The worst four-letter word of all...fear.

Fear. It has more power over us than anything else in life...if we allow it. It's insidious...creeping into our lives and wearing the masks of doubt, anger, depression, worry, low self-esteem, prejudice, hate and control. There are others of course, but all are our reactions to fear...the outward expression of fear. What is the basis? The fear of going within, accepting and being comfortable with who we are....who we really are. Knowing self completely and expressing self without any desire to live according to the expectations of another or a society that wants us all to conform. The fear of being happy. Yes, you read that correctly.

Fear is paralyzing. It can freeze us in our tracks and keep us there indefinitely. At some point...usually when life becomes so unbearable that we have to tell ourselves the truth...we come to a crossroads. Spirit will bring us there whether we like it or not, kicking and screaming if necessary. Here we have to either find the courage to take a new path, or stay on the old one, living as we always have. So what is it that makes or breaks us? What's the key to moving ahead on a different path? Choosing self-love and happiness instead of choosing to be right.

Face it. Fear makes us miserable. We're not pleasant to be around and we don't even like being alone with ourselves. We look to others for validation of our worth when the only validating we need should come from self. We want to be right about everything even if that affects others negatively. In reality there is no right or wrong anyway. There is only perspective. We push aside our hearts and our intuition in favor of the easy way...the way it's always been. Until that crisis/crossroads shows up and we have to ask ourselves, "don't I deserve happiness?" Deserve. A hugely important first step is recognizing that we DO deserve. We're children of the creator after all....we deserve every happiness life has to offer. That is self-love. It must come first.

Can we take an honest look at self in the mirror and say 'I love you' and mean it? Can we push aside the fear of what others will think or say about us and just be our genuine selves? It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks anway...only what we think. And if we are miserable living a life we made based on others' rules and expectations, then isn't it time to stop? Search within...deep within...and be scathingly honest with self. What do we need to change to be happy? Maybe it's a job or a relationship. Maybe it's setting boundaries with others who would use and control us. To know our hearts is to know ourselves; to follow and express our hearts is to be happy, fearless and empowered.

It takes courage to step onto a different path. A fearless path. The reward is confidence, surety and yes, happiness. Go for it. What do you have to lose....except fear?

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