"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost.
2016 A Year of Facing my Fears – Week 1 1/2
It’s been a pretty amazing 11 days since we rang in 2016! In a previous post, I declared 2016 as the year of facing my fears!! Yay world, bring it on! I have committed to do something different, out of my comfort zone or something that completely scares me, every day. So far, my daily challenges have ranged from going ice skating and trying out new group exercise classes to making big life changing decisions. This practice has brought forth some deep, meaningful insights that I only just realized about my more recent self.
It started New Year’s day 2016 when I took my daughter and her friend ice skating. There is a nice, warm, cozy bar upstairs at the rink where you can watch the kids skate on the ice while you stay warm and have a hot toddy. Doesn’t that sound soooo nice? Well, it does to me. I even brought my book to read because I rarely get downtime like that to sit and relax without feeling guilty. This was my plan at first, however, when I got there, I remembered my commitment and instead of heading to that comfortable, cozy place, I checked my bag into a locker, rented ice skates and got on the ice for the first time in over 10 years. I had SOOOOO much fun! I skated with the girls too and took pictures. It’s not like I am not the adventurous type because if you knew me in my past, you would know that I love taking on challenges and trying new things.
However, what I DID realize and what came to light, was that these last few years since I suffered my brain aneurysm, I have been cautious. More cautious than I have ever been and I’m scared to do some of things that I used to LOVE to do and scared to do some of things I have never done before but long to do. These last few years, I have taken the road more travelled with a well paved safe route to where I am going. I can see where I will end up and I know I will get there safe and sound. How boring that is!! What’s even more unbelievable, is that this so-called safe route is not always a happy place. In fact, what I am finding more often than not, is that although it’s a known entity, that “safe” path no longer serves me and rather hurts me instead. It’s not who I thought I would be after surviving a near-death experience. I HAVE been timid!! I have been scared and fearful! Maybe rightfully so in the early part of my recovery but I am doing well and I have had an amazing miraculous recovery. I really have no excuses to keep playing small and to keep feeling so vulnerable (or at least letting vulnerability stop me).
Here’s the thing, I am worried about falling down. I mean literally falling and hitting my head. I have all this hardware in my brain that keeps me alive and I don’t want to crack my head and jar anything in there. I have had lots of people tell me to be careful too. My life depends on me taking care of my brain and I want to live a lot longer and see my young kids grow up and I want to play with my grandkids!
So here is the question??? Do I keep using this fear of falling and hurting my head as an excuse that prevents me from doing what I love, to living my passion, or serving my tribe? I think NOT! At least not anymore. April 7th 2016 will mark the 5 year anniversary of my survival. I hope by April, you and I will see that this year of facing my fears has propelled me into a future where I am stepping up and speaking out loud. It’s interesting that my brain injury and fear of falling has silently and quietly spread into all areas of my life. It’s not just affecting my brain anymore, it’s affecting my life. I see it like a small sprout that has now grown into an out of control vine, spreading through my entire body and being. It’s fear. That just blows me away that I have let it take over my life that way without even realizing it.
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” ― Patrick Overton
So now that I have this awareness of my fear, I have decided that rather than fight it, fear will become my partner. There are good things about fear. In some way, it pushes me to be courageous. It makes my accomplishments that much sweeter because I have had to overcome adversity and fear to make things happen and to move forward. Here is what is happening now when I come to a fear choice in my journey…First, I look at the easy and safe route where I can keep the status quo and then, I look at the route that is cloudy, unclear and I have no idea where it’s going, and I say to myself, “Yes, I AM scared but I am going to do it anyway!” I am going to trust and choose to step into the unknown, the path without the clear outcomes, but with a certainty that all will be just as it should be and I will land on my feet and be free again.” And so what if I fall, I will just get back up and stay the course! What’s the big deal☺. Bring it on baby, I’m ready to roll!
Sending endless love and hugs to all,
Dianne Hill, Life Wellness Coach, speaker and peace seeker at Inspired For Life!