picturing COURAGE

Don’ t walk with fear in your heart.

This what my guide said to me after I slipped into the river about 10 feet above a waterfall we were hiking across in Tobago. It wasn’t a technically challenging hike. In fact, we had already done the brunt of the work. We simply had to hop across a few boulders in the stream to get to the other side. But my mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. What if I slipped and fell in? And guess what? That’s exactly what I did. After being fished out by Tom and the guide, I was perfectly fine, except for a few cuts, sopping clothes, and a raw ego.

So often we let fear of the unknown, fear of criticism, fear of rejection, fear of being imperfect, fear of seeming silly or self-centered, or fear of failure take up residence in our hearts on our life journeys. Ultimately, that fear rarely comes to fruition. And, if it does, we are often surprised to find that we have more courage in our souls than we gave ourselves credit for (and sometimes, in the end, we are grateful for fear manifest because we grow in unforeseen ways).

Most of the time, however, fear is much more insidious. It creates obstacles that don’t really exist. What if my manuscript gets rejected? Well, it definitely won’t get published if you never submit it. It makes the negative seem like reality, when the positive is just as realistic. What if someone thinks my photography sucks. Well, what if someone thinks your photography is inspiring? I don’t have time really means that I’m too scared to make space for this in my life.

Perhaps worse, we often pass that fear to others on our journey. Sometimes a well-meaning comment that stems from our own “stuff” — our worries and insecurities — can make our creative companions second-guess themselves. Fear can be like a virus, playing house in the spirits that we touch.

Today, I’m trying to picture the courage in my soul to move through the fear. Not to try to ignore it or act like I’m not sometimes scared shitless (about most things in life, actually), but to recognize it as a natural obstacle on all of our journeys. If we let the light, the universe, God,  shine on and work through us, it can replace that fear with courage. And that light opens our hearts and makes us bigger and stronger, ready to face and savor the inevitable challenges and victories along the way. Don’t walk with fear in your heart. I’m trying to focus on this simple statement in my photography, writing, relationships, running, and life, and walk out of the shadows of fear and into a bigger and more powerful me.

    • Tiffany Hogan
    • October 11th, 2010

    Amen Sister!

    • Tom
    • October 11th, 2010

    I love it!

  1. Love it! I’m going to hold onto that message, too. Thank you. xo

    • Celina Wyss
    • October 11th, 2010

    “we are often surprised to find that we have more courage in our souls than we gave ourselves credit for”
    Love this!

    • Dad
    • October 12th, 2010


    I needed a lot of that this summer!!!!


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