I was raised to be scared of spiders. In fact, I was raised to be scared of any creepy crawly. In the house where I grew up, there was a can of insecticide in every room, with spare full ones in the kitchen. Whatever moved in that house, got killed. My mother was scared of spiders and she passed that fear on to me. For years, I freaked out at any insect. I couldn’t stand it. As a family, we still laugh at an incident a few years back, when a large black cricket decided to walk up the right leg of my pants. When I felt the movement, I was out of my pants before I could think about it. It just happened. That fear inside of me was far greater than the fear of having people see me standing in my underwear. Imagine that.
My husband however, has no fear. He picks the insects up and relocates then outside. I wanted to be like him. I wanted to overcome my fear of insects and spiders. It took a lot of hard work on my side, and a lot of patience on his side. Today, I can honestly say, my fear is gone. I now have a pet spider. And meal worms that I can pick up with my fingers to feed them to the bearded dragons. I have overcome my fear and I am very proud of it.
Meet Sarah, my pet spider.
Why am I blogging about this? Fear is debilitating. And I firmly believe that fear, attracts exactly the things we fear, to us. Job said: “what I feared most, has overcome me”.
Fear is the direct opposite to faith, in all dimensions of our lives. I wasn’t only raised to be scared of spiders, I was also raised to be a racist. Racism is nothing but fear. We fear people who look different, dress different, speak different, all of that for no logical reason whatsoever. As a young adult, I started attending an english, charismatic church. And I soon learned that people of other cultures, are not bad just because they have a different skin colour than me. I learned that they too, are real people. People who love. People who laugh. People who cry. There were people in that church, of a different skin colour, who shared my love for music. Soon, they became my friends. Without them even knowing, they helped me to overcome my fear of people from another culture. Without them even knowing, they helped me to overcome racism.
Everything we were taught as kids, are not necessarily correct. Our parents are/were after all just human too. Humans fighting their own fears, and sometimes, not winning. As an adult, you have the responsibility to decide for yourself. You will not be judged one day on what your mother taught you; you will be judged by your own words, your own actions, your own beliefs, and yes, your own fears.
Today I want to bring honour to Babalo and Charmaine. Without them even knowing, they brought healing to my fearful soul. They were part of my journey, to conquer racism, to conquer my fear of anybody different from myself.
I dare you to start facing your fears, whatever it may be. Living with fear isn’t nice. I can attest to that. Living without fear, is liberating to say the least.