Hope Not Fear #MondayMusings

“May your choices reflect your hopes. Not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

This quote was one of the writing prompts for last week’s Friday Reflections. However, I had already written about another prompt, and in fact, didn’t find out about this prompt until I’d written my post. Since this quote is very fitting for my life, I thought I’d write on it now.

I have often been guided by fear in the choices I made in my life. For most of the eight years of my institutionalization, I have feared taking the leap towards independence. This led me to reject my husband’s idea of having me live with him, which he had voiced long before our wedding. I’d rather live in a supported housing accommodation, because I was deathly afraid of the situation I’d been in when living independently in 2007. At the time, I’d not coped from the start but I’d been on the waiting list for mental health services and the crisis team didn’t feel my situation was serious enough. Ultimately, it took me becoming suicidal in another city to get me the help I needed.

By letting my fears dictate my choices, however, I was not taking chances, for taking chances requires taking risks as well. Because no supported housing place could accommodate my needs, I remained in the institution for presently almost eight years.

I had a boyfriend and later a husband, of course, and I was and am totally in love with him. My fear guided my choice not to go live with him, because I feared if I needed to be admitted to the psychiatric unit again while living with him, he’d abandon me. Never mind that he stuck with me through eight years of institutionalization.

yesterday, I saw a thread on a Dutch eating disorder forum I particpate on that asked where you would be in ten years. I will write a more elaborate post on this later on, but what it taught me was to have hope. Still having an optimistic attitude from last Friday’s meeting with the social worker, I realize now that I need to let this hope shine through when I make my choices.

I remeber in high school needing to make SMART goals. The S stands for “specific”, and it had as an explanation: “Write down what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid.” For example, you’d write down “pass Latin”, not “not fail Latin”. The Mandela quote I started this post with, illustrates the difference: while in a way, “pass” and “not fail” are the same, “pass” is based on hope, “not fail” on fear.

Back to my situation with regards to my going to live with my husband. I have often based my goals on fear, saying for example that I wanted to avoid being overburdened. I could reword these, saying for example I want to be supported. That is a much clearer, but also much more optimistic goal.

This post was written for #MondayMusings, which I co-host with Corinne of Write Tribe this week (see her post too). Please feel free to join in. Click on the button below to be taken to the linky.

Everyday Gyaan

18 thoughts on “Hope Not Fear #MondayMusings

  1. “while in a way, “pass” and “not fail” are the same, “pass” is based on hope, “not fail” on fear.” This line says it all for me…I wish you all the best for the steps you are taking..May you find the courage to move on with hope, and in a way I think you already did…God Bless!


  2. Wishing you the best in life. Being positive isn’t always an easy thing to do but it’s definitely something we must all try to be more of


  3. Taking risks is not easy. It requires a leap of faith that sometimes (often) is not easy to master. But I always say, we only regret things we didn’t do. So, I wish you luck and I hope living with your husband is going to be everything you wanted it to be.


  4. Wishing you the best and hoping that you can move forward. Someone once told me, “Who that angers you controls you”—I also believe that this hold true with fear…For the longest time I had this irrational fear about failing at my career and in motherhood that I began to fear success, because I afraid of being judged, criticized, and mocked. I do not want that fear control who I am as a mother.


  5. Astrid, your story comes with a thought that we all often negate : No two experiences in life come with same results. And often it is fear and fear alone which forbid us from taking leap of faith. I am so happy you took the leap and in fact more kudos to your husband without whose support I am sure this could not have come about 🙂



  6. It is hard to move fear aside when making decisions. I had to work at this skill when I was going through my divorce. When I could mentally set aside the fear I knew what my actions should be. the next step was to act on those decisions. Good luck to you!


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