We are shaped by our upbringing, our experiences, perceptions, and education, all of which work to limit our view of the world and our lives. As infants, we are programmed to think that the world is a scary place. I’ve had two wonderful boys, and I remember cringing and limiting their exploration when they were crawling on the dirty floors, touching objects that I feared would introduce bacteria. My intention was to keep them safe. Instead, the effect of my behavior made them learn to fear the things I feared for them.
Neurological development occurs through sensory input, hearing, sight, movement, touch, taste, etc. Our intellectual capacity is enhanced when we are able to freely explore the immediate world around us. As parents, we can and should censor types of media and information to ensure that they are age appropriate for our kids. However, I feel that allowing our children to grow into a world with endless possibilities is more important. I was sheltered growing up. As a immigrant Korean family, I grew up under two brothers and a twin sister. I was not allowed to do much in the way of exploring various options as a teenager. I can say that it made me want it more. I envied my friends that could have sleep overs and study abroad during college. To my parents, this was not an option.
Recently I went to Cabo, Mexico with my girlfriends and we decided to go snorkeling. I am very scared of the sea water for illogical reasons. I watched “Shark” when I was little and feel an adrenaline rush when I am at the beach for the fear of the unknown creature that may be lurking beneath. The water was calm and my friend assured me that there was nothing to worry about as I had a life vest and began asking me what exactly I was afraid of. I tried to explain to her and I decided that I wanted to overcome this “fear” of mine. She offered to hold my hand through the process. As we began to snorkel, the “fear” began to creep up and I would panic and swim frantically back to the shore. After many attempts and with sheer determination, I kept persisting and eventually, when the fear was no longer an issue, I began to really revel in the beauty underneath. The colorful fish, the coral leaves, the life underneath was so serene and beautiful that it took my breath away. My focus was not on my fear but really being in the moment and appreciating the possibilities and the beauty of the world.
In Eastern medicine, your organs are tied to various emotions. The kidney in particular is an organ susceptible to the emotion of fear. As an entrepreneur, I recently learned 2 things: that I have self limiting beliefs about my abilities and my perception of the world is very square. There were no boundaries when I was an infant, but as they say, we get set in our ways and we only see the world through our eyes. I realized that I live in fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the sun, lupus, health in general, business, the ultimate fear of the “unknown”.
Today, I am thankful that I no longer fear my life. My faith holds me firm. The more I explore, expose, and open my mind to this realm of possibilities, the more I can conceive of what I want to do with my life. I feel that all is possible and have personal assurance of salvation from my most valued book, The Bible. Through my Lupus, I realized that not all things in life are black and white with specific cause and effect. There is a higher power that governs natural laws. The saying, “the more you learn, the less you know” rings true for me. I used to think that I needed answers, but not anymore. With faith, I am calm serene, and revel in each day that comes as this too shall pass. But I want to be the best I can be each day, with no limits. This is what I teach my sons today, I tell them that they can achieve, and become anything they want to be. And most importantly, they have me to support them through anything. I don’t fear challenge, I welcome them. To me, this is a revelation that finally liberated me from the box that I kept myself in all my life.