Michael is still very afraid of dogs. It all started two years ago when a big dog NOT on a leash charged at us as we walked from the park back to our car. I was startled and ready for anything, while trying to remain calm as this big dog came charging at us. He did not look vicious, but it scared the heck out of me. Michael seemed mildly perturbed, but then didn’t say anything else about it. I waited for days and weeks after assuming I’d see fear of dogs freak Michael out, but no. He seemed fine. Until he wasn’t. That happened about two months after this incident. We were walking home from a park near our house when a neighbor was out walking her little dog. The dog was on a leash, and I just mentioned, little. It didn’t matter. Michael did not only panic, but screamed and hid behind me refusing to move until the dog passed us. That is when I knew we had a true fear or phobia about dogs. We are still working on him overcoming this fear, but the other day at a friend’s house, Michael was able to pet their big dog cautiously with some gentle encouragement from our friends. They and I and his father were so proud of him. He had come a long way. The old Michael would never even have tried. But on Sunday he did try and petted the dog who was loose. He saw that dogs can be gentle and do not hurt.
Watching Michael reminded me of how I would conquer my fears. I would try by exposing myself to a little bit of the fearful element every day, scaring myself by starting new things which I never wanted to risk trying in the past. In fact, starting up my writing business and writing full time now is something that scared the heck out of me. I didn’t want to take risks, and writing is a risk. Some people will love your work. Some people will hate your work. You have to be ok with that as a writer, or as an artist of any type. If not, you are setting yourself up for personal failure where no one wins. Michael showed me that by facing his dog fears slowly, I could face my writing fears, fears of rejection, fears of not making money doing what I love, slowly day by day until I had it mastered. There would be easy days and hard days. There would be compromises, as long as I wasn’t compromising my integrity. But I must always remember to be true to me and not give up.
In what ways do your Exceptional Children conquer their fears and win? How has this helped you conquer your fears, Exceptional Moms if it has? And if it hasn’t, that alright. Just remember to start somewhere. Make a list of what you want to change to live your life free of fear, and each day add to that list. In no time you’ll see yourself as the fearless Mom warrior that you are. Until next time.