Every now and then I need to remind myself to face my fears. Normally when I do, they seem to mostly fade away. So the other night I decided to face one fear I have had since I was a child and that is the fear of darkness. I went outside and started walking down a trail not far from my house.
Walking along, I neared a place where someone had spray painted the word “FEAR” in white letters across the black asphalt pavement. The word was located in a remote part of the path, far from any houses, and where no light reached the trail. I began to think about the word and then all of a sudden was startled by a rustling noise in the trees next to the path.
My body responded by injecting adrenaline into my bloodstream which got my heart pounding and I quickened my step as I tried to figure out what made the noise and if the noisemaker was a threat or not. All this happened in a split second, and I soon realized that a small animal must have been dozing in the woods and my approach down the path startled it as much as it startled me. I continued my walk, smiling to myself at how thinking about fear, had essentially increased my fear.
Passion is another feeling I need to face. Somewhere along the fear dominated paths of life I came to believe that one should not follow their passion – for that could lead you into dangerous places, places where people were out to get you or where strange creatures might be lurking. But as I face fears and get out into the darkness, I have learned that following passions is much more interesting than avoiding fears. Following passion sheds light on the darkness.
Today on another walk down the path during the daylight, I was happy to see a number of positive messages written along the path in pastel colored sidewalk chalk – a good reminder to me to follow the passion – because as the sidewalk chalk writer reminded me - “YOU CAN DO IT!”