my friends became my greatest cheerleaders and fear fell further back, its reach extended but not quite touching me anymore. I found my courage and suddenly I recognized the bravery and courage of the people around me, artists in their own rights, molding, re-shaping and creating their own life’s dream and I was heartened, fear would not dare rear its ugly head here.
I found a whole community of artists who shunned fear in favor of boldness, they exuded a certainty that they have something to contribute to the world, and their confidence bolstered my own. I thank each and every one of you who embarked on your own creative journey to find your inner artist and share it with the rest of the world, I know that takes guts and fearlessness, and I am in awe of each one of you.
My father gave me a gift that cannot be measured and that I am, only now, just beginning to understand its magnitude and scope. It is simple really, if I allow fear to be my life’s guide, my life can only be small, my dreams and aspirations unfulfilled and I am only half of the person I came to this earth to be.
So I traded in fear for faith and instead of misery, I get to live a fulfilling, joy filled life, with my most heartfelt dreams coming true and I am going to leap higher than I could ever imagined before, thank you Dad.