Did you know Dr. Ruth has a huge collection of ornamental turtles? She says it’s to remind her: if you want to move forward you’ve got to stick your neck out.
I nearly titled this post: …on the 16th day she freaked out. ’cause that’s what I’m feeling today. I fear I may have stuck my neck out so far I’m going to fall on my face. Not that that would be the end of the world – I know I have friends who will circle around me, have a good laugh at the spectacular nature of my crash, and help me pick gravel out of my face. But still, being waaaaay out there is a scary place to be.
I once threw a party in Junior High (in fact, my first boy-girl party since puberty ruined everything). And nobody came. I have since hosted many a gathering without being left standing alone in my livingroom; but I still carry that teenage horror with me, and it’s rearing it’s ugly head as I organize this Sambafied event [insert shameless plug here]. This is my first big public undertaking and I don’t know how that’s gonna go, and this time it’s not just me and the punch bowl, but a whole bunch of people who are counting on me to pull this off.
I’m on a new instrument in Samba (lots of samba angst in my brain today). A Surdo, which is a great big drum, the heartbeat of the band. Samba is a whole bunch of different patterns all fitting together, and particularly for rookies, there’s a bit of room to just listen to that groove train and then jump on board when you can. Surdos are the engine; I need to be diving in right from the get-go. Solid, driving that train. I’m stepping up what I expect of myself as a drummer, and giving more to a band that’s counting on me.
And this amazing community has taken hold on this website – and surprised the hell out of me (though it shouldn’t, based on who I am, what I value, and how I interact with people). Unwittingly, I created a space, and something wonderful grew. I feel a profound sense of stewardship of that, and utter cluelessness as to what I’m supposed to do, where this is going. That combined sense of responsibility and lack of direction is angst inducing. People are counting on me, and I’m not even sure what for.
Oh yeah, and every day I have to get up, sit (or procastinate a lot… then sit), and then post. Tales of fears, struggles, insights, triumphs (10,000 views YAY!). Balance that heartfelt sincerity and willing vulnerability (vulnerability… bleh!) with a private life and world I’m entitled to protect.
I’m sticking my neck out in just about every facet of my life right now, and I’m terrified.
I’ve been reading a book by Cynthia Bourgeault on Centering Prayer (and really happy to find all those practices I’ve learned through Taoist and Buddhist means have a place in Christianity). In it she talks about using a sacred word. Akin to a mantra, it’s not something for you to be contemplating, but an anchor to bring you back to the meditation. So as I tried to sit with my freak out today I knew I needed something to hold on to: peace…love…openness….bleh… not working. Then…TRUST.
Trust. Just allowing that word to be there while I sat made me cry. Trust. Every risk is an exploration in trust, and I don’t know if I’m ready for it, but I’ve set myself up for it all the same.
Over two decades of chronic illness means I’ve very little trust in myself. People are counting on me, and when I’m not really used to even counting on myself, that’s a really scary idea.
But I’m never going to move forward if I don’t stick my neck out.