There are things in life that scare us. Like bad people doing bad things, or losing the people you love, or cutting your hand on the top of a tuna can. And those things are understandably scary. But we also have to admit to ourselves that most of these things have not happened to us in the last five minutes, and it’s rather illogical to spend our time worrying about whether they might happen to us in the next five minutes. That future is clearly something that we cannot control. Unless we completely isolate ourselves from society, loved ones, and tuna. Which doesn’t sound like much of a life anymore. Especially without tuna. I’m kidding. Sort of.
If we were going to rank fears on a scale of scariness, I think we could safely place ginormous hairy spiders below losing a loved one. But what about never ever living your life true to yourself because you’re busy worrying about what other people think you should do or be? That’s way up there on the list, isn’t it? And if we’re scared to live our life as authentically as possible, then what the hell are we doing here?
The funny thing about having a kid is that you find yourself saying things you either didn’t know you knew, or things that you never thought you’d say. And then you realize that ‘oh crap, I just said something and now I’m going to have to live that, stand in my truth, and overcome my own fears, just so I can be exactly that person who I just told my tiny human I was.’ It’s one of life’s beautiful tricks– that we must embody the loving capable flawed badass that we continually ask our little ones to be.
Allow me to illustrate. Last week, Wyatt and I were driving down the road when a particularly saucy song came on the radio which caused me to start dancing. It happens often. I asked Wy if he wanted to dance, and he immediately started to clap his hands and get funky with his bad self. It was amazing. And I blurted out “Wyatt, don’t ever be afraid to dance. It’s beautiful!”
And then I felt it. The hollow pit in my stomach echoing the words I had just channeled from the ether. Crap. Double crap. I am now caught by my own declaration. It is now imperative that I must never be afraid to dance. Okaaay… Not really a big problem on some level. I go to dance class, I dance. We’re cool, right? Well… ish. We’re cool-ish. Because if I can dance for only some people some of the time, then that doesn’t really work for ‘never being afraid to dance’ ever.
Letting myself be seen by the world, doing the thing I most love doing- i.e. dancing-, might very well be so high up on the scary list that I’ve determined it insurmountable. But who am I if I can’t truly be myself, take up space unapologetically, and rise above the confines of other peoples’ limited perceptions? How can I teach my boy that he is undeniably beautiful in every expression his soul contains? How can I teach other women to dance fearlessly without allowing my own self to do so?
For my boy, for my self, and for all the women who hold themselves back for fear of shame, failure or ridicule–