When we are afraid we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger,
but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger.
– M. Rutherford –
I have been afraid this week.
Afraid when I try to sleep at night.
Afraid when I have to leave the safety of my friends’ home.
Afraid when I drive to work by myself.
I think I’m mostly afraid because the cops have not found the man who tried to assault me last week.
For the first few days I told myself it would all be OK as soon as the cops found him. But as days turned into a week and there was still no word, I realized I might have to be brave without assurance of safety from this predator.
And I hate that.
It doesn’t seem fair that the perverse man who shattered my peace with obscene acts and vile words gets away, and I am left crying myself to sleep and looking over my shoulder any time I leave the house.
It isn’t fair.
But it is my reality.
Tuesday I was feeling weak, scared and so anxious. I didn’t know what to do until I thought of the One Small Thing lesson I had learned the previous week. I remembered that even at my worst I can do One Small Thing.
So I decided to try to rebuild my courage by doing One Brave Thing each day. Just one.
Day One: I went back to work. When I got there my boss let me know they had locked down the whole building and would do whatever it took to make me safe and secure.
Day Two: I went to the library by myself and saw strangers who were normal, kind and cheerful. There are still good, trustworthy people in this world.
Day Three: I went to see my counselor. Instead of talking about how to strengthen myself to face that man in court, we talked about how to strengthen myself in case I never get that chance. Then we devised a Plan of Attack should he ever show his face again. It makes me smile to think of it. For the first time in my life I’ve been encouraged to make a scene in public. 🙂
One Brave Thing each day has done much to strengthen my heart and loosen the grip fear has had on me. I still have my bad moments and probably will for a while, but I’m getting better each day, and that is something worth celebrating.
You gave me comfort when I was hurting so deeply.
You gave me courage when I was too scared to even think straight.
You gave me hope that this darkness would pass and life would be good again.
Much love and big, squeezy hugs to you.
One day at a time–this is enough.
Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone;
and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come.
Live in the present,
and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.
– Unknown –