When she opened the present, she was just as excited as I thought she would be, but then it hit her what it all really meant. Something sharp was going to go straight through her ear and it was going to happen soon. And that’s when the anxiety and fear began–as soon as her dream became a realistic possibility.
She’d been waiting for this moment for quite some time. But waiting until she was ready was so important, and even necessary, for the best result. And now she was finally old enough. And it was going to happen.
And it’s amazing how we can look forward to something for so long, yet become paralyzed by the very idea of it just as soon as it is close to happening. It’s shocking that there could be so much anxiety, and that we can become so paralyzed by the thought of our desire coming true.
It’s easy to claim we want something when that something is out of reach. But when that something becomes a viable possibility–an actual probability, then often that, becomes another story.
We waited a few days before we went to the store at the mall. We gave her a few days to think about it–to ponder what was about to happen and all that it meant. And in her 9-year-old Pollyanna way, she continued in her excitement as long as we were not actually getting ready to drive there. In her mind, it seemed way more exciting to enjoy the idea from afar, than to actually go experience it.
And isn’t that like us at times?
- Longing for an opportunity that is out of reach,
- Wishing we could be given the chance,
- Hoping for that next new experience.
And finally, when we are surprised by the opportunity presenting itself before us, we suddenly question our desire. We become gripped by anxiety, and stunned with fear. And the doubts flood in…
- Can I really do this?
- Will I be suited for what is required?
- What if it hurts, or doesn’t work out?
- What if I fail or embarrass myself beyond repair?
And the thoughts begin to overtake us, controlling us and preventing us from moving into the opportunity we had been longing for all along.
We arrived at the mall and watched as two other strangers got their ears pierced first. Each one not even wincing as the gun poked the earrings through. And yet, as her anxiety was building, she selected her 5mm cubic zirconias for when it became her turn.
She bravely climbed into the chair and held my hand as if she was never letting go. I could see the arch of her brows, the grimace of her face, and saw the tears begin to well. But despite the emotion, her resolve seemed to solidify. And as they began to lift the gun to her ear, I watched her decide to push her thoughts on, to what she had wanted all this time, beautiful earrings.
And it is so important…
- To push past the fear,
- To stand in opposition to the anxiety,
- And to stay focused beyond the now.
To see the benefit and reward ahead, and resolve to endure the uncomfortable moment of the now, in order for the future reward to be realized.
And while the tears fell for a time and she preferred to not use the antiseptic-soaked cotton balls three times each day, she is now enjoying the benefit of shiny new earrings–earrings that are bringing her one step closer to the grown-up young lady she is becoming.
And so, when we are presented with an opportunity–a situation we have been desiring for so long, may we push through the discomfort and fear, overcoming the anxiety of the now, so we may realize the certain joy of the reward ahead. The one we’ve waited for all this time.
Have you ever missed out on an opportunity because of fear?
Have you ever pushed through it and experienced the joy?