Chutzpah verses Fear
There was a time when fear ruled my life. Every decision I made a fear driven reality. Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) fear became my life force.
Having MS meant for years that I could not count on my body even for a minute. No two seconds of living ever the same never knowing which part of my body would function and/or when. Life was very scary with MS winning almost every hand I was dealt for a long ass time.
Circa 2010 and I am studying to get my BA in Psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles. I fell in love with Narrative Therapy & the teacher who specialized in this post modern form of psychotherapy Charlie Lang. Narrative Therapy considers people are the expert in their own lives and uses language to recreate new narratives. Narrative therapy also considers problems we face separate from the person and that we all have the skills necessary to create change.
The start of each class Charlie asked for a volunteer to stage a 'mock therapy session' in front of the class. I literally jumped out of my seat begging to be picked. Little did everyone know I was about to give a real therapy session in front of everyone. My life filled with fear and I was no longer living.
At this time in life things were spinning out of control. MS was calling the shots which translated into a life faced with the choices of homelessness, institutionalization or I was contemplating suicide. I had little to no use of my hands, healthcare costs were so high my life savings almost depleted & I lived in constant pain. Trouble swallowing was increasing & I knew my days of using my body freely were numbered. At this point I had no hope & no tools to beat MS & fear was deciding every second of my life response to MS.
The day of class I found myself overcome with fear. Crippled by its power I was a complete mess & barely hanging on. Somehow I knew that Charlie could sense my urgency picking me to be in front of the class for the 'mock therapy' session.
Charlie starting by asking me what I would like to talk about during the session and I said fear. He asked what fear was to me so he could clearly understand what I meant by fear. I explained that fear was the leader in my life making all the decisions. I also shared how crippling it was making choices harder and harder to come by.
Next Charlie asked how long I lived with fear calling the shots and I explained since MS entered my body it was in charge because of the nature of its devastation.
The next question Charlie asked changed my life: 'Before fear what was calling the shots in your life V?'
I thought for what felt like so much time to answer this question. I remember sitting in front of everyone thinking back to before fear ruled my every move. Quite honestly I had forgotten what life was like before fear yet I knew it was not the ruler of my life journey before MS. It took me so long to remind myself of life before fear.
Suddenly it hit me! I had Chutzpah! Chutzpah ruled my life before fear!
Remembering this I began to feel better because quite honestly I had forgotten I had courage. Fear was so powerful I literally forgot who I was & the tools I had.
For the remainder of the class session Charlie had both us play the roles of Fear talking to Chutzpah and I was quickly reminded that there was more to me than fear. MS had so clouded my person that I forgot the tools I had inside me. This was a huge eye opening moment for me which began the journey to BAM I am living today.
By 2011 my fear was becoming less and less with my person making choices that were based on best life living and no longer motivated by fear alone. Before the year ended I saw the life changing TEDx by my hero, friend and mentor, Dr. Terry Wahls and was now ready to begin my journey to miracle status.
The work of the brand of PaleoBOSS Lady centers around changing our life narrative from autopilot to living. Often during this work many of us are reintroduced to the assets of love, survival and joy that live inside of us which are forgotten when we live a life of routine following both cultural and societal norms.
With 1 in 5 being disabled in the USA I am sure fear lives in many of us. My brands work focuses on reminding ourselves that we are not defined by what life throws our way, but how we respond. Somehow I forgot the power of me in the face of MS and all that is V. Today I gladly show MS who is BOSS which could only have happened once I kicked fear out of the building.
Got fear? Dig deep inside to remind yourself what defined you before fear entered the building so you too can tap your BAM.