I’m alone on a bus traveling from Spain to France. I mean, alone! My travels started at my front door and took me through Denver, New York La Guardia to New York JFK by taxi, to London, then on to Bilbao, Spain where I spent the night in a hotel. With map in hand, I found my way to the bus station and ultimately to the right bus. Incredible!
The reason I find this so amazing is because I have spent most of my life living in fear…fear of physical harm, emotional harm and spiritual harm. It’s kept me paralyzed in my ability to fully live life.
The thing I’m realizing about fear is that it ensnares you in a small world. It only allows you a small peephole to view what is around you. And even then, that small view has a filter, a filter that is dark and dirty. Dark with imagined fears and dirty from past failures and negative experiences.
The culture of the world we live in tries to keep us hiding behind our front door. It tells us it’s dangerous to go outside. “Be very cautious” it says, “you may be at risk!” “Is it really worth taking a chance at being in harm’s way?” “Stay home where it’s safe!”
Today I choose to live in freedom. I choose to go boldly out into this world and face my fears. I choose to seek new experiences that are above my comfort level. I choose to engage with people who don’t look, act, talk or believe like me.
In recent years I have come to lean heavily on the CS Lewis quote that our daughters use frequently in their travels.
“The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs.” -CS Lewis
I challenge you to grab your suitcase, your dreams or the hand of someone who’s unlike you and face fear head-on! When we look fear straight in the eye, we realize it’s really just a cowardly little Gollum that gains power only when we allow ourselves to partner with it.