A bowl of cherry tomatoes on a table beside other bowls of food.

Fear of Abundance – What’s Stopping Me From Enjoying My Life?

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When I take time to appreciate the people in my family, it scares me. That’s right, scares me. I spend a lot of time being grateful for my washing machine and the kind man at the store….but when it comes to the people I love most—I’m going to stop there. Why? Because it freaks me the heck out to fully immerse myself in all that love. Why? Because I’m terrified that if I acknowledge them too much something horrible is going to happen. Just writing this now makes me think I’m jinxing something. EVERYONE KNOCK ON WOOD PLEASE!

When the kids were little it seemed like any time someone commented on how well they were napping, they’d wake up. Whenever we’re taking a long trip and my husband utters the words, “We’re really lucking-out on traffic,” a slow-motion, “Nooooo-o-o-o-o-o!” dons my lips. Within thirty minutes we’re sitting in bumper-to-bumper gridlock. So that’s my evidence. It feels like when we stop to notice what’s right, that’s the reason things go wrong.

Then I heard a friend say he’s always looking at what keeps him from being closer to God. Hmmm. Hot damn. This fear is absolutely keeping me from truly connecting to all of the blessings in my life. Moreover, this fear causes me to unconsciously spend time focusing on the things that aren’t going well because that, in some absurd way, feels safer to me.

The reality is that situations are always happening. Babies wake up, traffic comes, deals fall through—life happens. How have I convinced myself that giving love and appreciation to the people in my life is going to mean they’re taken from me? How have I convinced myself that focusing on my troubles, in some superstitious way, keeps us safe? While I haven’t figured out a solution, I know that fixing an irrational fear means facing it. I’m going to work on catching myself when I choose to focus on what’s broken, rather than basking in all that’s perfect just the way it is.

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