So I am a cat person. I never thought I would be and neither did my husband (he has a pretty hilarious story about getting attacked by a cat…you’ll have to ask him sometime). But last summer a little kitten wandered into our lives when we least expected it and she quickly became a part of the family. She is almost like a person in our home; we talk to her, fight with her, discipline her, feed her (probably too much, since she is starting to get a little round around the middle) and love her, probably in unhealthy amounts.
It makes us crazy cat people, we know, but you should see her cute little face. So naturally because I love her so much, I am totally overprotective. Now you’re thinking that I should be locked away because she’s just a cat, right?
But she intentionally does things that make me super nervous. Like trying to eat food off the stove while it’s still hot, or walking along our banister which is easily 12 feet from the ground. Yes, again she is a cat so she should always land on her feet, but a few weeks ago she slipped and fell from the banister and she landed flat on her side.
I was a bit panicked (lol, you’re probably thinking “yeah right… a bit?”), and was so happy that she was fine. I thought at least she learned her lesson and she won’t be doing that again. HA! I don’t think even 24 hours passed before she was back up there trying to slide her furry feet gracefully along the slick wood finish, causing my heart to nearly beat out of my chest.
But I was impressed by her fearlessness. Now in this case I’m sure she wasn’t thinking (because she’s a cat, which I feel like I need to keep telling you so you know I know she is just a cat) about overcoming her fear, but it made me think about the things that I avoid because I am scared.
Courage is elusive to some people. It requires that we find the strength to face things that scare us, or fight to try something new without reassurance that things will turn out the way we want. We could end up embarrassed, looking foolish, being made fun of, or finding out we aren’t as good as we thought.
I always feel incredibly sorry for the people who try out for American Idol and don’t make it. Can you imagine what it must be like to have people tell you that you can sing, and then when you try out in front of 3 talented musical icons you find out you’re not good enough? I can’t imagine I’d have the courage to ever sing again much less come back and try out the next year. But people DO! They muster the courage to face their fears and go back.
Much like last week when I talked about diapers (if you don’t know what I’m talking about well go read it!) falling down or failing is incredibly hard. But getting back up and facing what pushed you down is harder.
Maybe you want to do something but haven’t been able to muster the courage. Maybe you want to pursue a dream that you might not achieve, maybe you want to ask out a boy who might say no, maybe you want to learn to do something you aren’t sure you’ll be good at, maybe you want to do something as simple as cut all your hair off for the summer but the thought of it looking horrible is enough to keep you out of the salon.
Fear can be crippling, and life is too short to be crippled. I know finding courage is hard, and terrifying, and sometimes seems like a stupid idea (like my cat deciding to walk on a slippery railing again which, actually, is really stupid) but you gain something incredible when you take a chance and show courage. You gain strength. You become stronger, better, smarter, fearless, and beautiful.
Everyone can play it safe, but showing courage is something only a few can do.
This season do something you are afraid of or that you’ve been putting off. Be adventurous (and if you need some tips ask my girl Andrea, she’ll hook you up), live outside of the “safe” box and dare yourself to face your fear.
Go sky diving, and invite me! But you jump first because while I’m watching you fall to earth I’ll be searching for the courage to follow. If I don’t find it don’t be mad… like I said finding courage can be hard.
Photo Credit © Kara Dekker