Friday, February 20, 2009

The theory of relativity

It’s all relative. A matter of perspective. A determination of your point of view. In my last post I wrote about my attitude of “Do it anyway.” My means of making sure that I don’t spend my life huddled in a corner, paralyzed by my fear. I wrote how many years of practicing this have made many of my fears disappear and many others lessen in intensity.

Well, that sounds all well and good, but just exactly how did I arrive at this particular philosophy? How did I decide that I could “do it anyway”?

As a child I was struck by hearing so many folks say things like, “I could never give a speech/dance in front of people/fill in the blank of your particular fear; it would kill me!”

I thought that was so odd. It just sounded strange; not right somehow. As I grew older I realized that I thought it was odd because I was automatically thinking, “It will NOT!” You see, I knew about things that could kill you. I have been in situations of abuse that did kill my spirit and could have physically done lasting harm if not death. And these things that folks kept going on about were NOT in that category.

I had a yardstick by which I could measure the potential threat or danger of a situation.

Let me weigh the circumstances – give a speech, take a beating. Does the thought of making the speech make my stomach churn? Yes, it does. Will it kill me? No, it won’t. Does my churning stomach make me uncomfortable? Yes, it does. Will it kill me? No, it won’t. And even if I totally bomb, sound ridiculous, and have spinach in my teeth, there is nothing the audience can say or do to me that would even come close to what I endured as a child. So what is there, really, to fear? Do it anyway.


P.S. As for my spirit? As the old joke goes, I thought it was dead. But it got better.

What yardstick do you use to judge whether or not you will pursue an activity?

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