All the reasons

July 13, 2015

fooling no oneI come from a long line of fearful people, the kind who could give you all the reasons why NOT to do something and none of the reasons why they should.

They knew why they didn’t want to fly.

Or move away.

Or take a new job.

Or ski.

Or work out.

Or try anything new.

Oh, they had their excuses, I mean reasons. They clutched on to them like lifelines. Excuses are reasons so transparent you can see through them. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” they yelled, desperately, when the man was in clear view.

Fear can be paralyzing.

For some reason, I never got that memo. Maybe the stork dropped me off a few houses too far. Or just maybe being so different from my family was exactly the memo I was supposed to get.

I’ve watched people I know live narrow, small lives bounded by fear and it makes me sad.

cat flyThe world is huge and joyful, full of adventures large and small just waiting to be experienced. There’s so much to see and hear, taste and feel, and we are here such a short time.

I watch them struggle and pretend, and am tempted to ask, “Who are you really fooling?”  But I never ask, because I know they’re fooling no one.

Not even themselves.

28 comments on “All the reasons
  1. Lisa says:

    Well, I can certainly identify with having family members like that! Like you, I also must have been dropped off at the wrong house by the stork, because I’m a thrill and novelty seeker, not an avoider.

  2. Ashley says:

    Oooooo, yes! I’ve come from the same line of fearful people! Fearful people who ALWAYS have to be right. I just brought up an idea to my mom and her first 3 questions were, not only in a super pessimistic tone, but also proving how it wouldn’t work. I don’t even think she’s aware of it. I have more my dad’s personality and possibilities are endless but it’s hard to be surrounded by others who don’t think like that.

  3. Your zest and curiosity for life shines, Carol. Thank goodness you didn’t get their memo!!!

  4. I am surrounded by people who believe that thoughts create reality and who advocate therefore for choosing thoughts carefully. I was among the most fearful of my tribe. I have had to work a little harder to be less fearful.

    A newish addition to our tribe is showing me the debilitating effects of anxiety. It almost makes me grateful for my own fears, because at least now I have some point of connection to speak from.

  5. Carol Graham says:

    I spend my life preaching that same sermon and am astounded that so many just don’t get it. Good post Carol

  6. Mine are the kind who avoid conflict and pretend all is well. I’m the type who likes to pick every thing apart! Jose is convinced that I’m adopted! 😉

  7. Are you sure they aren’t fooling themselves? I find that so very many do just that.

  8. I come from a long line of people that pretend to be fearless but are actually immobilized by fear. And they love to espouse all of the reasons someone else isn’t doing LIFE correctly. It’s been a study in keeping my fingers in my ears. I Can’t HEAR You….

  9. Carolann says:

    While there is some truth to what you said, everyone travels their own path. I don’t think moving away, or skiing, or climbing a mountain is for everyone. I know a lot of folks who are quite content without having to try new things. I have a best friend of 20 years who is like that. She despises change or trying new things and I have to twist her arm to do something “scary” – I’ve learned not to try to force her anymore. She is who she is and I’ve accepted that about her. I used to think that about people too – now I don’t judge them for their fears I just accept it even though it’s hard at times.

  10. K. Lee Banks says:

    Excellent post. It is sad that many people don’t see that living in fear is only holding them back from enjoying life. Fear is really a form of paralysis that prevents true fulfillment and achievement of your life’s purpose.

  11. Amy says:

    Hi Carol. I can relate to those with fears. I spent a lot of time scared of my own shadow. I work at changing that every day. I do like to explore more now. I do like to try new things. But I haven’t quite conquered those fears, though. It is so much more rewarding to live life, really live it. Thanks for the reminder. Have a great week!

  12. Yes my family is also like that, but I must admit, that I do live with some fears, especially when it comes to my daughter. I can’t help it, I’ve tried to change that but it keeps creeping up 🙁 Truthfully, I think it’s a personality trait.

  13. Tamanna I. says:

    Thoughtful post! …totally agree with you, there is so much to hear, learn and feel but we have very short time!

    do drop by… GreenStory
    Join me on Facebook

  14. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Taking chances in life may bring heartbreak or disappointment, but how boring would life be without trying?

  15. Good point! And I like how your writing style is at once poetic and firm. Tricky, tricky.

  16. Cristy says:

    What a great post. Fear is something that holds a lot of people back but you will never be successful or truly happy if you don’t look fear in the eye and take chances in life.

  17. Jonathan Key says:

    I can certainly relate to having family members who are paralyzed by fear. Yet as you said they’re not fooling anyone. Not even themselves into believing the lie.

    Fear is a terrible thing. It keeps people from risking, growing, and experiencing life. That said, I do agree with another poster who said that we all are traveling our own path or on our own journey. We shouldn’t allow fear to be our primary motivator. We should seek fulfilling, joyful lives.

    And it’s not because we don’t want to change. Sometimes we want something terribly yet we’re not willing to change to even have the chance of obtaining what we want.

    Matthew J. Kirby said it well: “Sometimes, when we want something so badly, we fear failure more than we fear being without that thing.”

  18. Diana Wood says:

    Oh so sad but so true, I think also that people are afraid of making a wrong choice or afraid of making a fool of themselves. And then there is the fear of failure. My goodness if everyone operated from a place of fear there would be no new inventions, no more exploration, and no new relationships. It goes back to the age old question….. is the cup half full of half empty? Well, I don’t particularly care which it is, I’m just thrilled that there is something in my cup. And guess what? That very same cup is refillable so it’s a moot point, right?

  19. Estelle says:

    I love your fearless nature Carol. I also love new adventures (travel and experiences).

  20. Dee says:

    My husband comes from a long line of these as well. I, on the other hand, had parents who pushed me to explore and who completely believed in the mantra that the only way to conquer fear is to go through it. Over the years I’ve worked to get the man out of his comfort zone but it’s a slow process. It makes me smile when I hear him say things like “Let’s try this or let’s go there.” That’s when I know we’re getting somewhere.

  21. I find it so sad that so many people’s lives are ruled by fear. You have to go for it – whatever your “it” is.

  22. Liz Mays says:

    As much as I crave routine and lack of change, I also am a bit of a thrillseeker. I’m really not sure how the two play together, but they seem to!

  23. Amanda says:

    How very true and thoughtful. Thank you for the inspiration!

  24. sue says:

    As I read your post I thought of the saying – one mans meat is another mans poison – thankfully we are all different. But I wonder if fear is the paralyzing element or comfort in their own world? Love it when I read an article that gets my brain churning, thanks!

  25. I see clients being stopped in their tracks due to fear all the time – the fear of the unknown, of getting themselves “out there” of being exposed and more all prevent them from being truly successful in their business. What would the world look like if such fears didn’t exist I wonder!

  26. Bismah says:

    I don’t mind trying anything new just once however I have limits. For instance I will never try sushi ever in my life as I just cannot even imagine attempting to consume any.

  27. Fear can really take over your life and live your life for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.