Fear often stifles us from ever reaching outside our limits. Fear constricts courage, movement, and opportunity. Completely removing fear from a moment seems impossible, yet, the mind is more powerful than we often give credit for. When we shift where fear resides, we open up opportunity.
As I stood at the top of the ski slope, I shifted my fear, and suddenly felt more alive than I had all winter.
I let my hips guide my movement in shifting my skis from one end of the slope to the other. Fern raced ahead, but always stopped to check in on me with the biggest smile on his face. All the books say to never teach your partner how to ski, because it can lead to much tension. The last time he took me out skiing, I spent most of the day frightened and stressed out, but this time was different. This time I was in control of my fear.
Growing up, I felt fearless. There seemed nothing in the world to fear but monsters in the closet. I would climb up tall trees, race my bike down intense slopes, and even got back on a horse that bucked me off.
I felt unstoppable, but at some point the world started to create more things to fear.
I feared failure, fast speeds, deer at night, not being able to help people, and most of all, I feared my body would never heal from illness. I feared pain and the repercussions of pushing the limits of my body. Yet, Fern constantly reminds me that I will get better, and he often relies on my stubbornness to try new things, for I dearly hate to miss out.
Despite a rather quiet morning of my uncertainty in skiing again, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon on the slopes. For in one moment, I mustered up the courage to live without limits. I set aside my fear of pain to give skiing one more try. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it. Seeing Fern beaming with pride at my achievement certainly helped me cultivate the courage to get up and keep trying.
Overcoming surgeries, and living with chronic health problems has taught me a great deal about courage. At times, I do have to limit myself in order to protect my bones or to have energy for the next day. Yet, when I have the courage to live without limits, opportunity reveals itself. I have seen so many specialists over the last couple of years, but really it took my own courage to overcome each setback.
No one can give you courage, only you can cultivate it yourself. Courage comes in many forms. Whether it is showing up for work despite dealing with problems at home, or daring yourself to take on a new activity, courage is within you. As humans, we often choose envy over courage, simply saying to ourselves “Good for them, but I can’t do that”.
Instead of seeing the impossible, we need to see the possible.
If we build up our communities with courage, rather than fear, the world may look a lot different. There are many things to fear in this world, but it is nothing that courage cannot overcome. Wherever your courage stands within your heart, bring it to the front of your understanding. You might be surprised just how much you can achieve.