The future used to be overwhelming, when I thought about too much of it.
Have you ever been in a pool with a deep end that suddenly drops off? Swimming along, touching down every few minutes to make sure you’re still safe. And then… suddenly… you’re in the deep end.
I did this once, when I was 18, at a public pool, holding a baby I was taking care of. I had no idea that I was walking toward the deep end, with the baby on my hip. Talk about panic! I was going under. The baby was going under. Thank God someone saw me QUICKLY! A complete stranger jumped into the pool and grabbed me, yanked me, to the edge of the pool. I grabbed the ledge, and my feet felt the bottom, just in time. The baby was ok.
This is what I feel like, when I think about too much of the future. So, I just take a slice. I live in the moment because that is all I can handle. I don’t consider this a weakness. Just a lesson learned.
Most of what I know has been learned from my mistakes…
Don’t eat while laying down, even if your parents don’t know … you’ll choke on a graham cracker.
Look both ways before you cross the street, every time, even on a super fast Hot Wheels big wheel when you’re five years old … cars can’t see you until it’s almost too late.
Avoid bumps in the sidewalk when you’re rollerskating …you’ll end up horizontal with a headache and an image of your mom’s coffee mug etched in your mind forever. FOREVER.
Be courageous. Don’t let anyone change you. Block guilt trips. And people, if necessary.
Look fear in the face. Don’t run from it. It gains power when you run from it. (Picture the snowballs that devour people on their path, in all of the winter cartoons and silly Christmas movies). Fear will take you out if you let it. Face it, put your fists up, and knock it out. Every time it tries to convince you that you’re weak, just punch it in the face. This is not fabricated… fear is fueled by you. If you let it convince you that you’re weak, you are the only one to blame.
Release anger. Just like fear, it will try to control you. The more anger you allow in, the stronger it gets. (Picture an IV that injects cement into your heart). Choose to let it go. I know it is not easy. I held onto it my whole life. I was angry about EVERYTHING – my parents’ divorce, my new weekend “schedule” that kept me from friends, my new “family,” moving, and then moving again. I was angry at my mom, my dad, and my unrequested world. This went on for a very long time. The anger grew to what felt like a solid Eiffel Tower inside my heart. Until I let it all go.
One day. at. a. time.