What are you afraid of? I know that the Bible says that we should not fear. But I’m not asking you to give me the proper biblical answer, the politically correct answer, or the response that you think everyone wants to hear. I’m asking about the uneasy response that you would have with yourself in the private moments in the bath tub, while contemplating on the floor in your closet, or maybe alone with a true friend who will look at you and honestly say, “Man, that’s ugly.”
The truth is that we all have fears. I’m finding that the way to overcome fears is to confront them. We must ask ourselves the hard questions or request that a loved one asks us the hard questions, rest in the truth of our answers for a moment, and then determine how we are going to move forward as a result. Will we change or will we be different?
Asking difficult questions gets us to the heart of matters:
Why do I lie?
Why do I over eat?
Why do I stay with this man when I know that he is no good for me and he is not going to marry me?
Why do I accept the status quo in my marriage?
Why don’t I quit this job?
Why do I allow others to abuse me? Do I feel worthy of someone else’s love?
Susan Scott says that we all need to have fierce conversations; conversations that are robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, and unbridled. If we are unwilling to have fierce conversations, then we should not have conversations at all.
We can take the easy way out, cheat ourselves, and continue living with lies like:
We don’t have problems.
We have a strong church. We have a strong marriage.
I don’t know why my children will not talk to me.
I don’t understand why I got fired when Joanne does the same things that I do everyday.
I’m not lazy, I just can’t seem to finish what I start, or get to the gym, or rise early to accomplish a great work.
Those are cheap conversations; all lies that we swallow quite easily to make us feel better about ourselves, but I fierce conversation requires that we confront our fears.
One of the greatest fears is taking the risk. Scott says that the real risk is that: “I will be known. I will be seen. I will be changed.”
We actually fear exposing our true selves because we are not sure how people will take us, we might not even be sure how we will take it ourselves. We are unsure whether or not people will like us, whether we will be good enough, whether we will be validated, the list goes on and on. So instead we choose to put up walls, give a peep show, or expose parts of ourselves but not too much. We have to protect ourselves after all, not everyone can handle all of me or what I have been through. Leaders do have images to protect, platforms to maintain, reputations to build right? I mean really, what kind of leaders would we be if we were real with each other and those that we serve?
And yet, even this reminds me of why the Bible says that we should not fear and why Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and HUMBLE in heart, and you will find REST for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29 NIV).” Jesus has come to our rescue. He knows our innermost thoughts and being. He loves in spite of ourselves, and he has all of this under control.
So let’s get real, why don’t we?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011