Sometimes you can’t simply conquer fear. I suppose I should make it personal and admit that I can’t. It doesn’t matter how many times I say the Jesus Prayer, or whisper Please, God…….. the fear won’t budge.
Truth is that a few months ago during one of our walks a newly homed rescue dog took a dislike to Misty. It high-vaulted over a fence as if on springs, ran straight across the track and jumped on top of her with much fierce growling and yapping. Fortunately, HBTW was with us and was able to shout loudly enough to chase the attacker away, but by that time my heart was thumping fit to bust, and Misty was none too happy either.
Since then, due to lack of confidence and various health problems, I have avoided taking little dog on her own – whilst at the same time berating myself for being a coward. Today, HBTW was out all day on volunteer driving and Misty took herself off to bed for a sad day. I filled in by reading some blogs and came across a comment on one by someone who made taking the dog out a focus for her day. She sounded so together and so positive, the way people often think I am. Slowly, ever so slowly I persuaded myself that I could do this. When I was putting on the trainers, Misty came running with a surprised look as if to say, but Mummy, we don’t do this on our own any more……….. She was bouncing around with infectious enthusiasm when she saw her collar being produced.
I wish I could say that it was easy…… but life is not that simple. I enjoyed the walk; Misty loved it, but I had to hurry past the garden where the offending dog had come from. Heart was in my mouth (Oh how I understand that phrase,) pulse beating faster, palms sweaty, steps quickened. When we eventually reached the meadow by the river, I had to remind myself to look round at the beauty spread out before me. The butterflies were flocking on the knapweed and the house martins were still swooping on the riverbank. The grass was waving in the slight breeze and my companion was bouncing and wagging and happy and full of the joys of life. As I stood and looked I realised that conquering fear is not what is important, what matters is to have the courage to step out and do the thing anyway.
On the way home I met a friend who told me how much better I looked, and was able to smile and say Yes, I am a lot better thanks. OK – I scurried past “the house”…….. but we made it. So you see, I don’t have life sorted, I am not very brave, in fact the word “wimp” comes to mind. But maybe next time it will be easier.