Friday, January 6, 2012

Slip slidin' away

Little bear, as we know, as an adventurous little bear. He likes to explore new things, but sometimes he also has to get over his fears. Today, little bear discovered a playground. Now, admittedly, the playground is built for big people so he had a bit of trouble accessing the play structures... but he did succeed!

The first thing he tried was the slide. As we all know... a slide can appear a little daunting at first, especially for little bears/people. It takes a lot of gumption to climb up that ladder, stand way up there in the sky and then slide down. Like most (all?) of us on our first attempt at the slide, little bear was a bit fearful of the big climb up the ladder. He quickly learned that it's best if one does not look down. He kept his eye on where he was going, not on where he had been (or where he might end up, if he lost his focus), and eventually stood in triumph at the top! But now what? He either has to go down the slide... or crawl back down the stairs in ignominious defeat. After a bit of dithering, little bear took the plunge and slid down! His only comment upon reaching the bottom was "again!!". I suppose the anxious climb, the dithering at the top were all worth the exhilaration of that 4 second slide!

That's how it works sometimes. We dread something, we work through it in anxious fear, looking for all the reasons why this is not a good idea. We dither and sidestep and dance back from the edge. We put ourselves through an awful lot of pain and suffering and worry and fear... only to come out the other end and go "again!!". Whether it's learning how to ski or snowboard... skydive or skate... water ski or ride a bike... perform in a play or sing in a concert. At the end of it, we recognize that really, it was all worth it, very much worth it... and we want to do it "again!".

Mind you, there are times, where we turn back from that "ladder" of fear and anxiety. We decide that we're not going to go through with it. We don't really see the pay-off at the end and we very much doubt that we'll be laughing "again!" at the end of it. But if we never do it... if we never move through the fear and the anxiety, we really won't know what the outcome would have been. We let the "ladder" of fear and anxiety stop us... Maybe the fear and anxiety is actually a good barometer that a wild adventure awaits us... if we have the spirit to move through the fear... and come out the other side, out of breath, adrenaline rushing and crying "again, again!".

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