Friday, March 18, 2011

Keep on Swimming


"Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming swimming." Dory in Finding Nemo

On Wednesday I gave my first Toastmaster's speech. My heart was beating so hard....my mouth was really dry...my hands wouldn't stop shaking.  All my life I've  struggled with being seen.....and being heard. But I'm determined now....to stand up....not run....not hide....and have my voice.

Fear always dictated what I did or didn't do. It ruled my life...pushing me to live less than the best. It's intensity forced me to reach for anything to shut it down...things that almost killed me...like drugs...and throwing up and cutting myself. 

I know the opposite of fear is faith....someone once told me that. They said faith is like a positive magnet that repels the negative...fear is the negative.  I was determined that even if I stood up in front of all those people....and couldn't speak.....or my words got all mangled up.....I wouldn't give into the fear anymore. The response I got at the meeting was amazing. After speaking....it was hard to look anyone in their eyes....but I heard their praise....I felt their applause.....and Dory's words swirled in my head....'keep on swimming...keep on swimming....'

Maybe fear's always going to be a part of the journey....maybe it's supposed to be that way....but I won't let it be the major part anymore. It seems that if I don't give into it....and don't feed it....it eventually goes.

Maybe it's presence is some sort of test....a barrier to push past to get to that place where I really want to be....a place of empowerment and freedom. Fear's been like a bully.....goading me to buckle to it's power.....But no more.....I'm standing up to it....and maybe doing that....it'll realize it has no more power ...and it'll just sizzle out.

I'm with Dory....I'm going to keep on swimming.....keep on moving....keep on pushing past the fear.

27 comments:

Just Be Real said...

Thank you Nikki for sharing on your triumph! Your willingness and determination to plow on through fear is so very encouraging. Blessings and hugs to you dear.

Crown of Beauty said...

This is powerful, Nikki.

Fear has had the upper hand in your life for a long, long time... it was like a dark prison. So that even if you were already out, you have been so used to living in fear that it feels strange to not be in fear...

But perfect love casts out fear, and I admire you for your willingness to stand up to fear, and no longer allow it to control you.

Yes, I know fear is a demonic force, but once its hiding place is exposed, it has no other choice but to leave. It will sizzle out like a balloon with no more air in it.

Blessings on your upward journey!

Much love,
Lidj

Finally Free said...

I'm going to keep swimming right along with you....

Blessings,
Tammy

Finding Pam said...

I am so happy for you that you overcame your fear.

I don't think we will live with fear forever. Fear may be a way for us to stay in that moment. Be on guard and waiting for something to happen to us.

Recently, my fears have all but disappeared. I thank God for this blessing and wish it for you as well.

Wanda's Wings said...

I so proud of you. Pushing through your fears and getting out your message. You are important to some many and your life is a light of a wonderful Savior.

My Big Secret Blog :) said...

My dear dear Sarah, my heart is filled with pride! You delivered the speech! I can literally hear the claps and cheers. I'm so happy! Big pat on the back!!

Noelle said...

Now THAT is called courage. Your bravery has inpsired me today. I fear and avoid public speaking...I do when I have do but it makes me sick...literally. I am so proud of you. The world is yours!

MyThought said...

Clapping for you right now. Well done!!
And I love the comparison with Dory.. juuust keep on swimming..(I might even steal it..)

NOS said...

I love Dory. I love Finding Nemo. I love that quote. I love this post.

I think fear can be an extremely healthy thing-- in fact, people who don't experience fear often end up hurt. But I think there's a difference between letting fear make decisions and having it be a "consultant." Meaning we can experience fear, acknowledge it, listen to its recommendations, evaluate it, and then decide for OURSELVES what we want to do.

Wishing you well,
NOS

valerie said...

Sarah, as I read your writing, tears swelled up in my eyes. I can feel your strength in your writing. I can see your determination in your words. I can see the more you get closer to God the stronger your faith is becoming. I have followed you for a long time and my sweet Sarah I see your growth.

As I followed your journey, you had my heart from the very beginning. You still have it Sarah. I am so very proud of you and I so wish I could give you a great big hug right now. You are an inspiration and I know that you have helped and are helping others who may be "silent" right now but in time their voices will be heard and they will tell their story and help someone else.

Keep swimming Sarah! Keep getting stronger and stronger with each stroke that you take. You will always be in my heart Sarah.

Abbey Rochford said...

Sarah, Paul Speicher once said "The greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of courage" and I think you just did that.

I have this little quote on my wall to help and remind me that I can do the things I never dared to before.

"Whether you be man or woman you will never do anything without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honour" - James L. Allen

Ellen said...

I loved the character of Dory in that movie Finding Nemo. Watched this movie a dozen times; loved it each .... because of Dory.

This is a lovely post. You are a lovely person. Blessings to you!!

Kelly L said...

Great post - I have so many fears too and it is very hard to overcome them or "swim through it" but we can.. we do...
Love to you
Kelly
I've Become My Mother
Kelly's Ideas
Amazing Salvation

CRY said...

Im so proud of you

Mya said...

You have a voice and a message. You have something to say that will help and encourage others, so I am glad that you do not let fear become the victor. Though I hope your fears will lessen, remember that heroes are the ones that act in spite of their fear.

Deborah Ann said...

Kudos on your speech, oh mighty brave one!

I gave my 3rd speech last week. I felt just like you. Sooo nervous my voice shook, and my mouth got so dry I could hardly swallow. I felt so uncomfortable that my audience felt uncomfortable too. I cried the rest of the night, mad at God for making me like this.

The next day my daughter called. She is a public speaker. When I complained to her, she reminded me that if I'm not pushing myself to overcome my fears, I'm not growing. Sooo...I'm already working on my next gig. But instead of a speech, I'm signing up for the humorist opening. It should be funny, and since my topic will be on how to be invisible when you speak, it will even be okay if I'm nervous.

Onward and upward, eh?

Deborah Ann said...

I forgot to say that the woman who won the blue ribbon that night was a Buddhist! She spoke of Buddha, I spoke of God. I feel like God got His butt whooped with my failures. I didn't get the blue ribbon, and neither did He. But after my speech the Toastmaster said she really liked my speech, because she is a Christian. So that was cool.

Funny...when the woman who evaluated my speech made some comments on what needed improving, I would just holler out funny stuff from the back of the room, and everyone was laughing. Now why can I do that in the back of the room, and not the front?

So.....I'm with you. "Just keep swimming...."

Lady Rose said...

Sarah,

Congratulations on being able to "face your fears" and speak to a multitude of people. I remember having to give some speeches in college, and it was always a problem for me. I learned that if I was the first one to give the speech, my anxiety dwindled.

-LR

rcubes said...

Your courage and faith always encourage mine. "Keep swimming..." I will remember that. Only by doing so, not only will I get past any fear but also will help me keep afloat...God bless and protect you sister.

Sheila Deeth said...

Lovely image. Keep swimming. I went snorkling once, and there's a scary moment when you actually have to put your head in the water and believe you'll float. Only did it the once but it's my image for keeping calm and letting myself try.

Sharon Kirby said...

YAY!! Good for you! I am so proud of you! I think you've really touched on something that I'm learning. For me and my personality, fear probably is going to be part of the journey. But, the Lord is giving me the strength and courage to push past it. I think that's what you're talking about.

You deserved every single bit of applause you got. I'm giving you a round out here in Blog Land!!

I've got my first speaking engagement coming up - yup, got some knocking knees. But I'm gonna be a Dory with you - keep on swimming, keep on moving...

GOD BLESS!

Patti Hanan said...

Sarah, I rejoice in your victory. I am sure your speech was powerful and the audience was blessed. One verse that has always helped me is "Perfect love casts out fear". Keep on swimming! God bless you.

Margie said...

Congrats to you Brave & lovely, Sarah!

Margie x

Elizabeth J. said...

I like how you used the illustration of Dory swimming along. It captures the attention nicely. =)

Julie Musil said...

Wow, I'm VERY impressed. I can't imagine getting up and speaking in front of people. You should be darn proud of yourself.

My sons had to give speeches for Jr. Toastmasters, and I was more nervous than they were. Kids...

Paula said...

Congrats! I can relate so much. I spoke publicly for years with untreated PTSD. It was a nightmare.Before I left for the USA I spoke one more time at the Munich University of medicine. Talking to doctors, professors, PTSD sufferer and students about myself. This time I spoke open, freely about what has happened and how I moved through the stages of overcoming. Passing on the gift of hope...for the survivors as well as for the students to show them that the trauma therapy can work...

Patrina's Pencil said...

I can't swim haha - but I love Dory. I identify with her and you too. I am determined , as you, to not let fear rule anymore.

Proud of you in your accomplishment. It will get easier.

Hugs, Patrina <")>><