Forget You, Fear

Forget You, Fear

I have an adventurous soul–like I want to do all the things, dream all the dreams, visit all the places. I have at least five maps hanging on the walls of my house and a Pinterest board filled with places that I want to visit and things that I want to accomplish. I would like to think that I’m brave enough to make all of these wonderful dreams come true. But one tiny thing always gets in my way. And that’s fear. 

We all struggle with it, and if you try and tell me that you don’t–you’re lying to yourself, your mama, and me. 

Fear is a funny thing. It’s always being portrayed as the villain of the story, but in reality, fear keeps us safe. A healthy dose of fear keeps you alive, it’s why you look both ways before crossing a street and why you wash your hands after you cough or sneeze. 

And when left unchecked, my adventurous soul would get another dog (because one more can’t possibly hurt anything) or sell all of my belongings and move halfway around the globe without thinking twice about it. Fear, partnered with a healthy dose of realism, keeps me from doing irrational things with my time, energy, or money. But I also have noticed with my life, that this fear and realism sometimes hinders the pathway to the life that I want. I can continue to “play it safe” and leave my nice, quiet, and predictable life alone, or I can step into the unknown and see what else is out there.

For growth to happen, I have to be willing to be stretched. I have to step past what I can see in front of me and take a chance that there is even the possibility of something more. I have to be brave. I can’t let the fear stop me from trying again, from reaching a little further, or stepping completely off the beaten path. I have to be willing to face failure and rejection over and over. I have to be willing to put up with the pain of continually showing up only to be knocked down again. 

I am a firm believer that the universe listens to the brave. So today (and every day), show up and be brave. Take more chances with your life, because darling, this is it–today is the only chance you get and you’re not promised tomorrow. Be courageous in what you go after, leave no stone unturned and absolutely nothing left on the table. We’re worth it, and kind of owe it to ourselves to go after the life that we dream of. Stop saying “one day.” and conquer today. Chase today. Be brave today.

And that concludes my Ted Talk inspired completely by my idol Brené Brown Thank you.

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Hearing vs. Listening

Hearing vs. Listening

In a world full of noise and information, we have a lot to sort out. Opinions are thrown in an endless bombardment of words. Companies are trying to sell you something at every scroll. We have a lot to hear these days, but are we actually listening? 

The dictionary defines hearing as “the act of perceiving sound,” and listening is defined by “something you consciously choose to do.” 

I have found in numerous conversations, especially ones that contain controversial topics, that people tend to tune out what the other person is saying, especially if they have a differing opinion. No one is listening, but they have no issue shouting their personal truth over the other. Everyone else is wrong, and you yourself is in the right. And regardless of who you are, you are guilty of this–including and especially me. 

We as a people have lost the ability to humble ourselves and admit that we might be in the wrong. We have lost the ability to truly listen to someone that has a differing opinion than us and not feel the need to point out their errors. 

We have to learn to consciously choose to listen and not have to be right all the time. We have to learn to put our humanity first and love people whose truths are different than our own. We have to learn how to humble ourselves and cross the aisle because maybe, just maybe, someone who looks differently and talks differently than us may hold the solution to our problem. 

True listening, dear friends, may be the answer to all of our predicaments. And as we listen, may it mold us into more kinder, more gracious, more compassionate, and more loving humans.

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The Responsibility of Power

The Responsibility of Power

This week I peeked into the world of photography. I’m marveled by those who can stand behind the lens and capture the world’s beauty–it absolutely fascinates me. But as someone who has stood in the Colosseum and gazed upon the Arc de Triomphe, photography has always seemed to be the last thing on my mind. I’m the tourist who gazes upon ancient piles of stone and speculates how these great wonders came to be. I get so lost in my thoughts and in the world of my imagination to remember to take out my phone and snap a picture proving I stood in the magnificent shadows of the greatest marvels mankind has ever seen.

The thing that I learned about photos was how they use the concepts of light and shadow to create the actual image. For photographers, I’m sure the concept isn’t as mind-blowing as it was to me. But to take the energy of light and darkness and make a likeness to the physical blew me away. At the essence of it all, light is the power force of all things. It is the energy that makes the world turn. So to freeze the light and shadow of things to make a still image is amazing.

Humans have the capacity to manipulate the most powerful source in the universe. They can eternally make light stand still to capture the moments of humanity’s triumph and defeat, their joy and their sadness. If we have the power to use light to make a fixed reflection, what more do we have the power to do? The possibilities are endless, and so is the responsibility.

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