Friday, April 27, 2007

Mother Talk Blog Bonanza!

MotherTalk is hereby dubbing Friday April 27th as Fearless Friday!
"During a Blog Bonanza, bloggers everywhere write about a single topic on the same day, and on that day we’re able to click from blog to blog, reading our friends thoughts, finding new wisdom, having as close to a major conversation as blogging might allow."



In celebration of Arianna Huffington's book, On Becoming Fearless...In Love, Work, and Life, the Blog Bonanza topic is Fearless Friday.
So. Let the Bonanza begin.



I am fearless.

I realize that by definition fearless means without fear, but when I say "I am fearless", what I mean is that I am fearless about trying to become...fearless.
By which I mean that I am not afraid to try.
We are to blog about a moment when we were fearless, or perhaps started overcoming a fear, or felt empowered, stepped outside our comfort zone. I have spent much of my adult life being afraid of one thing or another.

I am fearless.

I was married to a man who abused me physically, mentally, and emotionally for better than five years. I was convinced that I deserved it; if only I hadn't (said what I said)(done what I did)(had that look on my face)(been so impatient)(fill in the blank--it all applies). Being told daily that you're fat, ugly, lazy, stupid, and no-one else would have you anyway starts to convince you that you are indeed fat, ugly, lazy, stupid, and no-one else would have you anyway.
I lived in fear. And I was so cowed that for a time I couldn't leave, I made excuses like "OH! I can't face taking down all the pictures off the wall! And OH! The packing! And OH! He'll beat me up if I try to sneak out! And OH! I'm not strong enough, and maybe he really, truly means it this time when he says he'll change."
Yeah.
Until.
Until I reached the line, the point of no return, the final straw. And it wasn't anything in particular that put me in that place, I was just there.
As I waited for a girlfriend of mine to pick me up for work, my heart started pounding and I started shaking and I suddenly thought "I.CANNOT.DO.THIS.ANYMORE."
I left with nothing except my purse. I left my clothes, my furniture, my mementos behind...and walked out the door.

I am fearless.

My children were born so early, so tiny, just a tad over a pound each, and I was afraid for their lives every moment of every day. I have become somewhat less fearful as each year passes...but it never truly has left me. I have grasped my children tightly and can hardly bear to have them out of my sight, out of arm's reach, for more than a minute.
But how are they to grow, to become who they are supposed to be?
I have to let them.
I have to let them go.
I had to reach into the deepest part of me to let my daughter walk to school by herself...and eventually I let her stop calling me when she got there.
I had to be brave and let her go out of town for the weekend with a friend.
She wants to go to camp with our church youth group for a whole week this summer...and I will loosen my stranglehold and let her.
Let her go. Let her grow. Let her become.

I am fearless.

I have been afraid to speak out, to voice my opinion, for fear of what others would think. Blogging has given me a voice, and I've discovered that I don't have to shout my opinions to be heard, to be understood.

I am fearless.

It's hard to try. It's hard, knowing that I will fail sometimes. It's hard, knowing that I have to take that first step even though I feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff. That's why I am fearless. Because I'll take the step.
I'll take it because YOU, YOUR fearlessness, inspires me. Your support holds me upright. Your affection soothes my heart. YOU are a large part of my fearlessness.
Many of you have unrealized courage, but I see it, read it, in your stories.

You're fearless too, you know.

I am fearless.

Except, you know, for bugs.
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