In my world, the Boogie Man represents fear, oppression, indignity, ridicule, vilification, embarrassment, anguish, suffering, and pain. I have spent many hours afraid of various tangible & intangible things thus sheltering myself from living a whole life.
I am afraid of the dark, afraid of heights, afraid of snakes, afraid of getting hurt, and afraid of dying (or more to the point, how I will die). I justify most of these things as my fear of the unknown syndrome. I have denied myself not only physical exploits but also opportunities for personal growth. I have virtually shied away, curled myself into a ball, and hid under the covers trying to avoid my dreaded Boogie Man.
All of us have run from him, trying to stay safe within the walls of our insecurities. As children we could hide behind our mother's leg, cling to our daddy's shoulder, or duck behind the couch when the Boogie Man showed up. Yet as adults, we must either face the battle or live life in a bubble.
I choose the battle most of the time. And often my artillery is my voice. I seldom sit quietly when painted into a corner. I speak my mind, I raise my point, I question so-called authority.
But when I must act against the Boogie Man, I am often paralyzed with self-doubt, fear and vacillation. I often question my physical capability & competence.
Case in point, sports. I am not very athletic and rarely participate in an organized sport. Although I love to ski, I tend to gravitate toward the trails known as "blue cruisers" rather than conquer the threat of the "black diamonds". But lately I have decided to throw my fears to the wind and live my life a little more towards the edge. I ski harder, faster and more zealous because I keep reminding myself that if I don't try, I will never know what I could have done.
Last summer, when we went to Hershey Park, I thought it might be fun to ride all of the roller coasters with the kids. Ironically, I enjoy the thrill but hate the vulnerability. Still, it was their first time at an amusement park, so I vowed to make it memorable.
The first coaster was fun, the next one was better, but the 3rd was incredibly intimidating. I rode the entire 58 seconds with my eyes shut tight, screaming bloody murder and hoping I would live. Obviously I did. So, with my newly bolstered courage, we raced to coaster #4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10. However I declared that I would NOT, no way/no how, strap myself to the Fahrenheit. But again, I decided that "life is too short" not to take risks, not to dare, not to breathe new air into my lungs.
So now whenever I feel the swell of fear or intimidation by the Boogie Man, I just say a little prayer and take a leap of faith.
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