The Courage to Show Up
Updated: 7 days ago
If at this exact moment…this moment right now, beautiful soul…if you were granted anything and everything needed to pursue the accomplishment of a lifelong dream of yours, what. would. it. be? If you were given all the help needed to reach this goal, what would you want to do? Maybe start a jewelry line. Open a cake-decorating business. Run a marathon. Travel through South America. The list is endless.
For me? Easy.
Write a book. Take my words and reach a larger audience.
The greatest quality needed for obtaining this achievement?
Bold, risk-taking bravery.
Not a word choice I would use to describe myself.
To be honest, I have steered as far away as possible from any kind of spotlight, from a very young age. Or, typically, anyone who loves to be in the limelight. For fear of being pulled into the public eye. I tend to take the quiet path. Far around any attention-seeking opportunities. Even if that path creates a longer route to my destination.
I am definitely not a risk-taker. Nope. The complete opposite, sweet friends. I have to lay it all out. Review each choice. Possible outcome. Path. I am an analyzer. Or, if I am being frank, an over-analyzer. To a fault, I would say.
I have loved writing, since I was very little. I really discovered my passion in sixth grade. We would have creative-story-writing contests each week. Classmates would vote for their favorite story. Placing was almost a weekly occurrence for me. Winning the big “Creative Writing Award” at the end of the school year. My heart was sold. Knowing that someone else found value in what I had to share through my writing.
But I was still pretty shy. Not around my friends. But I never dared to share my writing much beyond the walls of school, both in elementary and high school. In high school, I was presented with the honor of having an article published in our major city’s newspaper. It gave me goose bumps to know that my writing was on display for hundreds-of-thousands of others to see. The topic was one that as a teenage girl in high school, put me in a minority…it was written to promote teenage abstinence. Once again, I clung to the fear of what others would think, while secretly celebrating the worth of my words.
Enter college. And the biggest, tearful, grown-up decision I had to make out on my own. Officially choosing a career and subsequent set of courses, leading me to my graduation and grand entrance into the real-world. It happened one cold, rainy, fall evening, in the quiet office of my academic advisor. Encompassed by a lot of tears. And just as much uncertainty.
You see, my college did not offer a journalism degree. Which was my “dream” career. But it did have an English degree. And Elementary Education certification. And I had worked with children for y.e.a.r.s. As well as completing an elementary education class through a local college while still in high school. Loved my experiences. Knew that path well. Felt beyond comfortable. Knowing my classes would be filled with some of my closest friends.
So, with a tiny hole left in my heart, I chose something I adored. Something rewarding. Something I knew would be character-building. World-changing. Yet, still a “safe” choice. And besides teaching writing to my students for the past 11 years, it was something that had become a lost passion in my life.
It was always the “safe” route. The quiet, this-fits-perfectly-into-my-life path. What I knew would support our family. A career I love. But I began to feel like any “flames” of passion within my heart were dwindling. And the anxieties started once again flooding in. And for a while, life was just a matter of rolling through the motions. I didn’t quite feel as “fulfilled” as I once did. But I wasn’t quite sure why.
And that’s when I decided to make it a point to spend some reflecting on my own life. My own relationship with God. And adjusting my prayers. Asking for Him to hold my hand. Each and every day. In my own life. Guiding me along the path that He has created for me. To pay more attention to the dreams He has created for me and hopes for me to follow. And to pay special attention to each role that He would like for me to fulfill. And before I could even fathom what was whirling through my mind, it hit me clear as day. I needed to start writing again. I had two blogs, but I had abandoned one for years, because of the craziness of life.
But that was it. I prayed. I listened. I wrote. I felt “alive” again. I felt driven. Full of passion. I was doing something for me. And the anxieties began to melt away. Courage and self-confidence inundated my being. And I decided to share my little “secret nest” with the world. And wow. What a “brave” move this was for me. So. totally. out. of. my. comfort. zone.
Yet, so rewarding. It took me years. Decades. But I finally found my courage. The audacity. To show up. And follow my dreams.
What about you? God has bestowed upon each-and-every one of us embedded talents. Hidden treasures. Skills. Gifts. That He wholeheartedly wants for us to share with the world. What’s yours? What’s holding you back from standing up and reaching for your grander-than-this-world aspiration?
Believe me, beautiful one. As scary and uncertain as the details surrounding this reach might be, your life, the rewards will be more bountiful than you could imagine. As long as your heart is in the right place. And your dream is alive within your soul. Anything is possible.