I won’t lie, there were lots of nerves, pressing the publish button on my blog. What if’s were rampaging through my head… most of them accompanied by some vision of a catastrophic outcome… ultimately all being about whether baring my soul, my struggles, my wounds and revealing how I try to overcome them would become ‘awkward’ as I met the neighbours, the school moms, the real-life people, as opposed to the virtual ones.
Ultimately, it was about the vulnerability of being so ‘real’ and how that can sometimes not feel safe. But I haven’t gotten to being a fortysomething woman, without feeling vulnerable, being forced to face my fears and having to press the go button before….
There have been the small achievements… like the fact that I can now pick up a spider lurking in my bathroom and place it outside the window, rather than run out of the room on sight of it, imagining I’ll never have a shower in that bathroom again.
But there have been the bigger ones too. Like that time, I had three heart attacks, a cardiac arrest, open heart surgery and was told some of my heart was now dead. That was indeed a fearful moment, most especially wondering if I’d ever see my children again, when there was no guarantee I’d make it make it from the hospital bed to the bathroom at the time without dropping down dead on the way.
Though the fear was high, as a mother of three kids, I knew that bathroom trip had to be made if I was ever going to have any hope of getting home to raise them. And that was what I wanted more than anything.
The moral of the story is, I suppose, that the carrot dangling before us, has to ignite a bigger positive in our beings, than the fear itself, so that we can push the go button.
My kids were and are my giant carrot for pushing the buttons in my life each day, but sometimes the need for that non-negotiable shower is enough of a to make me plough through the fear and press the button on the window handle to set its eight-legged occupant free.
And so too with this project for me. Might there be fearful moments ‘revealing’ my truths, yes, and awkward moments when my virtual and real life collide, again maybe yes, but I suspect in reality, many of those real people I’ll be bumping into might well be living through similar challenges, so maybe it’ll be less awkward than I might imagine.
Either way, the passion is there in my soul, to share the tough times because I have seen how it can help someone in the same boat, through the public speaking and media work I do. Relief in another’s face, or comfort to another’s mind, who feels isolated and lost in their challenges, but might now feel less alone in their struggles, by my being ‘real’ is worth it for me, because I too have known what it is like to be scrambling in the loneliness of a difficult situation and desperate for someone to accompany me along the journey.
So though there might be fears, there is also, for me, a bigger purpose, which is the reason I am standing at the precipice of the fear and deciding to go ahead regardless.
I have found that ‘feeling the fear but doing it anyway’ has worked for those spider situations. I am hoping it will work for this blogging stuff too!
© Pauline O’Shea
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