Growing up, I was surrounded by kids in my neighborhood. For the most part, it was males, but I still had others to be around who were similar in age and interest. We would play basketball, wiffleball, and kickball. We would pretend to be the greatest, and for a while, feel like we were. In that community, we were unstoppable forces.
As we grow up though something tells us to seclude ourselves. Something tells us not to trust those around us with those same joys and hopes. We begin the slow slide into seclusion and isolation. For years I have kept a dream of mine strictly to myself, out of fear.
I think that’s what gets us. FEAR. We are afraid of what will be said, of the judgement, of the questions, of tarnishing that dream we cling to inwardly. We believe people will think of us less, expect more, question and encourage. It’s both sides of the coin because that’s how fear plays us. I have sat in a room with other dreamers yelling out their fears, and often shook my head in agreement or wondered why I hadn’t thought of that one.
When you voice your fear though, it takes away its power. As Jon Acuff states, “Fear fears community.” It hates to be shared. Fear wants to keep you quiet and shut off. The moment you share your fears with others is the moment truth comes pouring in. The blinders that had you focused on the fear are removed for you to see the vast world of truth around it.
Maybe we should take a few notes from our younger, more childish selves. Turn off the television, enjoy one another, share our hopes and dreams, and then cheer on one another when you go after them.
I know I am currently doing that as a part of the Start Experiment along with 23 other writers in Group 8, and alongside a couple of thousand other Starters. We got the start line, and we took off together for the next 24 days. We’re acting like kids, challenging and cheering one another on, and sharing our fears. Because when you tell someone of the monster under your bed or in your closet, you are no longer alone. Truth flips on the light.