Fear is the Mind Killer

I know what you’re thinking…she lifted the title of this blog post out of Dune. Why yes, I did, so sue me. It happens to be true, so I’m going to use it.

I realized yesterday that I’ve become paralyzed by fear and anxiety. In fact, I’m just getting by, I’m not reaching my potential, and I’ve fallen into a rut. Part of this has to be my autoimmune disease. When I was diagnosed, I figured I was going to die within a few years, so I stopped dreaming big, and I discarded other dreams altogether. Because I go through this cycle of experiencing a flare up and then getting somewhat better, I’m constantly asking myself, When will my disease flare up again? or What new problem or complication will I experience next? I’ve gotten very good at expecting worst-case scenarios…not only as far as my health is concerned but in my work and personal life as well. I won’t tell you about the paralyzing fears that I’ve been experiencing lately. I’m too ashamed. I have completely forgotten to let go and let God.

We’re told in Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”

I’ve heard this and thought about it quite a few times, but I haven’t lived it.

Now that I realize that my fears have been causing me to stay in my safe little bubble of misery, it’s time to dream big again. My husband is from the southern coast of Oregon where his mother lives on a large tree farm. She’s recently had a hill cleared in the hopes that he will start building a house and we’ll move up there soon. When I heard about this, I thought, Hmmm, that seems a bit premature. I need to work for quite a few years more before I can retire, but last night I thought to myself, Why can’t you get a job in Oregon? You moved to Texas before you had a job, but you were filled with hope and determination, as well as a healthy dose of desperation since you were flat broke. Additionally, the one time I went into remission was when we went to Oregon for a week. The air was clear with few allergens because we were on the coast and the wind comes in from the sea. There are fewer days of sun, meaning fewer flare-ups. It’s beautiful there with forests and clear streams, and I miss big trees like we have in Arkansas where I grew up. Oregon is most definitely the antithesis of Texas as you can clearly see below.

Oregon Coast

vs.

texas

In fact, if I’m on my own little  hero’s journey, why shouldn’t my journey contain the archetypes of the wilderness vs. the desert? I probably shouldn’t be so literal, but I’ve decided to do so anyway. 🙂

I shared my thoughts with my husband last night, and he seemed pretty happy about it. I think he’s been wanting this for sometime now, and perhaps it was the impetus for his return to work today. We’ll need to save up some money for whenever we decide to start building. I’ve become addicted to that new show on HGTV called Tiny House, Big Living. Maybe we could downsize a bit.

Capture

Being able to dream and hope are essential to living, and somehow I lost sight of that. Part of me says we should leave Texas in the next couple of years, but part of me says that we should wait several more years since there are few job opportunities in that part of Oregon, and I have paid into the Texas Teacher Retirement System for sixteen years instead of Social Security. What do you think I should do? Please respond to the poll below. I value your thoughts.

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