“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” Richard Bach
Face your fears! I had the most tumultuous week last week! I was beating myself up emotionally for not being further along my path in fulfilling my dreams. I was frustrated because I was looking too close at the end result and failed to see how far I have come. On top of that, I lost a dear friend to breast cancer, the same thing that took my Mom’s life nearly three years ago this Saturday. ( anniversaries are so tough!) Here I was stuck in the feeling that I was stuck- blocked- not moving forward into a freer, happier time. I was having a grad time sleeping and I was so run down that I got a terrible cold and had to call in sick for work.
When u returned to work the next day, I was greeted by anger. One of my closest colleagues accused me of being selfish and lying to get out of fulfilling my work obligations and not caring about others. He said that I should have come into work even if I was sick (needless to say my boss was incredibly kind and caring and understanding) All I could focus on was the mean spiritedness of my friend. And in retrospect, it was clear that my own punishing and sabotaging behavior led to real physical symptoms and attracted behavior from others who treated me the same way I was treating myself. After a good cry and a much needed emotional release, I got some perspective.
While I was allowing this drama and fear of the unknown overtake me, I spoke to another very close person in my life who taught me a little lesson about perspective by practicing patience. Seeing the behavior for what it is and not engaging. Instead look for the love and support and build on that foundation. Then I realized something else, I was pulling back from life. Fear started to permeate me and I was retreating rather than facing it.
Engage in life, don’t run from it. How appropriate that I would find myself at an amusement theme park on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of my dad.
So many great rollercoasters to ride. As a child, I was always fearful of what might happen if I got in and took the plunge. I always took the warnings posted to protect the park from liability very seriously. Then, I just grabbed ever last ounce of courage I had and rode my first rollercoaster and can remember how much I loved the thrill and surrender of being a part of the moment and just going with it. Seeing the loops and falls as a bystander was a much different experience than being a part of the ride. Had I always watched from the sidelines then I would never know that experience of freedom by engaging.
Such is life. There are many fears that could hold us back. There are many perceived warnings posted on the path. But there are no guaranteed protections if you don’t engage as well. You can be a bystander watching from the sidelines or you can get on the ride and experience life for yourself. The choice is yours. I found myself this last weekend passing on the rides, making excuses not to go. Then at the final hour, my nephew made a huge stink about wanting to go on one of the best rollercoaster in the park. After standing on the sidelines all day, I finally said I would go with him. My own son declined most probably dealing with his own fears of the unknown- he is still young. But with my heart pounding as I saw the warnings posted on again, I proceeded. As they locked me in the seat, I told myself “meg face your fears, don’t let them control you! You don’t want to be in a self imposed cage of your own making”. Then I just surrendered and boy what a ride! You are launched forward with such an unexpected thrust that your mind does not have a chance to process the possibility of doom and it is all fun from there. I laughed, screamed and watched in front of me with my eyes wide opened grateful once again for the necessary emotional release.
So what did I learn? Nearly three years ago, my mom died. The fear of death threatened to stop me from living. I have come a long way in those three years, pushing past that fear to step into the enjoyment of life once again without her. But, occasionally when I get stuck in that self sabotaging cycle again, why not get on a rollercoaster to help face my fears. Why not lose control to regain a sense of self and redefining purpose. It was just a ride, but a ride with quit a profound lesson for my life. Do I want to be a bystander and miss out on so much, or do I engage and face my fears along the wAy!!!! How I felt during the ride and when I got off, will have me choosing the latter. At least until I need another reminder again! And in that regard, I am setting an example for my children to do the same. Perhaps my son will see my courage and follow suit. Until then, a little thrill seeking perhaps is just what I needed to get unstuck and move forward disregarding the nastiness that I may experience courtesy of myself and others only to embrace all the wonder that lies before me! Staying true to myself, knowing that I am doing my best, and determined to have as much fun as I can with harm to none- life is too short and I am going to do my best to have no regrets- face my fears knowing that with a strong faith in the divine I am going to be ok-this would be sure to make my mother proud -amen and alleluia!