Facing My Fears For Life

Fear….I have never been the bravest person. I know that people look at my life, the things I do, and the place I travel and assume that I am brave. That is not the case. I am afraid of relationships, driving, hurting another person, and of getting it wrong–misstepping. While I can speak to hundreds, I still have a hard time with new groups unless I am in some type of leadership position. it takes me a lot to take a risk, but once I do, I am all in.

Lately, I have been slaying some pretty mighty dragons. I have been offered jobs all over the world, but only one clicked. It is hard to explain to someone why I am moving to a state I have run one marathon in, driven through, and visited one city. I have never seen the house I bought or met the many of the people I will be working for, but in the conversation with my soon to be supervisor came the quiet knowing that there is a shared vision there. You see, I only have 4.5 years of working left. I want them to count.

I am taking a position that I have never held, but one in which my story and the focus of my training–I cannot change the cards I have been dealt, but I can choose how to play them–might impact the struggling military member or family member. Up until this point, my focus has been on building the positive protective factors, but my journey keeps resonating with those who are struggling, those who have lost a lot, or those who stand on the brink of self-destruction. While I recognize that I cannot save everyone and while I recognize that many will never understand the fire that consumes me to keep repeating my training of the choices during devastating loss, I have been blessed with knowing that I made a difference for a few. For those few starfish, I continue to face my fears. I continue to look for the right fit.

MO? Heck, I have always referred to it as Misery. At this point, I only have my brother and his family that I fit with, but I recognize that will change. It took me a few years here. It won’t take that long there because I have changed and I do not want to hide in my house any more, but moving from my friends and what I know is gouging my heart. I know my job and I know my tribe here. As I have researched and as I train, though, positive trauma growth comes from these well thought choices.

MO fits. It is the Midwest and my brother picked the house that has always been a part of my dreams. This house has the deck, the porch, and the lake. This house has room for a hanging porch swing and a small children’s play house. This house is filled with light and promise–I run to that. While I always thought that my future held CO or WA, MO offered me that chance to be more than my story and more than my volunteer activism. Yes, those areas are my heart, but I am looking forward to what next. When I retire, I want to fit somewhere and to have the home that welcomes me. I want a place that beckons me even if my days are lived alone.

While on the surface this leap may seem like a hasty choice, indeed it was not. I run to the job where I sense that I may continue to impact my military family and policy. I run to a state and a house where I see that I can fit and where I am comfortable. I relax into the knowing that the Midwest values, climate, and cost of living fit me.

Driving is another area that while I avoid it, I can do it. Today, I had to drive far enough and in busy enough traffic that I literally had my stomach in knots. Fear is like that sometimes. I took a deep breath and made myself do it. While city driving is never going to be something I am comfortable with due to the shifting vision from adrenal issues, I can take a train, bus, Uber, or shuttle. There is more than one way to face one’s fears.

Relationships are harder. I do well one on one and once I get to know people. I am great in a group if I am the boss, leader, teacher, speaker, or with kids. Other than that, yes, I know I still stand back initially, but that isn’t the whole story. The rest of the story is that I look for ways to connect one on one separate from a group. I am loyal to the core and my heart is huge. Once I connect, I am connected for life. Fear is faced in a unique manner, but ultimately the success is lasting.

Fear is not something I enjoy facing, but I simply cannot cower in any corners. I choose to face my fears even when I do not want to because I cannot let fear own me. I know how short life can be. I do not want to waste my minutes running from the life I dream of, chase, and want with all that I am. In that awareness, I can take a giant breath, scrunch my eyes shut, and leap towards the unseen and unknown. Cowabunga….I believe in me.

Comments

  1. Big help, big help. And suvrelatipe news of course.

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