Fear: (1) an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. (2) anxious concern: solicitude. (3) profound reverence and awe especially toward god. (4) reason for alarm: danger. A word with a definition in a book, a word that someone came up with, a word that at some point in life everyone feels. A four letter word that has such a big impact on people. It's not the word itself but the emotions that come with the word. In my life I have feared many things but the main thing I've feared is the pain that I could cause other people. I have feared failing, not only myself but others as well. I have feared never being good enough, being unworthy. I have feared the guilt and regret that I made my life, not because I was scared of my guilt or my regrets but because I feared those things would follow me forever, I feared that I was unworthy of being forgiven. I feared I was unworthy of being forgiven. Yes, I repeated that sentence. It has a purpose to be there twice and maybe I need to say it again. I feared that I was UNWORTHY… of being forgiven isn't the only ending to that sentence. It has many endings. Never in my life have I felt worthy of anything. Fear corrupted my mind! Fear corrupted my heart! My entire life I have been filled with fear and I let my fear take over. Everything that I feared became my reality. But, my reality is what I see and feel. I see myself differently than others. When I hear the words "I'm proud of you" I don't get filled with joy like I know I should. I get filled with doubt and resentment. I resent the word "Proud" because when I hear proud I associate it with someone who is righteous, someone who has done an amazing thing. I don't see myself as that person so when I hear "I'm proud of you" all I can think is "Why? I am nothing to be proud of". Please think about that sentence for a minute… "I am nothing…to be proud of". Yes, there is a space in the middle because many days my fear convinced me that I AM NOTHING. Fear told me that I wasn't worthy of love or happiness and I believed it. I believed that I had no purpose, that I was wasted space in this world. I believed all the lies that fear told me. Fear trapped me in a box that I didn't know how to break out of. I'm sure at some point you have felt fear. I hope that your fear didn't take control like mine but if it did I want you to know that you CAN get rid of that fear. Thinking about letting go of all your fears is, guess what, a fear itself, adding another fear to that long list but I promise letting the fear go is worth it. I want you to know that YOU are worthy! The things that have happened in your life do not define you, the fear that you have does not define you, the mistakes you have made do not define you because what you see as a mistake, I see as an opportunity. Everyone makes mistakes and we handle those mistakes the best that we can but looking back I'm sure that some of the things you felt were mistakes at the time really turned into a blessing. My blessing is my daughter. I hate to admit this but for a long time I felt my daughter was my mistake and the special mother/daughter bond wasn't there. I felt like I was continuously being punished and I was so embarrassed because I got pregnant. Being a "single mom", asking for help from my parents, getting on foodstamps and medicaid, joining the WIC program, going to court every month to try and protect my daughter from her drug addict father. I felt like I was trying so hard to be a good mom but my fear told me I would never be good enough, I would never be forgiven, I would always be punished. My daughter isn't my mistake. Everything I did once I had her, everything I've been through the past two years wasn't a punishment. I am a mom and being a mom comes with many challenges, whether you get pregnant as a single teenager or if you get pregnant as a married adult. Yes, I made mistakes and I made choices that I regret but no matter how much I regret them and how much I hate myself for them at times I could never ask for them to be changed. I am thankful for my daughter. I am thankful that I was given the ability to become a mother. I'm sure if I was sitting here reading this and I knew I could never have kids I would think "why are you complaining? You have the ability to carry a child, to become a mother, so what if it isn't ideal?" It took me a lot longer than it should have for me to realize that my daughter was a blessing and I don't know if I would have ever really gotten to this point if it wasn't for my mom but the point is, I got here. You can get here too. If you don’t see your mistakes as a blessing just give it a little time and a different perspective may help as well. I know your story is not the same as mine. I know that changing how you have thought and felt your entire life is not an easy task but I also know from experience that it is worth it. Fear is a LIAR!!