Receiving a picture of a female bungee jumping over the Amazon would be amazing and inspiring....unless it was sent to a mother, from her daughter. I gasped, I stopped breathing for a moment, until I realized she sent it after the fact. Still, I feel my body going to that place of fear- what if??? I entertain all the things that could have gone wrong. It's the place I always go to initially.
But then I stepped back and sank a little deeper into it. I was really very proud of my daughter, not just because she stepped into adventure, but because it represents something deeper- conquering personal fear.
Earlier in the summer as Hope prepared to hike the Colorado Trail, she told me about her fear and anxiety. I told her of my own and we shared our experiences and strategies to deal with it. I asked her why, if she was afraid, was she even doing it. She replied, "whatever I am afraid of, that's the thing I have to do." Her words have stayed with me. I hear them every time I choose "not" to do something because I am afraid. Those words have helped me take a different direction, to change my own path and help my courage grow. The only way to become unafraid is to do the thing we fear. It's like the witch in the Wizard of Oz. When water is poured on her, she melts and disappears.
What do you have to do to melt your fear? I have to first recognize when it is fear that is holding me back, whether it is a new opportunity, a relationship, a physical challenge or a trip with many uncertainties. I always start with all the logical, practical reasons I shouldn't do it, when in the end, it may simply be that I am afraid and don't want to admit it. Once I recognize it as fear I say to myself, "if I wasn't afraid I would _________." I envision how it would look if I harbored no fear and just jumped right into it. That often gets me across that barrier to do the thing that I really want to do. I take my "bungee jump" and the fear, which is usually only in my mind, melts. It disappears. I have chosen abundant living.