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Friday, March 8, 2013

A Game Of Chicken

Transformation of mind, body and spirit is not for the faint at heart.  Why?  Because inevitably there will be a battle of the will with that dark spirit of "Fear".  It is a necessary battle that one must fight if they truly desire change, because an integral part of true transformation is facing things that we have been too afraid to face before.  It might be attitudes, insecurities, past hurts, failures, apathy, lack of discipline or a million things in between.  But one thing is for sure, we must face that demon of fear and play a game of “chicken” until "he" backs off or one of us gets run over.  I have to tell you, I’d rather get bulldozed over while moving forward than to stand on the sidelines being left behind.  Fear… they say it can stop the heart and even change the color of your hair!  I won’t dare let any of you see what lies underneath my “Clairol”!  So far my heart is stronger than ever, so I suppose I’ve been giving that old bully “Fear” a run for his money. 

Many years ago I came to a point of no return where I had to play that game of “chicken” with Fear.  I got married in Pleasantville and woke up ten years later spiraling through a dark hole at warp speed into the “Twilight Zone.” There is so much of the story to tell, so if you will stick around with me for the duration you can read it in my book when it is out! The fear that I faced at that time was actually an emotion that had haunted me my whole life although I had not fully recognized its presence. One outward manifestation of that fear was an extreme fear of heights.  When I was a little girl we had an enormous pine tree that we would climb.  There was a huge limb about eight feet off the ground with a rope tied to it.  We played “Tarzan and Jane” many days out in our back yard.  I say “we”.  It took me many days to finally participate in this great jungle adventure.  After some serious coaxing, my brother finally persuaded me to climb the tree and swing down on the rope.  It had looked so fun as I watched the other kids sailing through the air “with the greatest of ease”.  So my day finally came! It took an eternity, but I eventually made it up the tree and inched my way out on the limb and then – I froze!  No matter what they said or did I simply could not find the courage to grab the rope and swing down.  Finally, my little brother ran to get my dad.  “Daddy Starla is in the tree and we can’t get her down!”  Brave little Starla was a little "scaredy cat" – rather a kitten stuck up in the tree! Dad stood at the base of the tree and said “I can’t come up there and get you; you will have to swing down.”  He explained that it was okay because he would be there to catch me when I got near the ground.  That was all it took.  My daddy with his strong safe arms would be there to catch me and keep me from falling!  I think about that story from time to time.  I’ve faced fear many times in my life but somehow I’ve always known that there were strong safe arms ready to catch me if I would only find the courage to take a leap of faith and swing!  Those arms have been the invisible arms of God and my faith, and the tangible arms of family and friends who have been by my side through thick and thin.  Fear is just a “bully” who is all talk, or all bark and no bite.  So if you are facing any fear about what lies ahead in your goals, your dreams, your plans your life, your relationships, your career, your health, your future think about it for a moment.  What have you got to lose?  You can either stay stuck up in that tree or grab the rope and swing with all your might.  You might just experience the ride of your life!