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    Issue 18 July - August 2000 I S S N   0119-7088

Fear's A Prison Cell

By Shery Ma Belle Arrieta (

"If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all his thinking, damages his personality, makes him landlord to a ghost."

    -- Lloyd Douglas

Just when I was beginning to think that my life's all peaceful and nothing could ever go wrong...BAM! Something happened to jolt me out of my calm and relatively uneventful existence.

A robbery. Between 1 am and 5 am last May 10th, someone trespassed into our property, found one window open, reached through it and went away happily with my bag, where all my personal identifications were -- Social Security ID, two credit cards, three ATM cards, my passport with visa, my Australian Business Access card.

Needless to say, I was inconvenienced. For three days I was unable to go to work. Instead, I spent all my time running around cancelling credit cards, reapplying for IDs, securing documents, going to my lawyer. AND constantly looking over my shoulder.

Several nights after the robbery, I was unable to get any sleep. I was like a restless dog getting up and tiptoeing in the dark, moving slowly about and taking small peeks out the window. He or they may still be out there, ready to trespass our property again.

Fear got a hold of me because I realized that my pictures were in the bag and it may very well be that I might have someone stalk me in the coming days. Unfounded fear or not, it was a fear which momentarily was able to debilitate me.

I've become paranoid.

Then a four days after the incident, a friend comforted me as I voiced out my fear to him.

"Forgive me for being paranoid and fearful about things right now," I told him. "But I think I have a right to fear for my safety after what has happened." I told him that I was afraid to go out anymore.

"You have a right to be cautious and take cautious steps," he answered. "But you cannot let fear rule your life or dim your spirit or take your peace."

And he was right. Whatever fear the person who robbed me brought me, it shouldn't overcome me.

We're all allowed to be a little fearful at times. That is our prerogative for being humans, but we are not allowed to let fear run our lives. It would cripple us, break our wings, injure our spirits.

Constantly living with fear is like living in a prison cell. Prolonged fear will eventually reduce us into mere shells -- empty, unwilling and immobilized to fight for anything.

Living life would certainly not be much fun if it was lived in eternal fear.

© 2000 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

This story is included in the FREE ebook, The Best of Positive Quotes - Volume 1. Download your copy NOW @

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