Fear.

Originally I planned for this post to be about adventures (I’m big on plans, and adventures for that matter. Although if you looked at my current life you would think otherwise. But I’m just trying a new thing; doing the next right thing without worrying about the twenty five year plan. It’s a work in progress and I am certainly not experienced in this new way of traveling. And I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I digress).  And then this post was going to be about fires – not literally, just metaphorically (you know, like the things that terrify you but you fight through them and end up stronger and wiser on the other side). I also considered discussing the importance of pineapples. And then it occurred to me that dry erase markers seem undervalued in our world these days. However, those are all thoughts to ramble on about for another time.

Today has been one of those days when all the pieces are falling into place and the excitement of new adventures cannot be ignored. And while most days fear is not something I would be raving about, today is one of the rare moments in time when I can acknowledge the importance of fear and remember that fear shows up when things that matter are happening. And those are exactly the things that a life of adventure and courage is all about. Telling the story with your whole heart. Nobody said it wouldn’t be terrifying – just that it would be worth it.

You see, I arrived home to find a box on my front porch from one of my best friends. And mail is one of my favorite things in the entire world. I could very well be biased on this topic. Because I have amazing friends who seem to be professional package creators. And I am always opening up surprises from my mailbox or my front door that are packed with magic and confetti and stories and stickers and candy and legos and you get the idea. They can turn any gloomy day around on the spot. It’s like instant sunshine that gets dropped at my door. What could be better?? I also love sending mail. If it’s been a while since you used a stamp for a friend, I would highly recommend it. Mostly because you can use stickers. But also because surprising friends is fun and makes for smiles all the way around. However, the topic of this post is also not mail. (Mail deserves it’s very own post at some point in the near future).

This “adventure box” on my front porch was icing on the cake after a big day. New adventures are forming in my life one step at a time and in the last 24 hours several of the biggest pieces have magically fallen into place. The kind of pieces that are mostly outside of your control and force you to trust that everything happens for a reason and trust that the universe is fighting on your side. And then, before you can blink, everything is happening in just the right way at the right time and new adventures are beginning. Ready or not. And that’s when the fear likes to start driving the bus. And fear is never a big fan of new adventures. Especially ones that don’t have all the steps mapped out.

The fear has good intentions; pointing out possible dangers along the way, attempting to keep us from getting hurt. But fear must not be in charge of the plan.  Because if fear gets to control the story adventures would always be cancelled and we would all stay in the safety of our comfort zones. Missing out on all the magic to avoid what could possibly go wrong. Anytime fear shows up I have a bad habit of running away from whatever it is that I am dreaming about. But every time that happens I move further away from the life I want. And so, very slowly, I have started trying to say yes new adventures. Saying thank you to fear for showing up and protecting me but continuing on the adventure all the same. Strengthening my courage and practicing being brave.

And when I look back on the moments in my life when I chose to show up anyways, that’s where the magic lives. The day I chose to walk up the street in my neighborhood even though it meant passing by a dog and there was nothing more terrifying than dogs in my eight year old brain. The time I moved away from home to start college six hours away in another state. The day I walked into the agility ring at nationals for the very first time. The day I started to graduate school. The day I walked away from graduate school. The fear simply means I’m doing something that matters. Something that is big and could involve taking a risk. But that doesn’t make it wrong; it just makes it part of the adventure. And I want my story to be full of adventures. Which means fear isn’t a bad thing at all – it’s a hint that the story is expanding in the right direction.

And while all of that seems easy to believe on days like today when the momentum is building and the excitement of new adventures is all around, there are other days when I call my best friends in a complete melt down about life and everything feels scary and overwhelming and I just want to turn around and go back to my comfort zone. So hopefully this can be a reminder for those days; a reminder that fear is just showing up to help. A reminder that fear is a badge we carry when we choose to live outside of our comfort zone. A reminder to say thank you while still running towards the magic. Trusting that adventure is out there.

“Just do the next right thing. One thing at a time. That’ll take you all the way home.” – Glennon Doyle Melton 

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