“A beautiful world awaits you on the other side of fear.”
Well, ain’t that the truth. I seriously believe this wholeheartedly.
This summer, we were traveling to South Carolina by way of Tennessee and North Carolina. Eastern Tennessee and North Carolina are mountainous with the Appalachian Mountains rolling through there- Great Smoky Mountain National Park is in Eastern Tennessee, and we drove right by. If you’re not aware yet, I am somewhat anxious driving through mountainous areas. By somewhat anxious, I mean very anxious. And by mountainous areas, I mean southern Missouri. But seriously- not my thing.
When Kareem found this out, he’s like wait but you climbed a mountain this summer. Well, yeah. And you drive all over and hike in mountains. Well, yeah. So you can’t be that scared! Well, he found out. 🙂
Do I look scared?? I was terrified!
When we were planning our trip this summer, I almost changed the destination due to anxiety about the route. Then we found a route that avoided what I anticipated being the worst of it, but it added several hours. That was okay with Kareem, but while on the road, we kept getting delayed and we had an event and friends to get to. So I took a deep breath, and said let’s just go through it.
Because at the end of the day, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you can’t go around it- you have to go THROUGH it. As the bear hunt song says. And it’s true.
It reminded me of my divorce. I spent lots of time being anxious about what was going to happen during and after. I spent lots of time trying to prevent it from happening. At the end of the day, I couldn’t. I had to go through it. And I’m way better for it. I am not grateful it happened, I am not counting it as a blessing, but I learned and grew from it. And on the other side- or at least further than I was at the beginning- it’s not nearly as scary. I just had to begin.
These photos are from a trip I took at the time. This is my deep breath moment. When I finally thought, okay. You just have to accept this. You have to go through it. Let’s go.
So often that’s the case, right? You just have to begin. Can’t go under it,can’t go over it, can’t go around it- gotta go through it! So let’s go.
After we started getting through the mountains, I was amazed by the beauty. I had moments that took my breath away- both from fear and from the magnificence.
Sometimes, though, you make the decision to go through it and you lose resolve. You get scared again. Or you aren’t sure of yourself. That’s okay. There were moments in those mountains where I told Kareem he had to stop. He literally could not. There was nowhere to go. I had to take a deep breath and keep going.
It was worth it, in the end. All the worrying wasn’t worth it. And now I feel more confident for the next time. The growth that happens through being courageous- being fearful but doing it anyway- well that growth is special.
That beautiful world awaited me on the other side of my fear.