The other day, I saw a meme on Facebook. It was in sepia, and showed the back of a little girl, old style granny boots, dress with a full skirt, and costume fairy wings. The caption said “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” The quote, from a poem by Erin Hanson, got me to thinking.
So many people are afraid to do what they were meant to do, for fear of failure. We have dreams, desires, wants, needs, hopes…and we fail to act on them. We persuade ourselves that we are content and happy crawling around in the dirt, when the reality is that we have let fear persuade us that we have no wings, or that our wings will not hold us up when we try to fly. Oh, we give our fear fine upstanding names: Duty, Responsibility, Common Sense…and yes, we need to be responsible, and have sense. We need our foundations. But building a solid foundation does NOT mean we should never build a tower, or a castle in the air. Keeping our feet on the ground does not mean we should never climb a tree or reach for the stars. Being sensible does not mean giving up our dreams. What if a butterfly never stretched her wings? What if the eagle never stepped out of the nest? Sometimes we let fear crush us down, and we fail to grasp the happiness, joy, and love that stands so close by…It can be a scary thing, to risk failure. To put on hope. To strive for the stars. To reach for the dream. But it is far better to take the risk, walk through the fear, than to spend a lifetime of regrets and “if only…”
I know that there are many things that I have thought of doing, but have not done. Some of them because of lack of time, or money. Some of them because of my sense of morality. Some because I felt guilty for “having fun” when there was so much work to do – and I didn’t do the work, and missed the enjoyment, and was all around miserable. Some because people around me would scold me for being immature or irresponsible. But many of them I did not do simply because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, even fear of success. I am slowly learning to kick that fear out of my life, but it is a long, slow process. But at least I have started to stretch my wings and reach out. Maybe someday, I will fly.