On vacation this past July my 90 year-old grandmother scooted herself onto the blue wood. Her arthritic fingers wrapped around the braided rope, she held on with all her strength. She raised her sandaled feet from the grassy ground below and started to swing.
To my eight year-old daughter this swing was not daunting. It is part of the fabric of her adolescents, feet raised high, wind blowing through her hair. But for my Grandmother?
I was worried for her at first, afraid she might let go and fall backwards. But she just smiled.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do something every day that scares you." And I believe part of intentional living means taking risks and facing fears.
I love to sing and have been doing so, in earnest, since high school. For years I performed with a belly full of butterflies fluttering within my stomach. One day I asked my voice teacher if I would ever sing without feeling so horribly nervous. Would there be a time when the overwhelming fear would cease and my hands and voice no longer shook?
Her answer was simple. The more times you do it, the less nervous you will feel. And she was right.
Fear can deter us from good things. Fear can keep us from pursuing things we are interested in. We need not wait for fear to disappear before we participate in life.
Nelson Mendela said, "…courage (is) not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
So we can live intentionally by facing our fears — whether it's finding courage to kill the spider climbing in the bathtub, stepping out of our comfort zones, or lifting our feet off the ground and swinging free at 90 years-old.
How might you intentionally face your fears today?
This is the second post in a series, called 31 days of Intentional Living. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith