Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hear me roar

When I was young I was an extremely timid child. You know those children who you can't tell whether or not they actually know how to speak? Yeah, I was one of those. Except not only did I refuse to talk, but I also refused to do anything at all out of my comfort zone. A comfort zone which extended to reading books, playing games by myself, and only talking to people related to me, or at least whom I had known for a very long time. However, being in my particular family of adventurers, go getters, and, quite frankly, slightly crazy people, this didn't exactly fly. When I was 10 my Grandma decided that enough was enough when I refused to ask the waitress for no mustard, even though I absolutely despised mustard, simply because I was too shy. My good ol' Granny took me aside and said some very wise words, "are you going to eat ask for no mustard? or are you going to starve because you wont eat that sandwich?". Then she said some other words, that were pretty wise too, "in life, there are going to be things that scare you, and you have two choices. Either you can face them, or you can hide. Hiding is fine, but you will never grow and you will never learn. And you probably wont have much fun. But if you face them, who knows what you may achieve. So I want you to repeat after me, 'I am woman, hear me ROAR'", and then we practiced roaring. And we practiced roaring every single time I was too shy to do something until the day came when I was brave enough to roar a great big lion's roar in the middle of JC Penney.
You never know what you might miss just because you are afraid of being laughed at, or of being wrong, or of seeming ignorant. A very wise movie once told me "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" (yes, that is from A Cinderella Story, a fabulous movie). We just have to remember that everyone is facing the exact same demons as us and that, well in most cases, if you take the first step, others will follow and see you as a brave leader–just like Aragorn going out to face the orcs, even though he knows that he will probably fail, except hopefully you wont ever actually have to do anything quite so gruesome and smelly.

Yesterday I went to the beach with my sisters and cousins. About half way through the afternoon, I decided that I wanted to do some yoga on the beach (something I would never have done when I was younger, seeing as there were other people around and other people are scary). As I was coming out of a pose, I looked over and there was an old man doing yoga about 20 yards away. Now, I have no idea if his doing yoga was in any way connected to mine, but I like to think that it was because I took the first step, or rather pose, that he had the courage to do so too. And if I do say so, it was adorable watching this little old man do yoga next to the ocean.

So, next time you feel too timid to do something, anything, just think "I am woman, or man, here me roar!", and ROAR for heaven's sake. This can be a figurative roar if you would like, or you can actually roar, that's okay too. For some of us this comes naturally, but I think that for more of us than we'd like to admit, taking the first step is quite terrifying, so I leave you with this last message:

("Do not dare not to dare"–C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy)


(all pictures belong to Mary Justice McNeil, owner of this blog. However, you may pin/share them if you would like, if you do so in a manner that links back to this website. That way I get more viewers. Which is very exciting for me)

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