Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shedding fears

I highly recommend that everyone takes time to unplug regularly. 

It had been about 7 months since Kim and I got away by ourselves to do nothing but breathe, and it was long overdue.  So we jumped in the Vibe and headed to Orange Beach, Alabama to spend time bodyboarding, playing sand volleyball, making a sandcastle that very quickly became a pile of wet sand, finding seashells, throwing a frisbee, watching the sunrise, and watching the dolphins swim past in the gulf.  We had a wonderful time.

We didn't have an agenda; we really didn't even have a plan.  And if you know me, that's pretty unusual.  But to not have the burden of work or family or dogs or any semblance of responsibility was a welcomed breath of fresh air.  It helped put things in perspective...

About 8:30 on Saturday morning we decided to go out on the beach and do some bodyboarding.  The weather was perfect: 78 degrees, the water just cool enough to refresh us.  As we stepped our toes into the water a school of about 100 stingrays swelled in front of us. 

Now, I don't know about you, but jumping into the water while a huge crowd of stingrays pass by is not my first impulse.  No, we were thinking of Steve Irwin and thought they'd probably kill us.  So, we waited till we figured they were long gone before we went in.  Minutes later, another huge group of rays swam by and we quickly swam/ran/crawled out of the water as quickly as we could!  It was only later at about 9:30 that someone came by and told us they were mostly harmless.  It turns out, if you don't splash or kick or run, stingrays will actually just swim around you and not hurt or attack.  And this is the truth!  We had stingrays swim by us (or in Kim's case, brush her legs...kind of freaked her out a bit :)), yet they didn't harm us at all.  Instead, we were able to see the beauty of these crazy creatures as the lurked by and have an absolute blast riding the waves onto the beach with bodyboards!

So, this got me thinking...how many times are we freaked out by things that are mostly harmless?  By setting our own imagination at work conjuring up some reason to be afraid, we instill our own fear into our lives.  I literally do this on a daily basis.  We get startled by things that have no real harm to them and we create fear that then places our lives in chains; keeping us from enjoying the good life. 

Consider how much less we would have enjoyed the beach if we couldn't get in the water!  (by the way, Kim and I are not sun-bathing type people.  Kim will burn in about 15 seconds and I just get bored).  Yet, it wasn't our own strength or determination or intellect that led to us being freed from the fear of stingrays.  Someone else had to speak into our lives and help us realize that there was nothing to fear.

Who in your world do you know who is fearful of something?  What if you stepped into their world and helped them see that fear is the issue, not the actual stingray?  Who's life could you change?  Who could you meet eyeball to eyeball and bring them out of fear and into life to the fullest?

Love the person in front of you; because we all are living lives ruled by fear and all need this life to the fullest.

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