Quote of the day: “Every time life brings you to a crossroads, from the tiniest to the most immense, go toward love, not away from fear. Think of every choice in terms of ‘What would thrill and delight me?’ rather than ‘What will keep my fear—or the events, people, and things I fear—at bay?’ ” — Martha Beck, How to Stop Regretting Decisions
Go toward love, not away from fear
One of the practices that has made all the difference in my life and my photography is the practice of looking forward towards what I want in my life, instead of looking back and avoiding what I’m afraid of or what I don’t want.
Fear is a powerful force that can protect us and teach us. But it can also stop us in our tracks and keep us from what we desire most. When I talk about my Hawaii walk-about last winter, (I went by myself to live in Hawaii for almost 3 months and make photographs) I’m often surprised by people’s reactions.
A few people get that bright-eyed look that says “Oh, how wonderful! I want to do something like that.”
But many more respond with a wide-eyed, fear-filled “I could never do what you did,” or “I’d never be brave enough to do that.” Some people even add the dreaded phrase “…at your age…” as if age has anything to do courage.
I was afraid of a few things before I went and during my trip but most of my fears were easily conquered. It had been a long time since I had traveled alone. I was concerned about whether I would be able to handle the physical challenges of travel, given my many years of chronic pain issues.
A few times I let my fear stop me from doing something, but if it was something that would “thrill and delight me” I usually found a way to step through the fear towards what I love. Sometimes it was as simple as asking myself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Often I asked simply, “If not now, when?” Those two simple questions and the knowledge that life is short provided the energy to overcome the inertia of fear.
Combining the questions with a willingness to experience discomfort and look stupid on occasion, and the trust that if necessary I could adapt and change my plans, gave me the courage to step through fear into delight and adventure.
What would thrill or delight you? Why not take one small step towards it today? If not now, when?