I love to observe. Observe people, animals, situations, the weather, nature, everything.
There is something so different about humans. When I watch all of the other things in motion or still, there is something so very off. I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time and then I realized that the difference between us and everything else is Fear. And I’m not talking about a healthy fear of things that could truly harm us but irrational fear. Any type of fear that has nothing to do with actual current danger, let’s say you’re in a speeding car or you feel a rumble underneath your feet, there’s a fire or someone is pointing a gun at your face…Fears like this that could save your life are indicators that you need to get out of the situation somehow. Any other fear is drawn from past experience. Think of a fear you may have. They are all based on what has already happened or what someone has told you. And the truth is, the past is an illusion. It’s gone. The only way it repeats itself is when we don’t let it go.
When we are afraid and we act on those fears, we creating them to happen and then we’re like, “See, I knew that was going to happen.” Well of course you did, that’s why it happened.
If I am not in imminent danger chances are I should take on the adventure at hand.
When I think of fear and what would counter that, would be of course love, but Grace would be more the principle I’m looking for. The dictionary definition of Grace is this; elegance of beauty or form; manner; action; motion.
I can be none of these things if I am afraid. I have to trust the process if I am to live in a state of grace.
We have to find the connection between us and whatever it is we are doing and allow ourselves to feel or be with that connection.
When we are in fear we can not be graceful. Sure, everything physical is a possible danger, but if we take all necessary safety precautions, chances are we’re going to be just fine.
I do one thing everyday that I fear, even if’s it’s little. It keeps me feeling alive and looking forward.
A few summers ago my fear was was riding my motorcycle. It was a looong process. And the older I get the more fear I accumulate. I would look at my beautiful shovelhead and picture myself riding the open road with the sun hitting my face and the breeze going through me. I would feel the road grime on my face and the weight of my riding boots on my feet. I would see myself in a tank top and jeans riding down the coast, stopping at every cafe on the way and meeting people. I would feel and hear the rumble and see my guy by my side.
This was enough for me to pull her out of the garage and then I would sit on her for a while, trying to keep out the horrific visions of me slamming my face on a curb, being run over by a semi or flying over the guardrail on the highway. Ya know, like Miss Gulch. It would take me a while to start it because once it’s warmed up it’s time to ride and the sound would get my adrenaline going and I needed to be calm. I was scared every time I got on that bike for the first summer. And some days I would opt out because I just wanted to enjoy myself and not feel so tense, so I would hop on the back of my husbands bike. Then we would be out on the road and I would see other women on their own bikes and I would somewhat regret my decision. This would get me on my bike the next day. I road around my neighborhood for the first year, too afraid to go out onto the main roads. Finally, I just got sick of myself and being so afraid all the time that I grabbed my husband and said let’s go. We rode to Arkansas, through the Ozark mountains, onto dirt roads, through road construction and rain. It was the most amazing and scary experience I’ve had in some time but worth every emotion and obstacle I went through.
There was no going back. We were out there. I had no choice but to keep going. We took back roads most of the way. Through the mountains, it’s only two lanes and the speed limit is 65. I live in Illinois where it’s very flat so the hills and curves are nothing that I am used to. It was 11pm when we were in the Ozarks and there were no shoulders to get off on, just two lanes and drop offs on each side. At one point I wasn’t sure if I was going to run out of gas because I only have 3.5 gallon tanks (we’re buying bigger ones now) and the road was 95 miles long with nothing but trees, pavement and air. I had no choice but to be connected with this machine and everything else around me if I was going to get through this without a coronary. Once I relaxed and trusted, it was a breeze and nothing on earth has ever felt so good. This was my moment of knowing what grace was. Not just reading about it, not hearing about it and having the information but actually experiencing it and now I ‘know’ what grace really is. It is a state of being…
I want to live this way every day of my life. And I forget how, but then I remember this story and this is when the past serves me well.