"There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them." ~ Andre Gide
In September, I had the opportunity to spend several days in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in Colorado. The scenery from my quaint bed and breakfast was magnificent! Still…it is one thing to stop and view our amazing earth, and another altogether in becoming one with that earth.
The Devil's Backbone Open Space – a hiking/biking area was just outside the door of this little B&B. The owner shared with me that this is all accessible near the back of their property. On a trip I'm on all by myself, I wander out through the back yard and locate a trail that is part of the Devil's Backbone hiking area. Perfect! I just have to walk through some long prairie grass (and a partial trail) to get there. Off I go, on a beautiful autumn evening in Colorado.
I walk about fifty feet, and stop. Stop, to check out a sound I hear just to my left. The prairie grass is sparse but long, so I bend over to get a better look.
What is that rattling sound, anyway?
I bend over a little further to see what's there. (this would be a great place for you to really question my brilliance…)
Rattlesnake. Less than two feet from me (mostly from my face, because I've bent over to get a better look)
Or, perhaps I should say: "Rattlesnake!!!!"
Are there some things that just scare you, for no particular reason at all?
I probably did exactly what you shouldn't do. In a moment of panic, alone in this wilderness…
I ran as fast as I could (see, I knew that marathon training would pay off!!), watching my feet, and where they stepped, the whole way back to the driveway at the back of the B&B.
The Fears We Have
Have I ever had a negative experience with a snake before? No.
So, while this was a very real fear, in that moment – it's not really that different from the perceived fears we have, also. (the monsters we think are out there)
In the case of the snake, my thinking was "I don't want to get bit!" and "Why is he doing that?". (I am obviously not a snake expert…)
In the case of our perceived fears, it's:
"I'll look like a fool."
"What happens if I fall on my face?" (literally or figuratively)
"It's such a crazy idea."
"I'm not good enough to do this."
…or any of the other fear statements we might make to ourselves.
And have you let fear stand in the way of trying something? Or perhaps, have you started something, and reverted back at the first sign of fear? (much like seeing that snake was for me)
The Second Part of the Story
"You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?" ~ Dr. Seuss
Having seen this snake (or – call it a monster), I was unsure about going back out and exploring this magnificent country right outside my back door (or – call it your bliss). Every step I took, I took with care, unsure of what might be lurking in the weeds.
A couple of days later, I ventured back into The Devils Backbone Open Space. I chose a different path this time, one that was fully a path. Still, starting out down that path, that fear was there (I knew what I had encountered just two days earlier). I was uneasy, uncomfortable, unsure. Still, I kept moving forward.
Forward…and toward amazing scenery that I was now within!
Back to Daily Life
How about you? Are there things you are perhaps missing out on…fear holding you back from taking those steps into the direction of your dreams?
Or maybe you've been trekking down that path toward your bliss, only to be setback by having some fear come up (what are the monsters that hold you back?).
Wherever you are on this path of your life, whatever you are facing today…believe in the possibility of YOU!
YOU…are AMAZING!! Believe that always…
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
~ Dr. Seuss
Your mountain IS out there…for each of you!! When you move beyond those fears, with courage, toward your bliss – you shine your amazing light out into the world. What a gift that is!!
Shine YOU…YOU in all your technicolor beauty…out into the world!
Final note: The first question my kids asked me upon hearing this story: "Dad, did you get a picture?" I'm sure you can guess the answer…