Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Choosing To Live Fearlessly

This is a post I wrote for my old blog back in November 2007. It was originally titled "Losing the fear". I've made a few minor edits. I hope you enjoy it!

Last night I was reflecting on motherhood, an amazing journey that we embark on from the moment the little line shows positive on the pregnancy test. We worry, read, talk, and worry some more that somehow, we can never give enough, do enough, be enough for our kids. We worry about giving them vaccines. We worry about choosing not to vaccinate. We worry about ultrasounds in pregnancy. We worry about the "what ifs" when we choose not to have ultrasounds. We worry about picky eating. We worry if our children eat "too much".

Our grandmothers worried for different reasons. A farming family might go hungry if it was a bad year for crops. A serious infection could ravage a child's system, or kill them. A lack of contraception or knowledge of her body's cycles left a woman with little control over reproduction: she might have 10 babies in 20 years, leaving her physically exhausted and with more mouths to feed. How did women deal with this? They had faith. They knew and understood that they were part of a greater mystery. They trusted in God, and at least if they didn't trust in God doing what was best for them, they trusted that Someone Else was in control, and they accepted it.

Despite the fear mongering that is prevalent in our society, we are living at an optimum time to have children. We have a healthy, safe food supply. We live in safe, comfortable housing. If we choose to take advantage of it, we have amazing resources like free playgroups, local free libraries, safe and engaging playgrounds, La Leche League and more. Yet our worries persist.

We have lost our faith, and misled ourselves to believe something our grandmothers didn't: that we have control. We think that if we do it all right, we are going to guarantee no scraped knees, no sickness, no harm for our children. Big business takes advantage of us, marketing gadgets and medicines and technology to guarantee that our children will be smarter, healthier and happier. We have put our faith in plastics and computer chips and manufactured foods. We keep worrying because deep down our spirit knows this is not faith at all, but delusion.

We need to find faith again. We need to acknowledge that we are not in control of all that happens. We need to let go of control in many areas of our lives, and start living with love and power, leaving fear in our wake.

I would like to share with you a prayer that is powerful to help you release control and start living with faith, no matter what personal belief system is. It is an adapted version of the "Serenity Prayer" by Reinhold Niebuhr, with the first four lines intact and unchanged as they are extremely powerful to anyone who is learning to let go of control:

God/dess, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time
Accepting hardship as the path to peace and strength.
Taking the world as it is, not as I would have it:
Trusting that I am part of a greater consciousness,
That I am learning and evolving each day of my life
Through my experiences and my choice to live fearlessly.
That I will see the beauty in each day
And connect with all beings in a journey of LOVE.
God/dess, today I give the control to you.
I trust that you will guide me in my decision making.
I trust that the best thing I can do for my family is to love myself,
Tapping into the Love of the Universe, then sharing it with my family.
I am not afraid.

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