I read an article yesterday about tick bites and how horrible they can be. And I get it! I totally believe they can be horrible! However, much more horrifying to me were the responses by readers saying things like "this is why I never go outside"and "guys, PLEASE don't go outside or into the woods, it's just not worth it!"
It got me thinking all day about this mentality that seems to be rampant (in America especially). We have become SO afraid! I am convinced this is mainly because of the constant news coverage on all things horrifying. It skews our perception of just how often those things actually happen! So many of us are walking around in this chronic state of fear that SOMETHING is going to kill us!
Here's the scariest part of all....we are so busy being afraid of dying that we don't even realize that we are in hiding. We are actually hiding from truly LIVING!
How do I know this? Because it's how I used to spend my life. By the time I turned 20, other than work, I spent my life almost always indoors, watching tv, eating and....hiding. I didn't want to get hot. Or dirty. Or stung by a bee. I always felt confused when people talked about how miserable the temperature outside was because, I thought, "it's a short walk from the indoors to your car and back again. What's the problem?"
Finally I reached a point in my early thirties where my fear of dying (or discomfort in general) was replaced by this overwhelming fear that life was passing me by while I stared at various screens and hid from anything uncomfortable....and the discomfort had snuck into my life anyway! I was morbidly obese, in chronic pain, always depressed and could barely climb steps without feeling like I was going to pass out. I couldn't hide from death anymore, it had found me and was circling around me like a dark, menacing shadow. And it would be a death of the most miserable kind. Slow, maybe over years. Whether it would be heart disease, diabetes or some other preventable disease, I KNEW it was coming. I could feel.
Well, one thing is for certain. When death finds me now (if it can even keep up with me), it will have to take me out hard and fast because I am living the shit out of life! I crave sunshine and sweat and dirt and even bee stings! I crave feeling alive. I push my body to the point of exhaustion and every muscle in me screams "I am alive!".
I am done with hiding. I am standing in the great big wide open where life can take me out at any moment and, when it does, I'll have no regrets about whatever causes it because I am living from my heart now and every second is precious.
So my message to anyone reading this. Stop hiding, start living. Cause, guess what, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE! Until that day, be the boss. I know that fear of discomfort. Push through it. When you make yourself uncomfortable you grow in ways you can't ever imagine and you are too busy being fully immersed in your own life to think about the "what ifs" very much. In the beginning I always asked myself the following questions when I thought about doing something and then fear started to bubble up inside of me and threaten to stop me....
Is it likely to kill me?
If the answer was no, my next question....
How soon can I do it?