Sunday, September 2, 2012
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
It's a popular quote these days. I see it on coffee mugs and magnets, calendars and cards. But is it real? Or is it just something that catches the eye and the heart? What scares you? One could be philosophical and say that going out the door is enough to scare you because who knows what danger is lurking. And, of course there is the argument that your house could be hit by a wheel from a passing airplane and you could die instantly without ever venturing out into the world.
So what are these things we are supposed to do that scare us? And what's the value in being scared? Most of my days are methodical, predictable, and ordinary. I don't consciously see myself challenging any fears. I wrote about one challenge here . This example is uncommon, obvious, real, and valuable.
There are professional moments that are challenging but I don't think of them as fearful: dealing with an irate parent, being the decision maker regarding a medical issue on campus, being present with a 13 year old who is talking suicide. Those are challenging times but that's not fear.
Painting can be full of fear for me but not really -- hard to explain. I say things in paint that are scary but no one knows it except me. So does that count? I say no, it doesn't count because my fear is not exposed. No one knows the fear is there and so I can cover it up and hide myself. Make sense?
Revealing yourself is scary. Revealing yourself to others and revealing yourself to yourself. Facing truths and considering them - scary. It is so much easier to put on a mask or pretend, isn't it? So what is the value in revealing yourself? I suppose revelations can transfer into a life well lived. At least that's what I like to think.