Despite the Fear

I am pondering this thought today as I try and work through all the emotions that are enveloping me. This weekend I will continue with the taping of the documentary about D.I.D. and I will give a talk about creating a life after trauma and I am scared – Big Time.

What the meme doesn’t mention is the fear. For me, it would be more complete if it said, “Instead of being ashamed of what you’ve been through, be proud of what you have become…DESPITE the fear.” I am wrestling with the fear today. The fear of allowing others to see me, to judge me, to do something that will affect my spouse and my kids. The fear that attacks, grabs hold and feels like it will strangle you before it lets go. It feels like a new fear – every time. It feels like no one has ever had THIS kind of fear or been THIS afraid…even me.

But as I explore my thoughts and look at this fear, I was reminded of a memory from long ago. I was young and attempting to jump off the high dive. Numerous times I inched out to the end, looked over the edge and prayed for the strength to just jump. Back and forth for several minutes I walked, waiting for this huge feeling of courage to come over me and carry me triumphantly into the group of those who had overcome the high dive, but it didn’t come. I felt trapped by others who stood on the stairs and began to try and shame me down. So there I stood; wedged between not wanting to feel like a failure and this huge wall of fear. Once more I walked to the edge, took a deep breath and just jumped. I didn’t think, I just took a breath and jumped.

I realize that the fear I had that day is the same fear I face today. Fear is fear. It was the same fear when I was little, the day I quit my job, every time I walked across hot coals and today when an uninvited lizard ran across my knee under the picnic table. Fear is the same no matter the problem. What’s different is my attention to fear. The longer I walked back and forth across that diving board, the bigger the fear got. The longer I dwelled on how to quit my job or when to quit my job, the bigger the fear got. I still felt that BIG fear when I contemplated my first fire walk but I had someone help me work through the fear first. So I began to understand that sometimes you just have to take a breath and jump.

So I stand at the end of this high dive, arms waving back and forth, looking at the water below and I inhale….

Ready now to make a splash!

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