FEAR LESS; a year of living dangerously

unnamedFear is the protective response to the unknown. When the question is posed, “What could happen here?” Fear responds, “Nothing good can come from this.” And therefore, the mind and the body find ways to avoid, defend or just shut down opportunities or options.

We do this every day. And in a world that is risk and pain adverse (suffering is always to be averted or dimmed), fear is often the first instinct. Fear is driving our lives.

Not for a minute do we want to eliminate fear altogether from our arsenal of responses. It is a legitimate filter to think through priorities and decisions. But it cannot be the prime filter.

We like the metaphor of car-pooling. In many cities of the world, such as NYC, you are encouraged to carpool. To take a full car into the city to reduce congestion and the carbon impact of motor vehicles. We think we need a full car when driving our lives. All seats need to be taken. Fear needs a seat. But it cannot have the driver seat. It belongs in the car but in the rear. Giving its advice and heeding its warnings but not determining every stop and turn.

You see, there is a risk in life if we want to get better, achieve more, discover our futures, understand our flaws and histories, set our children free, build healthy relationships and partnerships, grow our skills and learning. These choices and the learnings they reveal can feel dangerous.

But they are necessary steps.

They are necessary to live bold brave lives that tell us we have lived well. It is not the pathway of the timid. But is also not the pathway of the arrogant. Hubris is not the objective. It is the pathway of those who choose to fearless. To weigh up choices. To listen to the different voices and sometimes respond with caution. But then choose the pathway that leads upward to growth, to healing, to stretch and to possibilities.

In 2018, we want to fearless. To fear-less-ly look inward at our own brokenness and potential. To look outwardly at the same in others. And then to look up. We need strength and wisdom to live fear-less lives. May we do so with humility, grace and courage.

About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.