Finding the courage - Retreat part 1

October 5, 2015

When the opportunity arose to attend a retreat with 34 women I had never met it was one of the few times where I believed more in the promise of hope then the dread of fear, and decided to leap.

Knowing there was a cushion of months before having to follow through, it was often easy to say yes as I looked towards a future plan, but somehow, with this adventure, I still felt courage drawing me in.

The months slid by swiftly, as they often do, and soon it was time to go. Now I needed to remind myself to breathe as I joined the other restless travelers in the aisle that spiraled through the course of airport security.

As everyone lazily moves forward, I take another deep breath intending to calm my nerves while I lean into the fears ahead of me. Already discouraged at the line forming at this early hour and keenly aware of possibly missing the airport rituals that aid my jitters, my head signals my heart and reminds me I am alone.

As I board, I imagine using more room than my assigned seat allows, while hesitation drags me to my seat and I lug all these feelings like additional baggage. As we lift off, tears blur my vision, and the realization that I am going to be connecting with a group of strangers begins to sink in. Keeping these thoughts to myself as I determine their value I watch the lights outside grow dimmer.

Learning to say yes is a terrifying gift, one that exposes my insecurities while I wrangle to disguise them. With the sadness of the past filling my soul, doubt has always been a part of my life. The unease began closing doors and making my world smaller, unable to comprehend how to feel safe in a world where emotions are often hidden.

Over time I have recognized the trap I crumble into, requiring a push into the uncomfortable places, attempting to step away from the constant companion of my fears. Taking leaps of faith was not always easy, but each time confidence began to build my safety net wider as I grew mindful of how it encouraged progress.

I have always admired the women who dare to dream and step into fear like it is their wardrobe, but as often as I try, I still struggle with defeat, when rational thoughts abandon me and the uncertainty of what lies ahead builds within.

Committing to new adventures that stretch my anxiety and strip away fear is a component of my survival plan. Forcing myself out into the sensitive places, where anxiety breeds, can be difficult for others to understand. In a climate where my head says everything will go wrong, but my heart says try again, I continue on.  

Stepping off the plane I transport all my awkward baggage to the curb, some filled with my belongings and others filled with the doubt and anxiety that never seems to leave my side.

Whether following a dream or chasing one, I know I need to lean in to the difficult emotions with each stride a chaperone that carries me beyond my comfort zone. Keeping one eye on the world ahead while the other remains searching for the quiet that safely grounds me.

These opportunities bring the newfound friendships that could have never bloomed, while providing the bravery to thrive and do it all over again.

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  • October 6, 2015 @ 12:37 PM EDT
    By Beverly
    You are never "alone," Sweetheart. <3 and prayers...

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