Thursday, June 27, 2013
I diligently study my daughter as she grows and learns, soaking in each new experience. One thing that has become apparent to me is her ability to take on new experiences with gusto. She's simply not afraid. Recently, I saw this play out in our community swimming pool. We've been going to a mom-and-tot swim class and my little one is the youngest in the class at six-months-old. I would think that as the younger one she would hold back, cling to me, and balk at the new experiences (I mean, I don't think I would like it if somebody dunked me under the water when I wasn't prepared for it). But she doesn't. She takes in every moment and doesn't seem to think twice about engaging in the new senses and skills I am thrusting upon her. She even seems to enjoy them.
I watch her willingness to try new things and I think "what if I lived life like that?" What if I put away the fears? Of failure. Of rejection. Of embarrassment. Of loss. Of loneliness. Of being not-good-enough. Of missing-the-mark and being shoved aside. What if I lived fearlessly? If I imagine that life for a moment, there is so much possibility! If I don't worry whether or not I am a "good enough" wife, I will probably end up being a better one. If I don't anxiously brood about how to protect my children from every possible thing that could go wrong, I will probably be a more peaceful and involved mom. If I don't wonder what my friends think of me and whether I am somebody worth being friends with, I will probably be more able to be the friend I want to be.
How often fear holds me back from living the life I desire! How often I let it. If I would hold my breath and take the plunge, like my daughter, I know that I would be a better version of me. I would be less stressed-out, tight-lipped, anxious...if I would trust. And live courageously. And stop worrying about my tomorrows and my next months and even my ten-minutes-from-nows. They'll get here either way. The question is, will I be who I want to be in them? Will I actually experience them? Or will I be caught up in the "what ifs"?
If my baby girl lived her little life with "what ifs" she would never learn to crawl. Or walk. Or talk. Or laugh. Or hug. Or love. I need to take a lesson from her playbook and take the plunge into life, reveling in each new moment and experience. Fearlessly.