I heard something pretty wise yesterday that keeps ringing in my ears:
Everyone gets scared; it’s telling others what you’re afraid of that takes real bravery.
I think that’s so true. Never mind that it was Thomas the Train who said it while Tru was watching a DVD! It stuck with me for a reason. Telling anyone my deepest fears is daunting – and I’m suddenly realizing I don’t even know why. Is it because I think admitting to fear makes me weaker? Is it because I worry others will judge my fears, labeling some as childish or unfounded? Is it because I don’t want to give any additional energy to those fears by speaking their names?
It’s probably a combination of all of those things that holds me back. It’s like in junior high, when I would start to like a boy, I could spend days thinking about the possibility of giving that boy a piece of my heart, but I kept it to myself. Only when I said the words out loud to a friend did it feel real; saying it committed me to liking him, pursuing him, obsessing about him, writing notes about him, calling him and hanging up on him.
Saying my fears out loud feels similar. Like revealing them might pull them closer to me. Like writing them down is an official commitment to facing down the fear, obsessing about it, talking about it, giving it room in my heart, opening myself up to criticism.
Sharing my fears does feel brave. And I like being brave. So, I’m going to go ahead and try it.
A Few Things That I’m Afraid Of:
All Bugs. Except for ladybugs and inch worms.
My kids getting seriously injured or seriously sick.
Feeling disconnected from my boys when they’re grown up.
Running out of money.
Tru getting teased or bullied when he’s older.
Slipping back into depression/PTSD.
Dying while my kids are still kids.
Brad dying while our kids are still kids.
A weird combo, I know. It’s like a fear buffet. But that felt pretty freeing to just slap them all on the blog. Doesn’t make them any less real, but it also doesn’t give them any more power. But now I’m a tad worried that I’ll run out of money in a dark basement full of bats. ;o)
Seriously, I’d rather be brave and real than live in hiding. In fact, that’s probably my biggest fear of all: not living up to my full potential in an authentic and meaningful way. Want to share yours?
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
– William Allan White