A few weeks ago, on the eve of my 52nd birthday, my husband joked, "you're going to be a very old woman". My reply? "God willing, but it won't be tomorrow. I'm just hitting my stride!"
And I really am. After a lifetime of being the girl always on the sideline, always picked last for the team, always afraid to try because I just knew I wasn't going to be as good or as fast as my slim, athletic classmates, I'm on the team! Last night, I played as a member of an organized team in the first softball game of my life. This weekend, I'm going to Washington, DC to run in the Women's Half Marathon and 8K. Me, the woman who spent most of the first 45 years of her life wistfully watching the world go by from the safety and comfort of a chair in front of the tv or computer. The woman who was afraid to try anything new, strenuous or difficult, out of fear that I wouldn't be good enough, or that people would judge me, or I'd be embarrassed. I made a lot of excuses (too busy, something hurt, I don't know how) for not taking action towards the life I dreamed of, but there really was only one reason, and that was fear.
Learning to face fear and not let it control me and my life is paramount to my recovery from the disordered relationship I had with myself and food.
Fear is a normal, natural response to danger. It quite literally keeps us alive at times. But when fear becomes the dominating factor, it paralyzes. Sometimes we might not even recognize how prevalent fear's influence is, because we're so used to living in its grip, it feels comfortable. It feels normal.
Breaking fear's choke- hold on you and your life is possible! You can do, get and be whatever you want, once you stop being afraid that you can't, or that you'll look stupid trying.
When I lived in fear, I never imagined I'd create this most wonderful and amazing life I have now, full of adventure and joy, with the tools to meet all of life's challenges with confidence and hope. The secret? I gave up being afraid of failing. If I fail, so what? With failure, there's ALWAYS a lesson. I win, or I learn, so I win either way!
My next post will be about judgement, but for now, know that releasing fear also allowed me to stop judging myself so harshly, and in turn, allowed me to see that others weren't judging me as I'd imagined.