1) Do something you fear.
2) Do something you have put off or procrastinated about.
3) Do something you have never done before.
This week I visited some admirable family caregivers in a hospital, got outside and took these photos of a sculpture whose meaning dovetailed beautifully with all my insights about fear. It was a reunion of sorts with this section of very familiar trail over my several years of living/working in Seattle and being at Children's Hospital with my own child. But the sculpture was a surprise to me. I googled the artist's intent here.
For my Fear Challenge, I am choosing specific activities, some new, some a relief to get done, some funny, some personally terrifying, but it occurred to me the moment I was walking this trail that ALL the elements of the Fear Challenge are included in caregiving. I suddenly understood why the Fear Challenge brought up all these feelings I recognized.
Caregiving is full of making vigilant decisions ranging from life and death to life-altering to deciding between a series of worst case scenarios to making sure daily tasks are completed for catastrophe prevention to deciding how to introduce joy and increase quality of life inside limitations for the person being cared for.
To sit with a decision, especially within a time frame not of your own making (for a surgery or medical decision), means sitting at the edge of fear. It is during the time of decision when the fear hangs in the air. Once the decision arrives, the fear dissipates, instantaneously becomes recognizable as "no fear at all" or remains but shape shifts into something "fear less" resigned to be a portal one must walk through.
One thing I am becoming more aware of is how often Life serves us despite our fears. I was walking with a caregiver in this moment and happened upon this sculpture created to represent natural cycles of forest renewal while studying ecopsychology and doing a fear challenge. "Not Yet" and "Already" speak loud and clear.
How do you see Life serves you? I would love to hear in the comments.
Call for Caregiver Blog Posts
I am a compulsive proofreader so you can send anything in rough form of any length (even a sentence or paragraph) and I can proofread and post it. Healing Outdoors has a small friendly readership, but it is a public forum, so if you wish to leave out details of your situation, you are welcome to post anonymously. We all benefit from your sharing!