:: Fear Factor ::

Eek! Fear!

What are you afraid of?

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with a male suitor about the state of our “relationship”. (If you can call it that).
After a few hit and misses (more misses than hits) and a seemingly roller coaster type experience over the last few months, we both got revelation on something.

We were both continuing to deal with each other out of fear.

Fear? What? Ain’t nobody afraid of nothing!

Oh, yes we are.

We realized that the insurmountable fear of being alone, not having another potential come around in the timing we would like was too great for us to just cut ties and go our separate ways, even after we both verbalized our discontent in the current situation.

Oh, ladies, you know how it goes: He doesn’t call when he’s supposed to. He doesn’t show up on time. You catch him lying. He has piss poor character. You know, those types of things.

We’ll overlook them, however, to fill the basic need that all women have: to have an emotional connection with someone.

Mid conversation, he told me about how earlier that day he stopped to help a young lady change a tire. She was struggling with getting the car jacked up and figured he would stop to help her.

In a matter of minutes, he changed the tire, she thanked him, and as he proceeded to walk to his car, here came a young guy walking across the street to them.

“Thanks for changing my girls tire, man.”

He stood there in shock.

The girl’s boyfriend was standing across the street while his girlfriend was changing the tire. Yes. You read correctly.

Disgusted, my guy friend left. He mentioned that as he was changing the tire, the girl told him that she was working on her MBA and recently bought a house.

But, you’re dating a dude who wouldn’t change your tire for you.

My friend was confused. “How could she date a dude like that considering all the good things she has going for her?”

I told him, “she won’t leave. She’s afraid.”

“Why?” he asked.

“He fills a void in her life that every woman needs: he’s that warm spot in the bed, holds her hand, tell her that she’s cute, he’s there to listen to her… and for many, that’s enough. It matters not about character or the type of things he brings to the table. The basic emotional need has been met. It won’t be until she relinquishes the fear of being alone that she’ll have a ‘light bulb’ moment and leave the relationship.”

He and I sat there and silence.

We realized something: we were guilty of the very same thing.

We both knew the timing between us wasn’t right and we were in two different places, but because there was a quiet fear that if we let go of this one that another one may not come along, we tagged along to each other. (anybody been there?)

I tell this story for one reason: fear is real. Fear is paralyzing. Fear will cause you to spend entirely too much time in situations (jobs, relationships, church families, etc.) simply because you’re afraid of not having enough or another chance at that thing you’re losing.

Essentially, fear is the common denominator for mediocre lives and experiences.

Many of you, however, are still very afraid. Afraid of being alone, not having another chance, or if you do have another chance, it will take soooo long to return, you’ll grow weary waiting.

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

Choose to let go of the fear. And when you think you’re standing alone, remember that you are not.

“…be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5

Being fearless,

Alisha L.



Main Entry: con·tent·ed
Pronunciation: \kən-ˈten-təd\
Function: adjective
: feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation <a contented smile>
con·tent·ed·ly adverb
con·tent·ed·ness noun

         Since I turned the ripe old age of 27, I’ve been at a place of discontentment. There were so many things that I wanted to do, needed to do, hadn’t accomplished, and in essence, I felt as if I was 5 years behind where I should be at 27 years old. While I had a nice apartment, a car, a smart and beautiful daughter, friends, and family that adore me, and a pretty decent social life, I still was unsatisfied with where I was. With 1.5 college degrees (I’ll be done with the Master’s in December) and extensive vocabulary (at least I think so), I still battled with myself about where I was and how I would get to the place where I was satisfied with my life.

         Since August 11th, 2009 I’ve been on a daily quest to figure out who Alisha is, what Alisha wants, and what maneuvering could be done to get those things. I call it a “quarter life crisis”, but, in all my mental anguish, I’ve found one thing that has kept me “sane”: the word contentment.

         The search for contentment isn’t about being unappreciative of what you have. It’s not even about wanting something that other people have (envy, if you can be honest and call it that). It’s about being at a place that where you are right now brings the most satisfaction simply because you know that your heart’s desires are attainable, reachable, and most of all, drive you to be better.

         However, I think that the main reason we become discontented with ourselves is because we are afraid that the dreams and desires that keep us awake at night are unattainable. Despite what we say or what façade we create for others, when we are alone and just faced with ourselves and our thoughts, we don’t truly believe that we can be the people we see in our minds. Because of that, we become unsatisfied, disenchanted, and embark on a “search” for that next thing that will bring us fulfillment. Some seek it in shopping, others in extraneous relationships. But at the end of the day, none of it will bring contentment. Trust me, I’ve tried it all.

         I remember about 5 years ago when I was living in Smyrna, a small suburb north of Atlanta, and I heard a preacher talk about contentment. He referenced Philippians 4:10-12, a scripture in which Paul was talking to parishioners about being happy with what they had and who they were. At that time, I didn’t know that God had even discussed this idea in the bible; between the Red Sea and Armageddon, I had finally heard something that clicked and stayed with me for the rest of my life:

11…I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.

  12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. (Amplified Version)

         So now, at the old, old age of 27 (wink!) I realize that in all of my foolish banter, phone calls to friends about how confused I was, how much more I wanted out of life, how I was missing out on so much, and the countless random Facebook status updates about my “crisis” has now lead me to this same place 5 years ago when I heard the aforementioned scripture. Here’s a word for me and you:

You. Are. Fine.

Not like “sexy” fine, (ha!) but, like going to be fine, okay, kept together.

You are exactly where you are supposed to be in this determined time. There’s nothing you could have done differently to create a different outcome; had you done so, you would not inhabit all of those wonderful, dynamic characteristics that make you YOU.

Trust me. I know.

Be content. Be satisfied. Be filled with what cha’ got. Right now gets no better than right now, so you might as well enjoy it!

On the Chase,

Alisha L.