I’ve been teetering around the edges of what I might want to do. Not that I haven’t been busy writing books, and organizing my life, ranch, and causes. But, I’ve been looking at what I really might like to do. And there are a few things on the list.
It’s been hard to think about them when the passion has been wrung out of my life. Nothing seems to matter as much as the life that I lost when my Buddy died. Everything pales in comparison.
So, how do I find passion again? And I wonder – does the grief cover up the things I care about? Deaden the sound of its call? Is it a way of staying safe while I heal?
And then, there is the fear. Who am I now without my loved one?
I am treading into such foreign territory. And it’s frightening.
Who am I? I would feel so much more comfortable if I could just take a permanent vacation. I would just drift, not worry about money, houses, families, possessions… In a way, disengage from life. A wonderful way to hide forever. But can I do that? No. Well…not unless I want to spend the rest of my life sleeping in KOA campgrounds.
I have questioned why I haven’t moved ahead on some things that were meaningful to me before. And I can only think that it’s the fear of becoming this new person. The person without my loved one. It’s the new frontier. The unproven life.
I had dinner with an old friend, and I mentioned my hesitation in pursuing particular work, that I feel so “out of it,” that I’m afraid I won’t find my way back in again. And he said,
“You have to do the thing you’re afraid of. You have to. That’s how we learn, that’s how we grow.”
Ping. His words cut right through me. Yes, that’s how we learn and grow. How great is it to be reminded of that? When I had started to become more effective in my life was when I stopped worrying about failure. If I failed, so what – I’ll just come at it a different way.
But I surprised myself that I had a positive reaction to his words. They inspired me. And it made me think – maybe I have not lost my passion so much as I’ve been afraid to live without my husband.
I’ve always thought that one of the hardest things I could do after I lost him would be to actually be happy again.
And then, as if the universe was coming in with a resounding “yes!” to facing fears, the next day, another friend buoyed me up in an almost identical way, echoing the same encouraging words about moving forward, and growing. And I tell you; sometimes all I need is a little encouragement. A little can go a long way with me. (you know what – I don’t think it would hurt if we all encouraged each other more. Whaddya think?)
I love Eleanor Roosevelt, who had once said: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
And who am I? My friends reminded me that I am not just this little, hurt girl that I feel like I am most of the time – but the woman who suited up, faced, and fought against death itself when my husband was sick. What can be more frightening and challenging?
Do what you are afraid of – I felt the call. And I got a glimpse of something that just might be tantalizing in my life. And you know what? My teetering on the edge feels like it’s blossoming into commitment to do the things I’ve been putting off for so long now, make the phone calls I’ve delayed… I’m going to take a chance. Jump in with both feet. I’m not sure where it’s going to take me yet. I won’t know until I’m really in it. But I won’t know where it will take me unless I try.