A Circular Progression: Changing Hate to Love

 


Changing Hate to Love Hey ya’ll, and happy Wednesday! Guess what? I’ve got a little, big somethin’ on my mind and in my heart, so I thought we’d have a little chat about changing hate to love.

Here’s the thing – and get ready to get deep with me for a minute here. As human beings, it is perhaps one of our greatest misfortunes that so much of our history is plagued with dark, fear-rooted, often unreasonable, purely wasteful hate. We hate and hurt each other because we are different. We judge and ostracize each other because we don’t agree. We kill each other because we are greedy, self-centered, jealous and cruel. And recent events only confirm this circular progression and perpetuation of senseless, incredibly unproductive hate where I fire, and you fire back, then I fire again, and it never ends, until our spirits are defeated, and there is no one left to fire back at.

Still, on the other side of all of that – we are all basically good (I believe) and basically the same. We all have blood coursing through our veins, thoughts in our heads, people and places that we love, things that we care about, feelings we feel. Every color, every size, every shape, every origin, every preference – smiles, cries, loves and hurts – in much the same way.

And yet, we focus so much on all the ways in which we are different – finding fear in the unknown, thinking we have to understand each other in order to respect each other, believing we have to love or get along with everyone in order to believe they are worthy of the same rights we enjoy, thinking basic kindness should only be reserved for those who reflect back what we see in our own mirrors. We work against each other instead of with each other – toward war instead of toward change. We pick and choose who we deem worthy of basic humanity. We perpetuate hate. We feed it. We light it up. And in the end, nothing is accomplished. Our problems get bigger, our pain becomes deeper, and our lives become broken.

There’s another way. We can start changing hate to love today if we just try to be a little more intentional with our interactions, and open our hearts a little more to the basic humanity we all share. Think about it. What if we just focused on all of the ways in which we are human, and made a real, conscious effort to lead with love and light – whenever possible and as much as possible – and left everything else behind? Couldn’t we be more productive, more efficient, more fulfilled, healthier, happier, brighter, and less plagued? Couldn’t we start changing hate to love? I think so.

And listen, I can’t change your ideas, your beliefs or your prejudices – whatever they may be, but I just urge you to think in terms of kindness, think in terms of humanity, think in terms of our shared experiences rather than our polarizing fears. Remember that the hate you emanate breeds darkness and contempt in your own life and heart – and in the lives and hearts of those you care about too. Wouldn’t you like to see a little changing-hate-to-love action happening in your own life and between those you love?

Don’t worry. We can start small. Let’s be nice to each other – classic, simple, straightforward NICE. Let’s open doors for each other and forgive people when they bump into us. Let’s say please and thank you. Let’s offer up a hand and help. Let’s not respond to hate with hate – let’s think for a moment that maybe a person who is being hateful is suffering – maybe they had a bad day, maybe they don’t feel well, maybe they’re scared – and let’s fire back with a smile. Let’s start changing hate to love. Let’s say good morning. Let’s say excuse me. Let’s be polite to people we don’t understand, to people different from us, to people who might scare us. Let’s be open and honest. Let’s communicate. Let’s not pick and choose who we are kind to on a daily basis – instead – let’s just choose kindness – every time. Let’s start changing hate to love!

I’m not saying these small acts will change our deeply wounded world in moments, days, months or even years – but the sum of days full of small decisions to lead with light and love instead of with darkness and hate – I believe can begin to mobilize slow, meaningful, purposeful, continuous change, and light a path towards something better so that future generations can live in a world with a little more understanding, a whole lot more love, and a little less war.

I don’t know – maybe I’m being overly simplistic or entirely idealistic. Still, call me crazy if you must, but I think it might just work. Come on – are you up for it? Let’s band together and start changing hate to love today.

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Photo © Ivelinr | Dreamstime.com – Love Or Hate Photo

A Love Lesson: Thank You for Not Loving Me

Love LessonDear Eric,

Sometimes we want something so bad, that we shut our eyes, and we follow it blindly, even if we step on hot coals as we do it. We clutch on to it, and we don’t let go despite that frightening feeling in our guts telling us it’s slowly killing us.

It’s now been about eight months since we stopped dating, six since I’ve seen you, and about five since I’ve talked to you. Still, it has only been maybe a month or two since the weight of your memory on my mind, on my heart, and through my deep struggle to move forward after what I Iovingly like to call the Major Mind F**k of 2013 begun to lift.

To some people, our relationship or the major lack thereof, was not real. It was fake and disingenuous and forced. It had too many rules, and none of them worked in my favor. It’s hard for them to understand why it became so big for me, why it hurt me so much, and maybe even why I’m still talking about it today. And for the most part, they are right. On your side it was all of those things and less. But for me it was real. It was very real. Our weak, borderline abusive, unhealthy, pathetic time together is the closest thing I’ve had to a real relationship in a decade. It meant something to me. It meant everything to me. And when you pretended to love me, I believed you. I shared things with you and opened up to you romantically in a way that I had not done with anyone in my adult life. I opened my arms, and I said, “Here, take it. Take it all.” And you did. The problem is you gave me nothing in return.

During that entire year together I struggled with my feelings for what I came to know as a bad person. I struggled to look in the mirror and respect myself, because I knew very well that I was putting up with all of the things that go against everything I believe in, and everything I preach. I let you control me. I let you demean me. I let you disrespect me. And I let you do it over, and over again. Although it was never anything particularly huge, the sum of all the small ways in which you would devalue me and the love that I wholeheartedly offered to you even when you didn’t deserve it (and your rarely did), became much more than I could handle. I began to see your lies, the coldness in your eyes, and the emptiness in your heart. Still my stubborn heart loved you, and at times I thought I’d never find the strength to let you go.

I spent all of 2013 questioning. I questioned my worth. I questioned what I might be doing wrong to deserve your cold-hearted ways and your refusal to commit. I questioned whether the games were real, or simply in my head. I questioned my strength, and whether I would in fact end up settling for someone like you, even though it has been my life’s mission to never settle. I was so scared. The good thing is that, much to your surprise, I did finally find the strength to let you go. It took me a very long time, but I did it. I said I’d had enough, and I walked away. Sure I struggled to cut the cord completely at first, and I might have reached out many times when I shouldn’t have, but as the days and months went by, I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like myself for the first time since I met you, and I began to regain my confidence and my strength. I began to see that it had been your negativity that had brought me down, and that I still had it in me to be very much victorious. My only weakness had been loving you. I was not depressed. I was simply in a bad, soul-sucking relationship. There’s a huge difference.

After more tears than I’m proud of having shed, in the onset of 2014, I made a decision. I was going to live more life. I was going to give up dating for a while. I was going to seek out new adventures, make new friends, take trips, invest in me, regain my center and heal. And for the last six months, I have filled my calendar with musicals, volunteering, ballets, dinners and travel. I intentionally sought out friends, I made plans, I lived. I stopped waiting around for you or for anyone, and I LIVED. Some days I was so tired from all that living that I wondered if it was all worth it or if I was going too far with it. Would this work? Could I once again take control of the happiness I had slowly and painfully let you suck out of me?

Guess what? I could, and I did. Today, as I write this, I am healed. Your rejection and your pain pushed me to reevaluate my life, to get back to my dreams, and to remember, that although I do very much want and believe in love, marriage and children, I have never wanted to be the kind of woman who revolves her life around a man, especially around an unworthy one. I have always wanted my life to be a big adventure full of progress, success, friendship, experience and healthy relationships. I want a partner who can add to my life, and not one who constantly takes away from it. I want to share my life with someone as bright as me, so that together, our lights can shine even brighter and help others in the process. All you ever did was dim my light. For a while there, you damn near shut it off.

But now, I’m in a whole new, beautiful place in my life. Last week I moved to NYC, and this Monday I started my dream job as a writer helping to inspire young girls to have courage and be all they can be. What could be better than that?! The possibilities ahead are endless, and my adventure lives on in true Sonia fashion. I am healed. I am happy. I am ready to date and believe in love again. I am ready to never accept anything less than the treatment I deserve. I am ready to stand up for myself and to be firm. I am also ready to be soft, tender and open with someone who will be able to accept it and appreciate it. I am ready to believe again in the power inside of me, in my resilience, and in my ability to move forward into bigger and better. I am ready to be Sonia again; whole, happy and ready to take on the world.

The lessons your pain taught me are proving to be invaluable. They have made me stronger and better than ever, and they have pushed me into this amazing place where I sit right now; a place where I feel almost invincible. My breaths are deep, and my gratitude is big. I remember now. I DO have control over my happiness, and no one can take it away from me unless I let them.

So thank you, Eric. From the bottom of my now-whole heart, thank you for not loving me. You gave me the love lesson of a lifetime, and changed me forever in the best way possible.

The end.

Yours truly,
Sonia

Valentine’s Day: Attention Single Ladies & Gents

Valentine's Day Heart

So it’s Valentine’s Day. Your surroundings, your TVs, your radio and your computer screens are uncontrollably puking red and pink hearts, chocolates, flowers, mushy words and sentiments, etc., etc., ETC, and you simply can’t escape it. It’s Valentines Day!

There you are, still single, and you begin to feel sorry for yourself when this day starts to seem like it was created solely to destroy you. Well my friends, don’t be sad. 

Instead, look around you. I mean, really LOOK. Take notice of all of the different kinds of love you DO have in your life on Valentine’s Day and every day – from friends, family, pets, the universe, and most importantly, from the almighty you. Love comes in many different shapes and sizes, and being single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t at all equate to being loveless, just like being attached on this day doesn’t always equate to more love or even more happiness.

So this Valentine’s Day and every single one to come, I urge you to say “thank you” to your singleness for as long as it’s there. Thank it for giving you the time and energy to fulfill your dreams and aspirations. Praise it for all of the lessons and the patience it has awarded you with. Kiss it for helping you to not settle for the wrong person, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Thank it, cherish it, take advantage of it, travel with it, laugh with it, be free with it, drink it up with a nice apple martini or a cold beer. Take it out to dance, sit with it at a great movie, hug it, flirt with it, sleep sprawled across the bed with it, enjoy it. When it’s gone, I have a suspicious little feeling you will miss it a bit, even dare I say, on Valentine’s Day! I know I will.

Happy V-Day ya’ll, and never give up hope! Just live your life, and all that mushy, gooey, good stuff will come when it’s supposed to.  Being single isn’t tragic. Like all of life’s seasons, its beautiful in its own right.

Love,

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Live. Learn. Do Better.13 Awesome 2013 Life Lessons!

13 Awesome 2013 Life Lessons

Whoa! It has been WEEKS  since I’ve written. You know how it goes. The holidays tend to derail us from many of our regular routines especially with travel, family and all that good stuff. The good news is I just couldn’t let the year slip by without offering a little last-minute inspiration.

Here are 13 awesome lessons from 2013. It’s sort of a culmination of everything I’ve written about this year. You might have learned some of these lessons already, and others might offer a little something new to think about, I hope! Enjoy, and have a fun, wonderful and safe NYE! Thanks for reading in 2013!

Life Lessons #1: Settling is only a temporary fix. Hold out for the thing you really want, even if it seems incredibly far away.

Sometimes we chose to settle because it hurts too much to keep waiting for the thing we truly want, or because we feel like we will never find it. Whether it’s in love, in career, or in general life, settling might give you a temporary sense of relief and security, but in the long run, you will end up more unhappy than if you had just held out a little longer, and waited for it to be truly right and satisfying. Like they say, often people give up right before they were about to achieve success. Hang in there. Don’t settle!!

Life Lessons #2: Stop going to the hardware store for milk!

I learned this one from a mentor, and it is truly a glorious lesson in all its simplicity.

Stop going to people or places that you already know, from beating that dead horse one too many times, will not yield the desired results. For me, this year, that really translated into forcing myself to stop going to a proven toxic person and expecting love, understanding and compassion. It’s not there. That hardware store will never have milk in stock! Stop it. Just stop it.

Life Lessons #3: Love is real.

Love isn’t easy to find or maintain. Love is messy and riddled with imperfection. But this year, attending the wedding of my friends Sophia and Ross (a story of international love), taught me that love is real and can exist purely between two people despite distance, barriers and complications.

When love exists, there are no excuses, no pretences, no distances too large or obstacles too high. You should never have to beg for it, work endlessly to make it work, or constantly be on edge about it. Real, healthy love will just flow. It will have its bumps in the road, but it will always find its way. When it’s right, it will not be so hard. Wait for it to be right. Anything else is just a waste of heart and energy.

Life Lessons #4: A narcissist only wants an object’s adoration, not the actual object.

This one also came from a mentor, and it has served as a great reminder for me. I do think it’s rare and sometimes hard to spot, but the world has a fair share of folks who truly care about nothing but themselves. These are folks who will manipulate you, play games with you, and do just about anything to feel your adoration and feed their ego. But, they don’t truly want you, only the attention you offer them. Stay alert, and when you feel this happening, run. Run fast.

Life Lessons #5: Standing up for yourself is not mean. Its right, and it’s necessary.

It’s taken me quite a long time to understand that standing up for myself does not make me mean. You have to do it, because no one else is going to do it for you. Standing up for yourself takes strength, conviction, and self-love. Stop worrying that you’re being mean, and just do it when it becomes necessary. Others will respect you more for it, and you will respect yourself immensely for it as well.

Life Lessons #6: Not everyone in your life belongs in it, and that’s OK.

It can be a sad realization that some of your current friends are not a positive influence in your life, but hey, it’s called growth. People outgrow each other. It’s natural and a necessary part of building the life you want surrounded by the energy that will help you maintain your well-being.

Life Lessons #7: You CAN learn to stretch your money a little farther if you just pay attention to your spending.

I struggle with money mostly because of sizeable debt. But hey, who doesn’t? The good news is this year, I’ve really learned that if I just pay more attention, that if I do not charge things I know I cannot pay off in the upcoming month and if I charge things that I know I can, if I just say “no” to unnecessary spending, that bank account doesn’t look quite as sad three days before payday as it once did.

Just pay attention, don’t give in to every spending whim you have, and watch that check stretch a little bit farther every time. Stop thinking so negatively about money and  somehow it will just work itself out.

Life Lessons #8: Time does heal wounds, but you have to give it time.

You will never get over something or someone, if you don’t muster up the strength to walk away and give it the time it needs. Stop picking that wound while pouring salt on it. Walk away, cry it out, let yourself feel the pain. Give time a little time. It will be OK. But if you don’t walk away, the pain will never end.

Life Lessons #9: Being happy takes an everyday fight. It doesn’t just happen.

Life is complicated, and there are many things on a daily basis that are just out of our control. But there is also a lot you can control. You have to put the effort into your happiness. You have to wake up and choose to be positive about the events of your day, push yourself to get to that gym and eat that healthy dinner, make an effort to connect with friends. Fight for it, don’t just sit around and wait for it.

If you feel sad, push yourself even harder to get up, get out, be productive, and not give in to feeling low.

Life Lessons #10: There will be great years, there will be just good years and there will be hard years. But all of them can still yield important lessons, delicious laughter and much-needed growth.

Not every year is going to rock. This year was not my favorite by far. But there were still a lot of good times, laughs, lessons, and a whole lot of growth. Learn to appreciate those things. Be grateful for the good that comes out of the bad. And keep remembering that tomorrow is a new day, and today, tomorrow is a brand new year!

Life Lessons #11: Don’t get overwhelmed by the size of a goal, and give up. Take it one step at a time, and celebrate small accomplishments.

Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the size of a goal we want to accomplish, and decide it is just easier to give up. Try and set up your goals in more digestible, small steps, attacking one piece at a time. Celebrate every time you get past one small step. If all you can see is 0 to 100, you will always feel defeated.

Life Lessons #12: You have to take care of yourself first in order to have anything to give to others.

It’s not selfish. You have to take care of yourself; of your well-being, your health, your mind, your heart, you life. When you are at your best, you are able to offer your best to others. Constantly focusing outside of ourselves can sometimes leave us with nothing to give. Take care of yourself, and do it well. Never, ever feel guilty about that. It benefits you and  everyone around you.

Life Lessons #13: Be kind, and the kindness will always find it’s way back to you.

There are a million good reasons to practice kindness in our every day lives and interactions. But if you want to focus on just one, realize that what you put out into the universe is likely to come back at you. Be a friend, and when you need one, there will be on there for you. Help someone in need, and when you are in need, someone will appear to offer you that same hand. Be understanding, and when you need someone to understand you, that understanding is likely to come out of some corner, somehow, some way.

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Reaching 30: Growth Hurts Before it Heals

After the ending of my latest pseudo relationship, I swear I feel like I’ve just been through a war. Good news is, I survived and I’m much, much better for the experience. During 10, long, often bitterly unhappy months (I still managed to ride that sucker out kicking and screaming with my positivity and commitment to the big, HAPPY fight :)), I learned an immense amount about myself, the issues I still need to work through, what I want in a partner and what I am willing to accept, and in-turn, what is absolutely unacceptable to me in the realm of love and relationships, and well, in life.

I also learned that I am considerably stronger than I might think at times, and I bet if you dig a little, you will find that you are too. Sure, that situation bordered on emotionally abusive or perhaps it really was, but I walked away from it, and that is all that counts. I might have stuck around for longer than any of it ever deserved, but the whole time I continued to fight. The real problem was that the biggest battle existed between my heart and my logic. But in the end, and thank goodness, my logic won.

Now I’m in the process of straying away from beating myself up for participating in the whole crazy thing in the first place, and instead, focusing on all the lessons and renewed strength it has given me. You see, that is the thing about growth; it hurts like hell before it heals.

As more and more days go by since that last encounter, I’m beginning to feel more like myself than I have in months. My energy is up, my smile is making more frequent appearances on the Sonia show, and my heart feels about a billion pounds lighter. I find myself laughing more, breathing deeper, finding more things that I love to do, and doing them. Most importantly, I know now more than ever that I am not in fact desperate, and that I still do have hope that I will someday find the healthy, passionate, understanding, lasting love I crave and deserve, with the right person at the right time. Always focus on the outcomes, and not so much on what got you there. Pain often provides great revelations for us and our lives.

And, at times, as we get older, we wish we could be as carefree and consequence-free as we were or thought we were in our teenage years and early 20s. At least I do. But, as I sit here turning down the less-than-thrilling advances I’d gladly welcome just a few years ago, demanding more respect, nurturing my own needs, wants and dreams, and more and more frequently standing up for Sonia, I realize I’ll gladly leave my youth at the door. Because this place, where you know who you are and who you wish to become, where you rather have nothing than accept scraps, where instant gratification has been replaced by the hope in the bigger picture that awaits  – that is a much better place to be.

To everyone out there reaching their 30s as I am (it can be quite a transition I’m finding), when you think you used to be more fun, wilder, or more adventurous, you’re not by any means boring now, you’ve simply experienced growth. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Breathe it in deep, and thank it for hurting so much in return for inner calm, peace of mind, and a stronger sense of self.

Love,
Sonia, Word Share Junkie

Letting Go: 5 Important Things to Remember

Letting GoLetting go is HARD. It takes work, dedication and focus, and it can be so easy to slip back into the same unsuccessful routine of holding on. Letting go can be especially hard when what you are trying to let go of is not particularly inclined to let go of you, when the object of your dismay is for whatever reason inclined to keep feeding into the cycle, into the same evil game you’ve grown so tired of playing.

In this case, the ball is in your court, and the strength has to come from within you. No easy outs here. So as I go through my own process of letting go, I thought I’d share five things that are helping me through it on a daily basis. I hope it helps you let go of something you have known for quite a bit is bad for you, toxic to your well-being, or simply not the right fit for you, so that you can become more open to something that IS.

1. There are strong, undeniable reasons behind your decision to let go.

Remember these reasons. Every time you start to get sad, run through them in your head, write them down, say them out loud. Until you have moved on, don’t let these reasons escape you, for a second. Remember that each time you return and give up on your task of letting go, those reasons will be right where you left them, ready to take over your energy again and haunt you. It’s like that saying going around the social media channels says – If the past calls, don’t pick up. It has nothing new to say. It’s so true ya’ll.

2. Letting go is hard and it hurts, but not more so than holding on in vain.

Letting go can be incredibly hard. We’ve established this. But think about it. If there are numerous reasons that brought you to the decision to let go, and you know there are, how much worse can this pain you feel while trying to let go be than the pain you felt as you continued to hold on to something that made you so unhappy that you made the hard choice to let go?

Imagine how much better you will feel each morning that you wake up and realize you are no longer in the holding-on-by-a-string game. Think for a second how much healthier you will feel when your every day, every moment is not consumed by the negativity of a relationship or situation that just has nothing left to give. And finally, remember that the pain of letting go will pass, but the pain of holding on, as long you continue to clutch onto it, will not.

3. Sometimes it’s OK and absolutely necessary to love someone from afar.

Sometimes we have to let go of people that we love either because they do not love us back, or because they cannot love us in the way we need to be loved. Letting go does not mean you’ve stopped loving someone, it simply means you are making a conscious choice to love and protect yourself first.

Love does not mean you should stay in an unhealthy situation. All that will breed is bitterness and hate, and anything BUT love. So if you know you are not fulfilled in your current situation, let go. Do it for love. The right kind will not hurt so much. It will not be so hard. I’ve learned this the hard-headed-gal way. Do it better than me, today!

4. Letting go does not make you a quitter.

If you ask me, holding on to something you know in your heart of hearts has run its course, is what makes you a quitter, not the act of letting that go. Holding on means you’ve quit trying to find true happiness, it means you’ve quit on yourself, quit on your health, and quit on those around you.

Letting go makes you a fighter. It means you still have hope and faith that you will find something that is right for you, a relationship that will bring out the best in you and in someone else, a relationship that will give hope and faith to those around you.  Plus, when you do the best for yourself, you set an example for those around you.

5. Letting go opens up your world and your energy for something better.

And finally, how can you make space for something good and healthy and fulfilling if you continue to hold on to something that is only eating away at you, something you know is so wrong?

Focus on the fact that by letting go of an unhealthy relationship or situation, hard as that may be, you are opening up your energy, your spirit and your life to the endless possibility of something better, something good, something delicious. Let that thought get you through the tough moments when you want to run back into the arms of the thing that was making you so bitterly unhappy that you finally decided to walk away.

And most of all, just remember, as they say, that this too shall pass, but you’ve got to give it room to do so.

What are some things that help you through the fierce act of letting go?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

FEAR is a Bully & a Phony

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about fear, and I’ve come to realize how much of our lives are affected by what seems to me is nothing more than a big, grizzly, rock throwing bully. Too often, we let fear stop us from going for professional opportunities, from loving, from trying something new, from taking a risk, changing our path, expressing ourselves, and just living.

I’ve always been one to fight fear, and trust me, there are many things that scare me. But I’ve always forced myself to face fear, to go for it, to fight back, because fear is rarely ever real. Fear is something people use to modify your behavior, to convince you to live your life based on their expectations. I also believe fear is something life uses to test you, see how easily you will give up, how quietly you will stay seated.

In true Word Share Junkie style, I’ll share a few ways I’ve fought that bully fear throughout life, and how much better things turned out because I did. Here’s hoping I can inspire a little gumption in you today to stand up to the bully, and take more control over your life and your destiny.

When I was a teenager, my dad was insanely strict and really not a very laid-back fellow. I was always a little terrified of him, not because of any psychical threat, but because his screams were so chilling and stomach crushing that they instilled fear. Fear of what, I’m not exactly sure. But even with that fear nestled firmly in my gut, I began to fight back. I’d always ask for logical explanations when he’s day no to a simple outing request. I’d call a friend to drive me to work when he wouldn’t show up to do so, because he didn’t want me to work, even though I’d get in trouble for it later. I voiced the fact that I was a good student, a good kid and a hard worker, and I deserved certain liberties.  And sometimes, it got really nasty. I felt like I was somehow causing trouble for others, especially for my mother, but in the end I realize I was standing up for myself and against the illusion of fear, and today I believe my mother is proud of me for that.

When I moved to Chicago back in the summer of 2010, I was terrified. I didn’t know how it would go for me here, and I was afraid I wouldn’t hack it in my MBA program. I’m a smart girl with many talents, but math had never been one of them, and I was afraid a curriculum heavily focused on quantitative courses would crush me. I was afraid to leave behind a full-time job to go back to being a student, living on loans and interning, etc. Leaving my little sister was insanely hard (she was 8 at the time), and I was afraid she’d resent me for it.  I was also dealing with everyone around me doubting my decision to leave, and trying to guilt me into staying.

But I packed up that fear, and I drove to Chicago anyway. I busted my butt in school, and made it through those quantitative courses, and got my degree. I found internships, encountered many great mentors, developed a lot of incredible friendships, lost 50 pounds, and became a better person for my little sister to be around when I go home to visit. The depression I experienced in Miami for too long had lifted, and I could now be more there for her than I was ever able to be when I lived in the same city.

When I finished school, and realized it was time to really start pushing on my writing career, my author and motivational speaker dreams, I was terrified too. I’ve always been an extremely open person, and I’ve never really been one to hide anything (like, ANYTHING), but it was a different thing to start writing everything down for strangers to read. It was incredibly scary to think of putting myself out there in such an honest and explicit way. I was scared of what people might think, how my family might react, etc. I was scared no one would be interested in what I have to say or share.

But I started the blog anyway, and continue to work through my book and my fears, build my social media presence, forging ahead to where I see myself in maybe 6-10 years. I somehow find the time to work on everything piece by piece while I do the other things I love; marketing, nurture friendships and relationships, and live my HAPPY.  Plus, I’ve received some great feedback, and heard from many folks who are already saying my message helps them in some way.

As my final example, I’ll bring up LOVE for the first time on this blog (oh boy!). I haven’t had the best luck in this arena, despite my general success in most other facets of my life. I haven’t really had a real relationship in about a decade, although I’ve dated quite a bit. I’ve been hurt and disappointed immensely many times, and given up on the whole idea of love for long periods of time. But now that I have realized the growth I’ve attained from those experiences, I choose to love regardless of the fear. I choose to be open to it despite the very real risk of getting hurt. I choose to fight back, because I know I deserve love, I know it’s out there for me, and I know I will attain it.

So really, my point is where would I be today if I had succumbed to fear? Where would I be if I had allowed my father to control my life, if I had let people convince me to stay in Miami where I was terribly unhappy? What kind of life would I have if I had allowed my fear of numbers to keep me from attaining that MBA and taking my career to a new, desperately needed level? Where would I be if I had let all of my past experiences and history with emotional abuse keep me from loving people openly and completely, from believing in others, from believing in the good in this world and in us all?

It’s a scary thing to imagine where I’d be, and I’m so glad I’m here and not there. So when you encounter fear, recognize the bully, and fight. Once you get past that initial hump of fright, you will realize fear is also a big phony, and you will have won because you dared to question it, fight it and reject it.

Sonia, Word Share Junkie