Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Facing a Challenge
Yesterday I faced a challenge I had never before undertaken and I was terrified. I was to be interviewed on a radio program for caregivers about my book. I was thrilled and flattered when I was invited and naturally said yes. But as time drew near for me to carry out this commitment, a huge part of me didn't want to take the risk - wanted to run and hide and play it safe.
"I am a writer, not a speaker," I wanted to tell them. "Don't make me speak. The words don't come out the same way. I don't know why, they just don't. It's always been that way. And furthermore, I hate attention. I hate talking about myself. I am not a self-promoter. It's not in me. I can promote others, but not myself. Please don't make me."
I was asked for a few talking points and since I didn't have a clue I asked a friend. She is a talker and put my thoughts perfectly into words. She said exactly the right things. I begged her to sit in for me. She could pretend to be me, I told her! No one would be the wiser. Of course, being the friend that she is, she refused. It was my growing edge and we both knew it.
Throughout the day I felt increasingly ill. I wanted to run and hide. Mid-afternoon I heard a voice inside of me say "just now...just do now". And I knew it was true. I could handle the moment I was in. Every time my focused slipped away and I started dwelling on my fears, I brought myself back to the moment I was in by repeating the words "just now". Each time I did, my body relaxed and my fears slipped into the background.
When things seem to big for us - problems too overwhelming - we often fall into a state of worry and dread about the future that can be debilitating. The fact of the matter is, our problems may be too big to solve all at once, but we can handle this moment. And we will handle the next one the same way...and the next.
I have more challenges ahead, like everyone. But having learned this little lesson in survival, I know I will rely on it as often as I can. When life sets your nerves on edge and hands you an obstacle that fills you with dread or terror, no matter how small or silly it may seem, try breathing in "just now"...breathing out "only now". We all can do anything one step at a time.
The interview is on Blog Talk Radio and can be accessed through the portal at the top of the page. Please offer me a little grace if you decide to listen to it.