Do you ever allow "what if?" to hold you back? To keep you in your comfort zone, stay surrounded by the familiar. You have an idea, a flash of inspiration or a long held dream and any step of action is thwarted by a negative answer to "what if?" Hard to admit but I am guilty of this and it has taken me until almost 40 to even realise!! I had until recently, told myself that by thinking about the 'what ifs?' I was being a realist, thinking things through. Not so at all.
I have had some fantastic opportunities come my way and on recent reflection I feel like I haven't really lived every inch of them. I've played it safe and small. Ouch, again hard to admit. Why have I done this? Because, what if it doesn't work out? what if people don't like it? what if I lose money and time? what if I start and then don't know how to continue? what if I had to say no to someone? ...what if? what if? what if?
Well, the truth is this sort of thinking is completely crippling. It is also a habit. A habit that can be broken. Thankfully this new found awareness was lovingly brought to my attention by some nearest and dearest and I can make changes to free myself from this affliction starting with returning to yoga to clear my mind and calm my nervous edge, by taking my friend Bron up on the offer of a massage and turning off the negative 'what if?' button in my brain, and then getting on with as the saying goes 'feeling the fear and doing it anyway'.
For me this feeling has not coincided with motherhood, it existed long before; but I know for some women it does coincide with motherhood, as becoming a mother can simultaneously expand a woman's creative and loving heart and mind in the most wonderful ways and reduce it painfully in others. The reducing can also take away confidence. If you can relate to this, I always find the analogy of thinking about life in seasons so helpful, that you are in a season and the season will change. It is also very important though to seek out and surround yourself with people who will support you to step into the next season when it arrives.
Now if you will indulge me a little further, I'd like to finish this post with the lyrics of a song written and performed last night by River who is one month away from turning six and like most parents do with their children I marvel at his view of the world and how he puts words together. To give context to this song, we are not raising our boys to follow a particular religion or faith, we talk about the spirit world and the natural world, so with that in mind I soaked in River's song when he performed it for the first time last night.
Standing before his audience of Sol and I with his toy electric guitar around his neck he introduced himself, "Hello my name is River and this song is called 'God'". And then proceeded to sing:
God is special
because they are always there for you
and they help you if you are sad
they are in your head when you dream
they are special and bright
they are special because they are there
forever and ever and ever and ever.
I love that God is plural. I hope this post has been a helpful start for those who are wanting to move forward with their dreams and passions. Or even with just folding the washing. What if we never folded the washing again?!