Happy New Year!
I have been paralyzed lately by the fear of writing, and therefore have not posted since December. I am beginning to move my stiff fingers again though, and am beginning to address the source of my paralysis. Fear. If you are human, you have experienced fear in your lifetime. That feeling of anxiety that arises as you try to perform some task. Usually a task that you enjoy very much. For me it’s writing. For others it is a myriad of other activities: music, art, sports, cooking, performing, computer programing, or teaching. The list is as long as there are people in this world.
Yet, too often, and more often than we care to admit, we allow fear to dominate the things that we love. We stop participating in areas that we love, because we fear that we are not good enough, or we fear that others will judge us, or we fear that it’s not making any difference so why try. I have struggled with all three lies at different junctures in my life. Recently I let all three gang up on me and my love for the written word.
But there is something powerful in making your own contribution to the world. A certain “sparkle” or “sheen” that only you can bring. Like a color palette. Imagine everyone as a different shade or hue. And I do mean EVERYONE. That means there are billions of colors floating around out there. Now perhaps someone doesn’t appreciate the hue that you bring, now, but there are many who may someday. Your color can change an entire landscape. Like when a printer is low on magenta. Nothing in the picture turns out quite right. It’s still a picture, but something is missing. That’s you in your own sphere of influence.
It’s so easy to let our lives become tainted with lies. To let our color fade. We start believing the lies that our lives really aren’t that important. We can’t make a difference. So why bother? I believe that our egos are a little bit of what can help push us on towards greatness. When they are injured or bruised, we take a second look at why we failed, and if we choose to be brave enough we get back up and we try again. No success ever came without failure. In fact I would be so bold as to say that failure is the grandmother of success.
Which brings me back to my earlier dilemma. Fear. Fear is the antithesis of everything that you will ever want to do in your life. It will hunt down and try to drown every dream, passion, creative genius, or hope that you will ever have. Sometimes blatantly, and sometimes in a little whisper. A voice says, “Don’t even bother, someone else can do it better than you. You should just let go of that dream. Be reasonable and spend your resources on things that are “sure things,” don’t be a fool. No one wants to look foolish.” But the reality is, this country was built, in fact humanity was built, on the backs of such “fools.” And I am so glad that these “foolish heros” never gave in to those dream killing whispers. Sometimes it’s important to be foolish.
But something else was “whispered” to me this year. A voice saying, “I wanna see you be BRAVE.” Well actually it wasn’t whispered. Rather is was sung into my ears while sitting in the Denver airport. And already in the first 2 weeks of 2013 I have seen why God would whisper/sing this to me. Because everything that I dream of doing or becoming, balances on my ability to acknowledge my fears and push past them. My courage to look those lies in the eye and smile. Fear is simply a learned attribute and it can be unlearned. I want to write my dreams over top of my fears and let them take me higher. Let them fuel the fire of my dreams. So when I hear, “Why are you doing this? It’s never going to matter. You’ll only ever be a single, tiny drop.” I can respond, “Well, oceans are made up of such drops as I.”
I hope you’ll join me.
Dream bigger. Fight harder. Be Braver.