caution to the wind

Fear is on my mind as I search for stones on the beach. It’s something I enjoy – seeking out a stone that stands out, worn by the sand and sun and water. As I pick up stones and turn them over to inspect them, I think about being afraid. How sometimes instead of pushing through fear, letting it goad me into more, it stops me. Instead of acknowledging and facing fear, I hide. I won’t run, but I let fear push me around. What if my dream doesn’t work out? What if my hard work is for nothing? What if I fail? The fear is so loud I can’t hear the beat of my heart. It’s so loud I forget how to believe. What is the point of dreaming when you’re so busy dashing your hopes? Do we stop pursuing because we can’t predict the future? Do we let go of the thrill of something new because we don’t know the outcome? Do I want a life without risking and trying? I live my life so steeped in reality and the possible pitfalls that I snuff out the what-could-be.

The problem with expecting the worst is that you begin to believe the worst. The worst creeps into everything until it clouds your vision, stunts your growth. It’s ugly because it can’t be beautiful. Futile replaces almost. There are shadows rather than light. Good doesn’t matter when it’s never good enough. ‘The worst’ is poison.

As I pick up and put down stones I think about what I want and don’t want. I put down judgment, timidity, and doubt. I pick up grace. Grace for myself and for others. I carry beauty. Beauty in the ocean stretched out in front of me, in the wondrous colors of the sky. Beauty in the softness and strength of my family playing nearby. I hang onto hope. There is hope in trying and I have to try. I am afraid of the unknown, of what I can’t control, but fear doesn’t have to be stronger than love, bigger than all that I can count on. I look at the collection of small white stones in my hand and feel the small ridges, the lightness of them in my palm, and I decide to keep what is true.

swept up

photo (2)in the beach. And throwing-caution-to-the-wind playing.

17 thoughts on “caution to the wind

  1. Kerstin @ Auer Life

    Heidi, my friend! I know this feeling all too well – you are not alone. Fear can really paralize and within the last few weeks I have seriously contemplated giving up writing and my blog for good. It is the uncertainty, the not knowing if the next step is going to pay off or not. Is it foolish to take a leap? Better to just slip back into the comfort of anonymity? I don’t know.
    What I do know though, is that “the worst” robs us of every joy in our lives. We can’t feel the ups without the downs and there will always be both.
    (Have you read Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”? It talks a lot about this topic and was a real eye-opener – I just haven’t figured out how to make it work for me yet)

    1. heidi Post author

      “What I do know though, is that “the worst” robs us of every joy in our lives. We can’t feel the ups without the downs and there will always be both.” Yes!!! So true.
      Okay, you are the second person today to tell me to read this book. I’m gonna have to get it!

    1. heidi Post author

      I know you get this. Sometimes t’s hard to think outside the fear. That’s how it is for me…to keep my expectations low is some sort of safeguard. Except it doesn’t work. Anyway, round and round I go. But, I’m trying. We’ll try together to not let the fear get us. 🙂

    1. heidi Post author

      “I also have a habit of letting fear get in the way of enjoying my success.” Me too! You’ll relate to this…I found out my edits were done and accepted. Yay, right?! For all of 30 seconds I let the excitement in before I was hit with the anxiety of what’s next and will the book be okay and, and, and… I am truly exhausting.
      It’s so good to see you here. Hi, friend. Hope you and your book are well. 🙂

  2. Nicole Janzen

    Great post Heidi. I relate well to trying to live life without fear. It’s always the first whisper in my ear when I want to do something or say something.
    It’s always a relief when you hear others struggling with the same thing. Always feels like you’re alone when struggling with fear.
    It’s a choice we have to make to concur and not let it rob us of joy, laughter and strength.

    Thank you for posting.


    1. heidi

      Yes to choices. Fear will always be around – we just can’t let it get bigger than us. It helps doesn’t it? That we’re not alone. When someone else feels the same way you do.
      Thanks for commenting, Nicole! It’s nice to see you. 🙂

  3. steph

    Sometimes I think you and I have an inexplicable, but very definite connection. My blog post today (that you read) was a departure for me. I’m still a little shaky and anxious having it out there. I’ve been so afraid for so long of saying the ‘wrong’ thing that I try to stay on neutral territory. What is wrong, though? To one person it’s one thing and quite another to someone else. I let fear push me around all the time. I would like to stop doing that. So today was the perfect time to read your post. As always the imagery and metaphor you employ to illustrate your message is utterly beautiful.

  4. Camesha

    Beautiful post. Isn’t it great that we get to choose? We have to choice to kick fear and timidity to the curb and keep grace and beauty. How empowering!

  5. JJ Wong

    The recent movie: “After Earth” has a nice quote that I think suits your post: “You must realize, that fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice”.

    Indeed, Fear is a feeling, it’s a choice of us. Whether we pushing through fear and move on, or hold back and give up, due to the feeling of fear in us.

  6. Jeff Combs

    Thank you for your inspring words. I constantly must put my fears inside a bag and walk away from them. I shared this on my Facebook page this mornong. Facebook/betafaith

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