“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
I'm not quite sure why the formatting on this post is so goofy. Really annoying but no time to figure it out so embrace the goofy (different spacing, size, font...):
I've heard it said that one should try something that scares you every day. This is supposed to help us live more fully? Face our fears? Feel liberated? Not hold ourselves back? Break free from monotony. Honestly, my first reaction to this statement has always been that I'm not sure that every day brings with it something scary to try. But the older I get, the more I see things differently. I think if we look, there are little things everywhere in our day that we might avoid because they scare us in some way. I suppose it doesn't have to be a BIG thing. Or even something that would be defined as SCARY in the traditional sense. Maybe it is a simple as talking to a stranger or inviting someone new to dinner. Or running in a new place. Trying a foreign food. Talking to your kids about a topic that you've been avoiding. Taking on a new challenge. It makes me think that it would be a fun challenge or writing project to live a year or a few months at a time where I'm conscious and active about doing one thing every day that scares me. I imagine this would serve as a great personal growth opportunity. If anything, it would make my days quite interesting and make for some good writing material. Hmmm, maybe I'll try that one of these days...A Year of Facing Fear Every Day.
I have plenty of fear surrounding me lately. Trust me. This move across the country, as exciting as it is, has been one big adventure of facing fears and living in new ways. Sometimes the fear seems a little too much for me...almost stifling. But with each new fear that I conquer with this move (or really just this move itself), I find more freedom. As with any big change, it takes time to find my ground. My feet are a tad wobbly as I get settled. I'm trying to keep all my plates spinning during a time that I feel like I'm spinning myself. So far so good. We are thriving, kids are happy, there's so much that we love here, we're making friends and so much more. Everything around us is NEW. And this can be a bit scary.
One new thing for us recently is having all three kids in school for a longer stretch of time. This means that I have up to four hours to myself on some days. My husband and I have decided that on one of these days we will take an hour or so to go on a trail run lunch date. Running together (especially on trails) is our favorite date so this is really exciting for both of us.
As soon as I got to the place I needed to jump from, I remembered the above quote and I pushed myself to just GO. What's the worst that would happen? I'd fall on my ass? I'd get wet? I mean good grief...this is what trail running is all about! Why so much fear over this stupid little jump? I took a deep breath and let go. I stopped letting that fear control me. I took the leap. With it came a huge feeling of freedom and relief. It was so much more than a jump over a itty bitty stream (that felt HUGE). It was an exercise for me. It was a metaphor of facing life fears and realizing that fear is a liar...I mean most the things we are scared of really aren't even deserving of the energy it takes to worry. Fear holds us back from so much.
Even if we only got four miles of actually running in before having to head back, the drive there was worth every moment of time. The greatest gift of the run besides the beauty and time with my husband was that LEAP. Or little jump. Ha! It was a "Life Reinforcement"...it made me stronger. And I'm certain that it will carry over to many other things in my life.
What a gift that running is. It is one of the greatest teachers in life and I'm so thankful for the lessons I've learned on the run. Here's to facing fears!