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“Mom I want to live my life in love not fear.”  She had me, she finally won the argument.

Live in love, not fear, what was that about?

College, I wanted her to go.  I had a college fund set up since she was born.  I had gone to college, successful people went to college, you got a good job if you went to college.  So began our year-long conversations about college.  Me using every argument to convince her.  You’ll get a good job, you’ll meet great people, it will open more doors, I am paying for it.  And, of course, I get to say when asked what she was doing.  “Oh, she’s in college.”

She does finish a year of college with all As and Bs, taking hard classes like statistics and such a load that she almost finishes all of her pre-requisites in one year.  The girl is smart. All the while working 20 hours a week at her job.  Mission completed.  Daughter in college, getting great grades, working a side job.  Wasn’t I a great mom?

Then…..

I want to live in love, not fear

That’s what she says to me at the end of her last term.  She didn’t want to go back to college because she was afraid of not getting a great job, or meeting the right people or disappointing me. She wanted to go to college because she had a passion she was in love with and it required a degree.  She didn’t want to stay at her current job because she was afraid to go find another one.  She wanted to work there because she loved it.  I had to respect that and do some internal examination myself.

Why did I go to college?

It was exactly because I was living in fear, not love. I had a full-ride scholarship and I was afraid to lose it.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I didn’t have a passion.  I just knew you went to college to get a good job, meet great people, and open doors.

Look at the areas in your life

That started a long, soulful look at my life.  I often had made choices out of fear not love and I was still doing it.  Why was I doing it?  Guilt, fear of the unknown, the work it would involve to change course. I knew and had known for a while I needed to make a change with what I was doing for a living. This area was causing me severe unhappiness.  I’d even called it depression. I thought to myself if my daughter can do it so can I.  So I chose love and shifted away from the role I was in at my job.

Initially, it did cause some discomfort. I had to go through some uncomfortable and even emotional conversations with my partner who was also my employer.  I had to put myself on a different budget.  I stepped into the unknown and started working for myself helping people change their thinking so they could change their life.  Finally, I am living my life’s purpose and the love and happiness that comes from that were worth the journey.  If only I had chosen love first.

My daughter is working her dream job, which was gifted to her, she didn’t even interview, and on track to make much more money than most college degrees would provide.  She chose the fast path, love not fear.  She recently told me, “Mom I knew something was waiting for me and if I chose out of fear I was going to miss out.”  She was right she chose love and not a month later she is in her dream job, following her passion, poised to make much more money than most college degrees could offer.

I invite you to choose love not fear.