“Nothing endures but change.”
I am a fearful person by nature. As a little girl I always wanted everything to stay the same: my room, the menu for Christmas, my friends and family. Change, for some reason, terrified me, but sameness felt safe.
Then, of course, life happened and I grew up and I realized that everything changes. And everyone. Including my dear ol’ self.
I also realized that fear was the thing that made change so scary. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to handle what came my way. Fear that I wouldn’t like the change, whatever it might be. Fear that the future would never be quite as good as the present.
Nowadays I try to see fear as my friend in adventure, someone I clasp hands with as we shout in unison, “Once more, unto the breach!”
I’m still frightened inside, but I’ve got heaps of courage in there too. And pluck. And a jolly good imagination that helps me visualize what I will do to make things better IF they really do go pear shaped.
This weekend my friend Sue asked me if I’d be open to being interviewed by the newspaper about our life on the farm. My first thought was to immediately dive under the covers and not emerge until such a scary notion had passed.
All the “I’m not good enough to do that” fears shot to the surface: “I’m not skinny enough to have my picture taken for all and sundry to see”, “Our farm’s not perfect enough to be showcased”, “I can’t let a stranger here to see all the things we haven’t done yet!”
Sigh. Honestly, those fear voices are a real nuisance.
So I shushed them. And calmly spoke truth.
“It’s OK if I’m chubby right now. I’m working hard to heal my body and get into good shape, and it’s a good thing to let people see me as I AM not who/what I wish I was. Besides, maybe a chubby farm girl with a big smile on her face will cheer someone up who’s also struggling with weight and poor health and trying to smile anyway.”
“It’s OK if our farm’s not perfect. It’s a lovely place jam-packed with possibilities and inspiring projects and it is a haven for us and our loves. And maybe someone who’s also mid-dream with stacks here and piles there will see our farm and feel encouraged to press on.”
“It’s OK if we haven’t finished everything yet. We’re allowed to have partially built smokers and half-painted beehives and chairs, tables, and beds waiting to be mended and refinished. How boring life would be if we were actually done everything and had to sit here with no projects to inspire us, no jobs to keep our hands busy and to discuss over lunch. Nope, these unfinished projects are reminders of how lucky we are to get to pursue a whole passel of dreams.”
So I said yes.
And I’m so glad I did. Jayden (reporter from the Warwick Daily News) is an absolute gem, a ray of sunshine on our farm. He loved everything, even the wonky, unfinished, just-pretend-that’s-not-there stuff, bless him. And it did my heart no end of good to share our dreams with him, to explain how healing it’s been for me to live on this farm and learn so many things, to show him our goats and gardens and ducks.
It reminded me of what we’re working towards and how much it means to us. It renewed my vision, our vision, and made all the aching muscles, bruises, cuts, and scratches absolutely worth it.
I’m so glad I’m learning to hold hands with fear, to say yes to frightening things, to do it scared. My world is so much bigger and better because of it.
What do you do when fear rears its head in your life? xo