My professor reminded me yesterday that worry and fear only cause paralysis. I asked her to elaborate...
"Remember that show...the one with the little mom and the little dad...they have three kids and one of them is little too? I can't remember the name. (probably, 'Little People', I thought.) Well, they all go to Australia and the entire family dives into everything, but the husband is afraid of and worried about everything. He's afraid of snorkeling, flying, hiking...you name it. He’s worried because he's afraid something bad will happen. Then, he's watching his whole family snorkel in the ocean and he stands up and says, 'What am I doing?" and dives in the water.
Every time you worry about something because of fear, or every time you worry just to worry, you’re paralyzing yourself, prohibiting yourself from really living."
And bam, I got it. My brother was paralyzed from the time he was two years old. I remember watching him lie on the couch or sit in his wheelchair for hours, because that's all he could do. I remember watching mommy open up his feeding tube for every meal, and pour in the "milk". I remember communicating with him by batting my eyelashes, blinking, kissing him--loudly--on the cheeks, giggling just so he would giggle. I remember lying next to him, pushing his stroller, being so angry when peopled stared, and missing him, missing him all of the time. I remember him being paralyzed, but never knowing him any other way.
So, it occurred to me, what if people don't know me any other way than paralyzed? What if my worry (because I'm really, really good at it) has caused me to be paralyzed? I can walk, jump, and run, I can talk to people, I can eat anything I want (trust me, I do), I can laugh and smile and work and play, because my body works that way. But how ashamed of me would Adam be, if I have all of those things but am still acting paralyzed?
Each time I worry what someone will think, each time I worry that I've made the wrong decision, each time that I worry something bad will happen, I'm paralyzing myself. Each and every time I worry just to worry, I'm like a little man watching his friends and family frolic in the ocean, and I'm still sitting in the boat.
Time to stop sitting in the boat.