“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” – Mark Twain
This was quoted in a blog I’d read and it brought to mind a flood of memories. I’ve been a single mom forever. Even through and around other failed relationships it turned out I was the grown-up of the pair. I had to rally against any odds that came my way and stand tall first with my infant son then with my infant daughter and son. I faced terror unknown and unexpected unbeknownst to my children. I’m no superhero; I just knew they could never see me falter, if they did I’d be crippling their chances at the same good life others get. Just because they each respectively had dead-beat dads didn’t mean my kids had to be statistics. I went head-to-head each time with whatever cropped up and true enough I stood while fear took the dive. Never resting it continually tried to creep up on me even with the simplest of things but I slammed the door on it. They’re grown now.
Sounds tough stuff with Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” blaring in the background, “I am Strong, I am invincible, I am woman…” and I usually throw in “I am tired” but I faced another fear when I got to the point I might be ready to publish running out of excuses why I wasn’t ready yet. At first I saw, legitimately, that after living ex-pat teaching English I’d taken all the languages I was learning to heart. In other words not only was I learning the language, but I was speaking it in English, which means I was writing out long constructions that were how my students translated English in their minds never realizing my language had become imbalanced. Now compound that by three after living in three other countries outside the US that had three specific ways to process English. Working that out made room for general insecurity: I’d never be good enough and everyone is going to hate what I write; I’m an idiot; and if that weren’t enough: there’s no way I’m going to be able to publish anything without thousands upon thousands in the bank, and the list went on. I was more than willing to accept these as truths and not recognize them as fear, that crafty devil now personified as sitting at a desk plotting.
Like the book “Virtue” written by Benjamin Franklin, the point is there’s always going to be something you can work on to master inside yourself. That excuse I was trying to use held no weight. Franklin took each virtue and spoke of how he mastered it, but as a result he discovered two more virtues he needed to master and so on. One way or another it’s an everyday lifetime project. What would be worthwhile to accomplish as well as practical, is to go from investing in Mylanta 2 stock to instant recognition of fear and dissing it in a blink of an eye. (Listening to Helen Reddy piped through the clouds is optional.)