Courage is being really, really scared… and jumping in anyway


I love the person I am right now. I love the person I have evolved into over the past few years.

One friend recently described me as someone who was like a crumpled piece of paper that has slowly uncrumpled over the past few years and am now light enough for the slightest breeze to take me away.

Another friend described me as a closed flower that has now opened.

Isn’t it funny how other people see you, isn’t usually the way you see yourself? I see myself more like a salted caramel chocolate, like the ones my chocolatier friend makes. Hard dark chocolate shell with gooey caramel inside.

I have a tough exterior when needed. But I’m soft and gooey inside. And sometimes, my exterior gets cracked and some of the soft, gooey caramel escapes to the outside.

Right now, my gooey caramel centre is feeling scared.

It’s scared and wondering if I can do this business gig on my own or should I go get a job?

It’s scared and wondering whether I have the strength to sort out an asset split between my ex and me?

It’s scared and wondering what kind of damage I’m doing to my kids through the divorce process?

It’s scared and wondering if there’s an easier way?

It’s scared and wondering if I will ever feel totally whole again? But then I think, did I ever feel totally whole before???

It’s scared and wondering if I will find someone who loves me for me? But then I think, I love who I am now. Is that enough?

It’s scared and wondering how on earth I can ever be inspirational to those people who tell me I’m inspiring when I’m so scared and wondering…

Deep in my heart, in the middle of that gooey centre, I know the answers to these questions. I know the answers just take courage.

Do I let myself get caught up in my gooey centre? Maybe for a day or two. It’s ok to take to my bed, turn off my phone and cry for a while. And then sleep.

But eventually, I realise I have to get up. I have to face these fears. The only way through fear is to face the fear itself.

What am I most scared of? Being alone?? Is that it?

Being on your own can be scary. You don’t have a cheerleader in your life; a partner, a parent, someone who means a lot to you, giving you encouragement and helping you up when you stumble. You have to be your own cheerleader; making sure you get up, get out of bed and face your fears, over and over again. That can be hard to do. And fear of not being able to do that is a reason lots of people who want to leave their marriages, stay.

But, in one way or another I have been alone most of my life. I was lonelier in my marriage than I’ve ever been since I left. Most days I relish the time I have on my own. And when I am feeling a bit lonely, I either embrace it or phone a friend.

Besides, don’t we end up spending much of our life alone? Look at my 95-year-old friend who recently died. She must have been so scared at 28 when her first husband died. She thought she’d be alone, bringing up four kids. Then she met her second husband and had thirty-seven wonderful years with him before he died. She lived more than 30 more years on her own again. I wonder, what carried her through?

If I am a spiritual being having a human experience, then it only makes sense that I am here on this journey alone. The Universe will make sure the right people come in and out of my life at the right times, but for much of the way, I have to be on my own to learn my own life’s lessons. No one else can learn them for me.

And if I have learned anything on my journey so far, it is that the more I embrace a feeling, like loneliness, let it encompass me, take me over and suck me in, then usually the faster I move through that feeling.

So tonight, I succumb to the loneliness. I succumb to the fear of being alone. I refuse to lessen my standards just because I am scared. I refuse to let the fear beat me.

I jump in anyway.

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