ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY-What Are You Afraid of Doing?
Yesterday, I was listening to a successful, intelligent, normal (by most accounts) and very funny woman. I was watching from a distance as I overheard her rehearsing a lecture she was preparing for an upcoming audience that, I assumed, had shattered pasts and circumstances.
My assumption was based on words she used like, heartache, damage, struggle, and pain in the content of her speech. Certainly, words like struggle, loneliness, and damage would not be addressed to an audience of well-balanced, content, motivated listeners! Yes, I figured she had to be preparing for a presentation to some hurting group that needed encouragement in the midst of their pain.
I moved closer. She continued rehearsing the words from her pages then lowered her stack of papers as she tried to memorize each phrase. At first, she strained to regurgitate each phrase, word for word. As I continued to peak at the distant reflection in the mirror, I noticed a metamorphosis was beginning to happen in her. She threw her carefully stacked papers on the floor and said, “What am I trying to say?”
Suddenly, she put her face to the mirror and said, “What are you afraid of?” I immediately looked around to see if people were in the room that I had failed to notice. Surely, that woman was talking to somebody who was not there!
She began to speak as though talking to a singled-out person. She said, “Daily, you wake up and wonder what the day will hold. You desire so much for your life, yet have well learned that it is best to settle for the controllable instead of hope for the unobtainable. You go to a job you endure and only allow yourself fragments of time to fantasize about what your life could have been had you chosen a different route. After a routine day, you briefly live through less controlled lives on television. Perhaps, on a beautiful Sunday morning you allow yourself a tender moment of realizing the great love for you during service. However, you quickly realize you need to keep your “content, “I’m just blessed” game face on instead of risking your true feelings of doubt, confusion, fear, rejection, shame, and loneliness to others. Perhaps, daily you push toward the unknown. You are so excited with anticipation of the possibilities, yet believe an obstacle has been met when you have a doubt, recall past failures and hurt, see your shortcomings, or face the realization that you don’t have it all together. The unknown is frightening and big.”
As she continued, I watched her hands flaring in the air and heard the pitch of her voice go up as she stressed a certain point in her presentation that seemed to be personal to her. I quickly began to realize that her lecture was not for an audience of needy people, but an audience of everyday people who walk through life “in the now” instead of the “will be”. I continued to listen to that woman until she finished a presentation that no longer was rehearsed, but from her heart. She closed by saying, “Obstacles are not a seen or a warning wall that prevents us from moving forward. Obstacles are those challenges, damages, beliefs, and choices that we are afraid of other’s seeing that we place in our life to keep us from moving forward. Fear, the past, nor our present, can ever be an obstacle.”
As I pulled myself away from the mirror and threw away the unneeded papers from the floor, I grabbed my coat and headed to my speaking engagement.
Because we are NOT perfect, every human being has some damaged area in his or her life. Damage is simply a hurt, habit, hang-up, or imperfection that we might use to prevent us from moving forward. If you are willing, what is one “damage” area you or someone you know has used in not moving forward? Come on be brave…. You tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.
Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely!