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.