I was stopped at a red light today and had the pleasure of watching a black bird dodging cars while trying to get to a bag full of crackers someone had tossed out into the road. As I sat for that brief moment I thought “wow that takes guts!” I watched the bird sitting patiently on the curbside waiting for each car to pass then it would leap out into the street only to be forced to retreat back to safety before reaching its goal. Sound familiar?
I think we can all relate to being in that same situation. Life get’s tough and when it does our natural instinct is to pull ourselves back to a place where we feel safe and secure. The black bird was not giving up. I was only able to watch for a few minutes but in that time the little gal/guy tried to reach those crackers at least 10 times. I can probably bet that the goal was to reach the food on the first try, however it was not possible due to the many obstacles in its way. Those obstacles did not seem to bother the bird in any way, and I know had I been able to continue to watch I would’ve seen it finally persevere.
Fear can be a very scary word and in most cases I would generally try to steer clear of anything that caused me to feel fearful. I didn’t have that luxury when it came time to face what I was going through. Divorce was hard enough but I was dealing with more than one fear during my trial. Fear of my new living arrangements, fear of moving forward, and fear of letting go of what I once had. Every situation is different but for me I was not prepared or ready to say goodbye to that part of my life. That is a scary feeling and is felt in any type of loss. I was stuck and forced to face it all head on. I had to realize that what I had been fearing for many years was actually true and it was happening. What I didn’t know was how finally accepting that fear would make me stronger. I use the word accepting rather than facing because it was a situation I could not control, it was part of my life and I had to accept it. Just like the black bird had to accept the fact that its next meal was in that bag in the road and the only way to continue on with life was to finally get to it. I had to live through my fears in order to become who I am today.
Facing a fear is a bit different. For instance last year I faced a few fears. I went body surfing in the ocean and I cannot swim! I zip lined in Hawaii and I”m afraid of heights and then I decided to snorkel with real fish, again in the ocean. I had a lot of fun doing those things but did they make me a stronger person? Probably not but accepting my fears, living through them, and preserving is what made me stronger. We can all be that little black bird and instead of worrying about facing our fears we can make the choice to accept them and grow stronger through them.
It’s been two years since I first accepted fear and I am proud to say that in doing so I have become a much stronger person. I still have my moments of weakness but because I took that chance and let myself accept fear I know I can survive it. Afterall, it’s just a silly 4 letter word.
I’m going to steal this quote from the movie New Year’s Eve. ” What would YOU do today if you knew you were NOT going to fail? GO DO IT”.
Have you taken a Leap of Faith? Share your experience in the comment box.