When something comes our way that we think we can’t handle, we become fearful.
This past week has dealt me a good piece of fear. The dreaded word, ‘cancer’, entered the life of someone I love. It is not my first encounter with this robber of hope.
I needed a day or two to keep my head down, reassess the situation, do a little soul searching and fact checking. I needed the time to get a hold of myself and let my inner voice speak louder than my fearful one.
It’s only natural to fear the unknown, the uncertain, and the unimaginable.
Whether you are struggling to keep your head above water financially, fighting a disease or just trying to figure out the whole happiness factor, life dishes out fear in big doses.
I remember many years ago talking on the phone with my dad about how afraid I was of failing. He was quiet for a moment and then said in a very low and serious voice (so unlike my dad) “Mi hija, (‘my daughter’, in Spanish) fear is a liar”. Fewer words have rung more true to me.
Fear paralyzes. It limits us and keeps us in a place we don’t belong. It keeps us from moving forward, making the bold decisions, the right choices and taking the courageous road. Fear is a bitch.
I think we see the best of ourselves when our backs are up against the wall. We find out what we are made of. And what we are made of is courage, awe and strength. It’s easy to forget that in today’s world as we are beat down by sickness, bills, unhappiness, unemployment, and the unknown. But it doesn’t make it any less true.
I know such talented people; the budding photographer who has an extraordinary eye for beauty, the quilt maker that conjures up one-of-a-kind masterpieces that stir the soul, the writer who paints a story like Picasso painted a picture, and the would-be speaker that has a message that can change the world. They are all held back by their fear. Few things are sadder to me than that.
I think that knowing these wonderful people has greatly inspired me towards my coaching field. Being able to help people cross the bridge of fear into the place where they were always meant to be is a blessing to me. I take it very personally.
And so I just want to share this thought with you: never trust fear. It will lie to you every time.
Whatever you want to do, to become, to achieve, to defeat; if you believe that you can … you simply will.
I know it to be true because I live it. Every day.
Joan Cooper - This is the most amazing piece you have yet written. Fear is indeed proven wrong over and over. Politicians know its’ power – they use it all the time. The world is actually ruled by fear.
There is always hope. I heard of a new approach to curing breast cancer the other day. This lady has had 6 chemos in 2 years to no avail. They are now trying male hormone injections which breast cancer cells don’t touch. My own homeopathic doctor (M.D,) put me on small doses of Testerone a long long time ago. I wonder……….
Kellie - Tammy
I know the feeling of fear very well … unfortunately. Dealing with my own past cancer and now handling my father’s stage 4 cancer and my oldest sister’s Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma fear has become an ugly friend to me. I always say lack of information is much more scary than learning all the information … the “unknown” Give me the facts straight up good or bad and then I can move forward and fear slowly fades away.
Mel Glenn - Love the line,”fear is a liar.” And often this is true. Roosevelt not withstanding, there are many things to fear, and they can’t all disappear by applying a healthy dose of hope. Good advice to step back and ask yourself what are you really afraid of? Logic and reason can help.
SUE COVE - Great insight into fear. I know that fear in my life made me stand still …really frozen….and listen….and then move on.
Fear is a liar and comes from somewhere very evil! I don’t like it and I don’t want any part of it! Thanks for sharing! You rock!
Tammy - Hi Joan, thanks so much for that! I write what I feel. I totally agree with you in your opinion that politicians utilize fear to their advantage. Pisses me off to no end. We have enough of it in our daily lives. Tell us something useful, something positive, something that’s real. It makes ya think, doesn’t it?
Tammy - Hi Kellie, we both know that information is power. Some things cripple our minds for a moment. It feels a little like being stunned. When we regroup, we are stronger, better, even if we are still afraid. Thanks for sharing yourself with me here. You’re awesome!
Tammy - Hi Mel, I love that line too. Because it is so raw and so true. It leaves little to the imagination. And there should be no wondering about what fear is and what it does. Logic, reason and listening to our heart. It’s what gets us through the rough spots. So VERY happy to have you here. Thanks for the post!
Tammy - Hi Sue, I love, love your outlook. Always have. You are right; fear stops us in our tracks. Too many never move forward. I too believe it comes from an evil place. Anything that debilitating has to. Thanks for the read and the post. Appreciate hearing from you!
Suerae Stein - Ugh… fear. Such an enemy. I am trying to learn to be mindful and to live in the present moment. We fear the future because it is unknown. All we really have is now. And you are right that fear is a liar. We make up our own fears… we lie to ourselves… and we can be very convincing! Great post, as always.
Cynthia - As you know, I dealt with that same fear 3 years ago…it’s a horrible feeling and I’m stronger for getting past it and healing. Thanks for you Tammy.
Susan Smart - Beautiful, Tammy. This piece should be in every cancer publication. We have all been touched one way or another by this horrible disease. Blessings to your loved one. The fight is on, fear will not win.
Tammy - Hi Suerae, always wonderful having you here. You are so right, we do make our own fears and we grow them pretty well too. Not a great habit but one I think we all possess. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve repeated to myself that fear is a liar, but each time I do, I reconnect all over again with that truth. Yup, I talk to myself, which in most instances beats listening to myself. Haa! Thanks ever so for the post!
Tammy - Hi Cynthia, who could forget that moment? Not I. You have emerged stronger. A strength gained by fire I’m sad to say. Proof that it’s how things end that matters, isn’t it? You are a source of beauty, strength and vitality in this world. One I have treasured for many years and will for many more to come. Thanks for that.
Tammy - Hi Susan, yup, the fight is on, and I dare say, I wouldn’t want to be the opponent. Love of life will prevail here. Along with love for each other. Cancer doesn’t always end well. No one knows better than you. I accept your loving blessings, raise them ten fold, and send them back to you, my dear friend. Thanks for being here and for sharing.
Stacey Joy - I had to take a minute to compose myself because this message hits me in many ways.
1) Raped at 18 and had to deal with fear of many things related to it.
2) Mom had terrible claustrophobia that hindered many experiences for us.
3) Mom had a brain tumor that required surgery and radiation MAKING IT IMPERATIVE that she get over her claustrophobia!
4) Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer at age 72…chemo for two years before losing her. She was afraid but I was more fearful for her than she was for herself.
5) Dad died of lung cancer 6 months after my mom (they were divorced and both remarried over 35 years but they say loved ones often can’t survive without each other) hmmmm.
6) I needed to publish my poetry but was afraid of rejection!
In 20/20 hindsight, here’s what I know now. I conquered my fears after being raped with the same courage mom had. I had to be able to move forward. When the bondage in my mind was weaker than my desire to squash it, I did it and so did Mom.
She passed with dignity and grace up til the last breath. She orchestrated her final moments to the tee! She had the courage to pass with her favorite grandson by her side.
I then had to have the courage to tell my stories SHAMELESSLY and that’s what I am committed to doing from now on.
Tammy, thank you for being in my life at the PERFECT time! I will probably not get my school work done tonight because I have to finish reading ALL of these posts!
Blessings and joy to you!
Tammy - Hi Stacey, well, I’d say that you are indeed MY joy today. What a sharing. Thank you. As you can tell from my posts I am a believer in doing all you can with what you have where you are … at the moment. Life isn’t easy for any of us. Some have it harder than others. I might securely venture that this was the case for you. I’ve never known life to be gentle to any of us. Never. But I have known it to be a righteous teacher. One that will not be ignored. Lessons learned. Funny how people go in and out of our lives for a reason. Perhaps this is one of the moments. If so … color me grateful to be a part of it. Thank you for your honest sharing. It is pretty wonderful having you here!
Scott Morgan (@write_hook) - I was once asked on a podcast what my least favorite word is, and it was cancer. Still is. But if all we can do is fight, then fight.
Anne Tichauer - Tammy,
As usual a very, very good article! You never fail to surprise me.
How true, it is the “unknown” that is our fear!
I enjoy your articles very much.
Joan Cooper - How right you are – as usual. Fear is used by governments, parents, bosses – just about in every walk of life. It is effective.
Your father did you a very great service with that thought. How true it is. Fear made me sell a home I loved and I have regreted it every since. Health problems made me “fear” I might have to crawl from room to room and that I needed a small living area. How wrong I was. I recently heard about a woman who does lectures on NOT giving up your bigger home as you age
Was it Winston Churchill who said …’we have nothing to fear but fear itself…’
Mel Glenn - Fear may be a liar and a bitch, but there is little you can do about it. Churchill said, “When you are in hell, just go through it.” I had my own cancer scare and the anxiety of waiting was the most upsetting part of of it.
You do a valuable service as a writer and coach to help people cross the bridge of fear into safety.
Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - My new mantra:
Everything is OK right now, and there is only right now.
Tammy - Scott, so few words, so mighty in their meaning. Thanks for that! Appreciate the post!
Tammy - Anne, so happy to know that you are on the other side of my posts. Awesome! I’ve heard it said many a time…”better to face the devil we know than the one we don’t”. Bunk! Thanks, Anne, for stopping by and posting. Appreciate it tons!
Tammy - Joan, Fear is a tool wielded by many an organization and religion. But it is the fear in our own minds and hearts that speak the loudest. As your sharing would attest. Fear itself, is indeed, the only thing we have to really watch out for. That Churchill was one smart cookie! Always happy to hear from you, Joan!
Linda D'Ae-Smith - Such a wise father!
Tammy - Mel, thanks for the kind review! I’d like to think that I can do a lot about my inner fear. Not an easy task, that’s for damn sure. But my mind is the master of my fear. Yes, waiting IS the hardest part. The anxiety level is excruciating. As they say “all is well that ends well.” I am waiting for that outcome. Thanks, ever so, for the post!
Tammy - Laura Lee, I LOVE your new mantra! Thanks so much for sharing it here! Appreciate the post.
Suerae Stein - Yes, for sure, fear sucks. Overcoming it might be one of the biggest obstacles in our lives. But, I guess I have to admit that there are such things as healthy doses of fear. But only small doses might be healthy. Not the heaping piles that we often encounter! I hope your friend is doing ok. 🙂
Tammy - Hi Suerae, I agree, there is the good kind of fear that keeps you from jumping off a cliff, but the kind of fear that shuts you down, cripples your logic and overtakes your heart is not a good thing to allow to fester. Bad news always brings with it a fear factor. Mastering it, taming it, well, that’s the real crust of the matter, isn’t it? Great to hear from you, thanks ever so much for the visit and the post!
Tammy - Linda, you got that right. Funny how when I was young I thought he didn’t know a thing in the world. Turns out he was a smart old bird. Thanks for stopping in! Wildly appreciate the post!
Nancy Wurtzel - Great post, Tammy. It was as if you were talking right to me. Thank you for sharing and I wish your loved-one with the health issue the best.
Tammy - Hi Nancy, Gee, I thought I was always talking to you *giggle*. Fear is something we all wrangle with every single day. Yup. Thanks for the kind wishes. Keeping fingers crossed and head leveled. So appreciate hearing from you!
Malissa - Hi Tammy,
I got this while I was sitting in the waiting room for my aunt , she was getting a colonoscopy. They callede back and the Dr. Told me she has cancer, and it had to be taken out she just turned 89 , he said if it has spread chemo would be next but people her age don’t handle it well. So ok now the fear sets in, she has not reacted to it yet , I told her to think nothing but positive thoughts they will get it and she will be fine. I need to tell myself the same thing because I am not ready to lose my wonderful ,caring, giving, loving aunt. I am so thankful for her she has been there for me and everyone else all her life and I’ve had the joy of her living with us for almost 3 yrs now since mom mom past. A life saver for me during that time. She is a gem!
I hope your loved one has a good out come with there cancer treatment. Hug for you girlfriend!
Tammy - Malissa, hugs to you right back. Cancer is a tough deal no matter who you are or what kind it is. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way. Blessings to your aunt. We don’t have the people in our lives forever. Sometimes we forget that. I hope that you won’t allow fear to rule your heart during this time. It will not be kind to you. It never is. As for me, I am keeping my heart filled with good thoughts, my mind with positive information, and my actions are very pro-active. If all I can do it love, then love I will. Thank you, Malissa, for sharing!
Kellie - Being a Cancer Survivor myself I get it! Fear is nasty and unkind. That’s why over coming dear is the best!
Virginia Sullivan - Powerful post Tammy, my good thoughts are with you. I love “fear is a liar” and to hear it today was very good for me. Recently I’ve also heard about accepting fear – of welcoming it as a part of life so that it disappates. And, for me- that helps too. Somehow when I do that it makes me feel more in control of an uncontrolable situation. Take care, V
Tammy - Virginia, thanks, I agree. Powerful, I think, because it talks about something powerful, something I think that none of us escape, fear. I know what it’s like to need to get a handle on an uncontrollable situation. There is so much out of our reach. But so much that we can touch and affect in ourselves. Thank you, Virginia, for the good thoughts. I’ll take them! And I return them ten fold to you, my friend. Blessings to us both! So happy you stopped in for a visit. Appreciate the post!