Out of all the scary, creepy, spine-chilling, sweat-inducing, tear-causing, worrisome, phobiotic things that people are afraid of, what’s the number one answer people finally get down to when asked the simple question, “What are you really afraid of?”

Being alone. Seriously – that’s it.

Not the kind of being alone when everyone’s out of the house and you finally get to take a bath, read a trash-mag or watch The Price is Right while munching on Flaming Hot Cheetos and chocolate chips right out of the bag. More the kind of being alone like “nobody cares about me; nobody wants to be with me; I’m worthless; I’m damaged; I NEED someone to make me happy.”

Yikes. That’s the full-blown icky kind of being alone with lots of potential blog posts. Funny thing is some people can appear to the outside world – and even to themselves to have a lot of friends and family and be totally surrounded by those who care; yet, they still feel alone. Virtually imprisoned by their own thoughts about who they are and stories about what their life consists of, they stay in bad relationships, jobs, clubs and social circles for fear that things might even be worse if they leave; that they may actually end up “alone”. Basically, they are afraid of being with themselves. They are afraid of their own thoughts.

The adage “wherever you go – there you are” can be as frightening as seeing RED RUM painted across the living room wall. Being alone watching self-defeating thoughts sail by like the CNN news ticker hurts, and who wants that? Better to surround yourself with people and things that keep you busy, right? So what? that most of it feels empty and meaningless. So what? that you’ve developed a limp from carrying that huge chip on your shoulder seeing other people have what you want. At least you don’t have to go “there” to face the demons. At least it all keeps you from having to deal with the one person who controls it all…YOU.

Don’t get me wrong. Going there isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Some people have big, hairy things deep down inside. But you don’t have to start with the biggest, hairiest thing. You’ve probably done it on a smaller scale before. As a child, did you ever take a stand on a certain food you hated? (peas for example) Each time peas were put on your plate or even offered, you would defiantly announce “I HATE PEAS!!” and continue your refusal to ingest the green BB-like poison. That you hadn’t tasted peas in eons or maybe ever was never a thought to consider. You were content to hate peas because that’s what you trained your brain to do. Your brain was simply carrying out its instructions by causing you to blurt out your repugnance whenever you came within close proximity to peas. Hating peas was part of who you were; part of your story.

Let’s fast-forward to a more mature time; a time when you felt bold enough to venture into the world of peas. That first bite was a little shaky and your thoughts were all aflutter. Your knees were at-the-ready in case you should need to run to the bathroom to spit them out. What was going to happen? Nervousness and sweat may have ensued, but you took the chance. You bit down and chewed, and by-jinkies, you liked them! Now a new batch of thoughts filled your head! “Why did I say I hated peas? Why was I afraid to try them? They’re heavenly – not at all like the poison I’d imagined! Why did I wait so long when I could have been enjoying their deliciousness all this time? From this moment forward, I will eat peas with gusto and enjoy every tasty bite!

Yeah. It happens like that. You take a chance of changing the way you think about something and your world opens up to new and exciting things. Your brain has a new and better story to tell.

Are you ready to face a big, hairy monster? Or maybe start with a smaller, stinky dust-bunny? Just go “there”. Take a good look, clean up some of those unkind thoughts that you keep feeding yourself and replace them with the wisdom you took from the peas. What do you have to lose? You might be able to see things a different way, one bite at a time.

Pass the peas, please.

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