What are you afraid of?
The fear of what others think has been a scourge on my life until more recently when my failures have been spectacular and I have come to see that they have only endeared people to me and given me empathy and the possibility to reach out and walk with other hurting souls.
I have spent much of my l life afraid of appearing weak and broken and unsure.
But the truth is that when I let my life be dictated by this fear of failure, I have only produced the loathsome reality I sought to avoid by my perfectionism.
The inauthentic, the hypocrisy of my own life, the phony and the less-than-real surfaced and friendships drifted and the message was that I was untouchable, unrelatable and that my “holier than thou” facade left a sour taste in people’s mouths. Entered then, time and again, the severe mercy of God which would wake me up and level my arrogance and remind me of my littleness and my need for him. And he would pull me back into alignment with His will for me which is freedom not fear, service not self.
In truth it is failure, itself, that has begun to loose my bonds from my fear of it.
Do you know what I am talking about? Do you, too, see the paradox that when we live out of fear of failure we actually end up manifesting the very miserable reality we are trying to avoid?
If this is you, I want to encourage you that there is a place of congruence that we can rest in. We don’t always have to be in conflict with ourselves, our fears, and our failures.
Think of the cross for a minute and envision how the utter, miserable failure of Christ on the Cross aligned Him with the redeeming mission He came to accomplish. And through it He saved the world and conquered death itself.
Envision now your own life in light of the Cross. Think of the horizontal cross beam representing:
your earthy passions,
your family cares.
And think now of the vertical beam of the cross stretching heavenward. This striking vertical post is pointing you to your higher callings and greater purpose:
your desire to be an influencer,
to heal others,
to be connected,
to be in union with God.
It is in the center of the cross where our pragmatic self and our dreams meet in His Sacred Heart and we are finally able to live at peace with ourselves – aligned with the truth of who we are and how we ought to live.
Here on the Cross we are free.
We no longer live in fear of failure,
fear of financial loss,
fear of pain,
fear of losing our way,
fear of what others think,
fear of not being enough,
fear of sickness and death.
We only need to rest in the gentle melding of our body and soul. We can embrace our humanity and yet stretch upward and outward with a spiritual sense that is truly contemplative and evangelical. It is here on the Cross that we move from the ideal to the real and we don’t have to live in shame of our wounds but see them as founts of tender mercy flowing out of us to those around us. We become relatable and touchable and we can teach, and coach and encourage because we are living in the truth and we are not selling others on a version of ourselves or a way of life that is false.
Copyright 2019 Chantal Howard