The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

POWER: Live your life, don’t allow fear to guide decisions

Christmas is more like Halloween in my dorm room. Even though the wall is without glowing, orange lights, and the bloody fingerprints are no longer on the window, the prank-like, scare-your-pants-off mindset is still in play.

Last week, my roommates and I decided we’d give each other gifts before winter break. As soon as our discussion ended, Melanie said she knew exactly what she was getting Anna: a big, hairy spider. Anna, who is deathly afraid of spiders, bolted for her bed. We all laughed.

Although fear can be fun to laugh about, it is often a much more serious matter.

Last year, my best friend Sarah lost her way because she gave in to fear.

Throughout high school, she dreamed of going to the University of Wyoming. Her water bottles, backpack and bedroom wall were adorned with the yellow and brown stickers and patches of the school’s mascot — a cowboy straddling a bucking horse, waving his hat above his head.

When it came time to choose a school, however, she decided to attend The College of St. Scholastica in her hometown, Duluth, Minn. She didn’t follow her heart because she was afraid to go as far away as Wyoming. She thought she’d be lonely without her family.

At first, St. Scholastica didn’t seem that bad. She made the cross-country ski team and developed friendships with teammates. Skiing had always been the only thing that could get her out of bed at 5 a.m. She felt most alive bounding across the snow with two ski poles in hand.

But, as the season progressed, her love for skiing faded. She wasn’t growing as a person, and felt like she was dying inside. Her heart was in Wyoming, but her body was in Minnesota.

This fall, she finally made the right decision and transferred to Wyoming. She knew she wouldn’t be as close to her family, but decided to take a leap of faith and break away from the chains that fear had wrapped around her. Indeed, the answer to her misery was right inside of her.

Now, she’s skiing in valleys, surrounded by mountains. She feels alive again. Her spirit is fearless and free.

This is just one example of how fear is the only thing stopping us from doing what we know is right — keeping us from who we need to be. Some people are afraid of loneliness, like Sarah. Others are afraid of failure, the unknown or loss of control.

Sarah’s story is similar to mine. Next semester, I am leaving Marquette and attending school in my home state of Minnesota. Before making this decision, I was afraid Minnesota might not be the right place for me. But, underneath, I always knew it was.

Who knows what next semester has in store for me, but I’m not worried. I feel free.

Fear causes horrible things to happen in everyone’s lives at some point. It caused Sarah to lose her way. It has kept beautiful singers from letting themselves shine on stage, started wars of genocide and led gay men and lesbians to deny their sexuality.

Almost every religion warns against it.

For Christians, fear caused the darkest tragedy in history: the crucifixion of Jesus. They believe Jesus is the way to truth and, therefore, happiness.

Judas, a follower of Jesus, knew in his heart Jesus would give him a good life. Yet, Judas questioned his heart. Fellow Jews, Roman law and ordinary people told him Jesus was evil and must be killed.

Judas was afraid society would disown him if he followed Jesus. And in fear, Judas turned him over to be crucified. Fear killed the truth.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing to fear, is fear itself.” It is the wall separating us from the truth within us — from what we know is right. By giving in to fear, we kill the truth that we are. But in following our hearts, we live the life we have always imagined.

Don’t live your life in fear. Let your heart guide your decisions and actions.

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    JoanneDec 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I THINK this this is true but..real life obligations keep people away from always being truly able and even being able to follow their heart…..due to the cost keeps people from doing it.