Monday, March 15, 2010

"Love overcame the fear..."

While on the treadmill this afternoon, (Yes, be duly impressed. The only thing going to the gym the last few months have been my payments, not me...) I was watching an episode of Oprah that featured Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. When asked what finally made her take the first step towards a relationship with Ellen after years of avoiding the inevitable, Portia said, "Love overcame the fear."

While many of us will never know the difficulties that same-sex couples face, we all can understand that statement. How many of us have had love help us overcome fear that inhibits us from being happy? How hard is it to overcome fear to get on with life?  Is overcoming the fear worse than knowing that something better was out there, and we chose not to take the challenge?

For mothers, though, fear comes in all shapes and sizes.

Fear of becoming mothers.

Fear of becoming like our own mother.

Fear of making the wrong decisions.

Fear of being unappreciated, unloved, un-liked...the list is endless with possibilities.

Fear that paralyzes us. And when we are paralyzed by own fear and inadequacies; perceived or otherwise, we are useless to our children. We are useless to ourselves. Because the fear dissects what we could be, what potential we do have.

And love; love arms us for life.

Love for our children, for the lives we have chosen to live, helps us overcome the fear. It helps us get out of bed in the middle of the night to check on a feverish child. Love allows us to be there as our child is being wheeled into surgery with a reassuring smile on our faces while we tremble inside. Love emboldens us to fight for our children and those we love.

Love overcame the fear.

Four simple words; one powerful statement, that each of us can take to heart.

Four words that can help us guide how we live our lives.

One statement that can give us permission to take that first step into the lives that are ours to treasure, if we can be brave enough to claim it.


  1. I love that statement! It's very inspiring, don't you think? And wise. (also love Ellen and Portia, BTW!)

  2. I love everything about this post...but I can't help wondering if the mothers out there who are protecting their children and overcoming their parental fears out of love do the same for themselves. As I see it, overcoming fears by way of loving MYSELF gets harder and harder.

    Fears such as...I can't DO THIS (run 10 miles, sign up for another triathlon, take a class at the local college, etc. etc.) are harder to overcome by simply saying, "Well, because I love myself I will DO IT."

    More often than not I do things because of my kids, or some arbitrary end goal. And it doesn't so much feel like I am doing it for mYSELF!

    Did any of that make sense? I'm a bit foggy today. MAJOR SICKNESS I CAN'T GET RID OF. BOO!

  3. I had to overcome my fear of starting a blog! Im glad it did!

  4. Maria, totally cool. I'm glad you were on your exercise bike to hear that!

    Overcoming fear is such a huge issue. I always tell my kids that courage is not an absence of fear, it's walking through the fear, doing whatever you need to do despite fear. And when I have fear about something, I do it in tiny segments and that helps to handle some of the anxiety.

    I think that when you look at people who over come their fear (like Ellen and Portia) and you see them living lives as their most true selves, you also see amazing new heights occurring in their lives. It's inspirational!

  5. I love this post, these wise words from Portia, and Sarah's comment, reminding us that love for ourselves can help us overcome so many of the obstacles we set before ourselves.

    Fear is a dominating emotion in my life and I try hard to find ways to avoid instilling fear in my kids - thanks for sharing these helpful words.


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