As I drifted off to sleep last night, I had all these bits and quips come to mind that I wanted to include in this blog entry…. And I am now kicking myself for not having turned on the light and written them down.

I knew the topic I wanted to touch upon – Fear. In trying to come up with a pithy title for this entry, I used my Google Fu and searched “quotes fear”. So many quotes showed up, each more poignant than the last. The one I chose, though, struck a chord deep within. “I am not what I have done, I am what I have overcome.”

Fear has kept me from many things in this life. It has kept me from achieving goals, it has kept me from reaching out for things, it has even kept me from meeting new people, making new friends, and getting closer to others. One of the biggest things Fear has done has been to keep me from seeing my value, my self-worth, and my potential.

For much of my life I have been afraid of what others would think of me. Part of that Fear stems from a childhood filled with frequent moves and new faces in new schools. But much of that Fear was inherited from someone who had a strong influence in my life. Regardless of where that particular Fear originated from, it kept me from being Me. It had a say in the clothes I wore, the fashion accessories I picked out, the music I listened to, the people I hung out with, the books I read, the ideas I shared. It also kept in check my abilities. Even now I’ll use words like ‘weird’, ‘strange’, ‘freaky’. I’ll grant you my abilities aren’t your everyday parlour tricks. But then neither is playing the violin exceptionally well. As holds true with most abilities the key to greatness is practice, practice, and more practice. One doesn’t get to Carnegie Hall by living in fear. And one doesn’t realize their full potential by worrying what neighbours, friends, and family members might say.

So, 2016 is going to be the year I forge new pathways in my way of thinking. This is going to be the year I give my instincts more power, and my inhibitions less. Above all, this is the year I give me permission to love and respect myself for who I am and not what others think I should be.

Please share this blog with friends. Someone might find the answers they’re seeking.

The Bruja Roja
(originally published January 11, 2016)