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I’m Too Afraid to Step Forward – New Year, New Step Forward

As we prepare for 2012, a recent experience reminded me of what it’s like to confront our fears, which then allows us to experience things we otherwise couldn’t imagine.

I spent my first Christmas in Florida where the weather was sunny and in the 80s, no snow!  I was fortunate to be staying near to a pool which I swam in each morning, and some afternoons.  Though the mornings were somewhat cool, the pool water was so warm and inviting I got right in.  The first afternoon I attempted to swim, however, I was met with a surprise.  The outside air was very warm, so warm I felt the need to cool myself off in the pool.  However, my foot was greeted with ice cold, instead of what had been warm and welcoming that morning.

I stood on the first step of the pool for quite some time, two feet, nearly freezing at the water’s touch.  I took another step down, and began debating how badly I really needed to get into the water.  A gentle breeze at my back made me further debate whether to just get out, and be happy to have gotten my feet wet.  I pursued anyway.  Eventually, I was in up to my stomach – the halfway point, half in, half out. 

At this point, it was like a life experience – being in limbo.  I was only half wet, therefore, I could reason getting out of the pool, and not tormenting myself with that freezing water, and allow my lower body to cool off the rest of me.  Or, I could reason that since I had made it this far, why not keep going – I’m half wet after all, so since part of me has to dry off anyway, why not get completely wet?

I opted for the latter, said “feck it”, and jumped forward, submerging myself in the water.  For a brief moment, I was shivering cold, and then as I began swimming faster, the initial shock subsided.  Once it did, I found myself basking in literal paradise.  The water seemed to me, literally, perfect.  The sun was shining on me, the water was embracing me in the most loving and comforting of temperatures, and I felt absolutely at peace, and relaxed.

The feeling made me think of more difficult life experiences – here I was, experiencing complete bliss, which I did not expect, nor had I even thought of, when I was on those first steps into the pool.  Had I not continued, I not only would never have experienced this bliss, I wouldn’t even know it was possible.  I would have gone back to my chair, and been half wet.

In our daily lives, we often have “trials and tribulations” where we may take a few steps towards a goal, each time encountering an obstacle, and each time reasoning with ourselves about whether or not it makes sense to continue.  If we give up, we’ll never discover what lies on the other side.  If, however, we continue, we take a risk.  It might not work out as we expected, but then, it might turn out even better than we ever imagined.

So, as you step into 2012, think about the goals you have partially started, and want to continue pursuing

  • Are you willing to take some risks this year that just might bring you to your own personal state of bliss? 
  • As you take each step, notice the thoughts that accompany you – are you willing to bust through the ones holding you back, so you can put your best foot forward?

Make 2012 a BullBusting year!

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