In my scattered spontaneity earlier this summer I decided I would host a “book club” via a Facebook Group. I started a Facebook group only because I was advised it would be a good idea, somehow supporting my writing, the book club came about simply as a need to “do” something as a group. So here we are Facebook grouping together. I chose a book that would be good for me to read since I offer you a thought on courage on a weekly basis. The title is “Do It Scared” written by Ruth Soukup. As a group we’ve been slogging along through the content, that is, until now. Now, it’s time to move from slog to jog and take action.

Ruth says, on several occasions in her book, “Action is the antidote to fear.” This is wise advice. When you allow your fears to hold you back and paralyze you from moving into the good things that God has for you, you’re letting the feeling of fear win. I say feeling because it’s this emotional kind of fear that can control our physical ability to move forward if we don’t learn how to tame it. That’s why the book has such an appropriate title “Do It Scared.” Literally you will feel scared until you take action and move through your fear.

Do you realize there is a whole other form of fear that most of us deal with at some point in our life?

I’ve spent the last six months probing courage for all of its essence and the last six weeks learning about fear, thanks to the book, and have found they have a very unlikely intersection. They converge in relationships. There is a space where courage and fear are essentially the same, that space is something we call trust. A few years ago, when I was home schooling my kiddos, I learned about an invention that Leonardo DaVinci conceived during his stent working as a military engineer. It’s called the DaVinci bridge. The design is so fascinating I actually purchased my own model.

The military at that time was in need of a solution to transport large supplies of ammunition and the like during combat. When they would reach a creek or river crossing, they would be forced to travel miles out of their way to find a land bridge to pass and then spend days backtracking to their original route. That is until the DaVinci Bridge.

This bridge uses the weight and natural force created by stacking its precut logs together, very similar to Lincoln logs, to form a stable walkway that could be crossed. DaVinci designed this bridge in a way that they could carry it with them and erect as needed on the go. No mortar necessary. The simple act of fitting one piece together at a time was all that was needed. Quick to build and quick to tear down.

Eventually, when the bridge was built there would a time to cross over, testing its ability to sustain the weight of the people and supplies that were being transported. The test would call for both courage and fear, a complete balance. I call this trust. Trust requires both courage and fear.

Trust is both hard to build and easy to tear down. This week’s post is about facing your fear. If you’ve been hurt by people and trusting them is hard for you, you are not alone.

I encourage you to begin building bridges to cross, one person at a time. The only thing that can heal you of this kind of fear is your own courage.

You’ve got this.


There we were, finally at the top.

I’ve never felt anything like it before. We had completed our arduous climb up the hundreds of stairs only minutes ago. A slow creep upward in the hot sun. The mass of us dressed in all variety of aquatic wear, sunscreen, and personal misc… tats, jewelry, and chlorine soaked body hair. It’s the environment where everyone fights complaining yet we all feel the same, hot, tired, and impatient. The climb must be worth the pain.

I was there just to be with her. My fearless, adventurous, mini me. She’s the only one in our family who likes amusement parks and all their terror. I’m not a fan, but I do it for her. I’ll fight through just about any discomfort for my kids.

There we were, finally at the top. She was nearly two feet shorter than I, not able to see what was ahead. Personally, I had been analyzing our future adventure for several minutes. Pondering my own comfort level. Was this even safe? Is it just me or do you also wonder at the science behind the safety of amusement rides on occasion? Surely, there must be some law of physics or something that guarantees that we won’t flip off that raft we were about to climb into? That’s exactly where my mind had been just before I felt it.

The overwhelming sensation of fear, that’s what it was. As soon as we were cued in the rider line, a wave of fear rushed over me. Oddly though, I wasn’t the source. It was my mini. Her fear was so intense that it was uncontainable. I became a drenched bystander. When fear reaches this level it must be addressed. It takes courage to address our fears.

As I looked at her flushed little tween-aged face I knew she needed a way out of the fear. “Let’s not do this,” and with an extended hand I led her down the hundreds of stairs we had just ascended. No shame allowed.

Since fear is the emotion we feel when our deepest sense of security is challenged it’s important we do not judge or shame. As much as we would all love to say that we are wholeheartedly anchored in the security and protection of God (for Christians of course) we all experience drift. Some drift in the direction of popularity, some finances, some success. The important reality we need to face is that drift happens, and when it hits, we all need people who can offer a way to safety.

When fear feels like a tsunami who to you turn to for help?

You need your people to be strong and courageous,


There are no tears but the emotion is violent

Oddly, he was seated in my desk chair. It was swiveled around so he could face where I had taken up a stool at our breakfast bar. This conversation has become nearly a daily routine for us. It’s been two and a half years that we’ve been walking this road of the unknown, uninvited, and unpleasant.

To say “it’s complicated” is an understatement. Thus, these frequent meetings are necessary for us to navigate the twists and turns we are faced with on a weekly basis. He’s a thinker, a fixer, and sometimes an emotional bull dozer. I, on the other hand, am intuitive, decisive, yet careful. Getting us to emulsify takes much whisking.

I “know” quickly, yet need time to discover my feelings about a matter. Then I argue my point until I’m satisfied that my “knowing” is sound. This is my process. He, on the other hand, will use all form of logic to endorse his point of view while removing his emotional ocean from the whole situation. Emotional processing will be an aftershock.

Neither of us will taste the salt of our own tears.

The emotions get expressed mostly through words.

As I face him and listen to him explain with great detail about the physical alterations he thinks we should make to the room, for their safety and ours, I am engulfed by fear. There are no tears but the emotion is violent.

He has no idea that I am no longer seated with him in our kitchen. I have floated away to a remote island, I have created a safe place, I am assessing, I am surviving. He went on for a few minutes until he finally paused, waiting for me to respond.

“I don’t know what to say.” “I want to be out of my body, my life, this problem, and runaway.” I blurted. Clearly, my feeling assessment had been cut short. Thankfully, he received my orange road block of words as a warning not to continue to plow through the issue so abruptly. In his defense, he’s a fixer.

It takes me a bit but I can finally label my feelings. Loss of freedom.

Everything he has just narrated equals loss of freedom, with me playing the part of warden. It doesn’t take an Enneagram expert to understand that the long term affects of intense emotional pain combined with certain loss of freedom has pulverized my otherwise enthusiastic nature. I’m a seven and freedom is my happiness balm.

It takes courage to accept the unacceptable.

While walking straight into the headwind was a hard choice, it was a courageous one. It was one baby step in the right direction. We all struggle with different fears, yet the solution for all of us can be the same. Take one baby step in the hard direction.

Choosing to face our fear when we’ve lost part of ourself due to heartbreak, or disease, or an unexpected traumatic event, requires courage.

For you friend, if facing the unacceptable is what’s weighing you down. Know that you are not alone, I’m with you. Let’s be strong and courageous together.


Tribe security.

I am convinced that insecurity is a breeding ground for fear.

Security comes in many shapes and sizes. Financial security, do I have enough resources? Physical security, am I safe? Emotional security, do I have a tribe?

Am I loved, accepted, and known? Tribe security.

While tribe security yields abundant benefits such as interdependency, identity, and love. It can also be the most disloyal companion of all the security blankets we borrow from. People can cause the deepest fears within us to brew until we lose all control .

While this truth has rooted itself deep within me I find its foliage needs pruning. The reality is, I can’t be sure how the “people” will respond, but I need them anyway. Paradoxical.

Stepping out and exposing all of my vulnerabilities will tax the system of the tribe.

By the time this post has been published I will know if the tribe created an environment of security for me or not. I’ve allowed unexpected schedule interruptions and delays to pop up long enough. It’s time to get up there and break the ice.

The “Ice Breaker” speech. It will be my first formal talk at Toastmasters. This tribe has promised to provide encouraging and helpful feedback designed to develop my public speaking skills.

I’ve learned from my impetuous youth, this time I’ve eased into my participation. I’ve been evaluating their ability to keep this promise.

The waters have been tested, I must now take the plunge.

It’s a shame that all of life cannot follow this course. Insisting the tribe demonstrate their commitment to the code. Code violations can be damaging to the human spirit.

For me the fear is not in the speaking. That is just an evaluation of a skill. Skills can be honed. Skills are not the person.

The fear is will they accept me. My perspective. My uniqueness. My personality. Will the tribe invite me in or push me away?

A secure woman has courage.

Are you insecure? Is this the result of relying on other people’s approval of who you are as a person? In the most loving tone I have to offer, I say “I hope not.”

I have a few people pleasers in my life and I’ve seen first hand how this tendency has incited the worst of all fears. Tribe security.

Now, I don’t recommend that you follow my overly protective, independent, self sufficient path to loneliness, however I do want to leave this crumb of advice with you. It’s my summary statement to all of the wonderful people I know who bear this tension with painful inner conflict.

Please don’t ever prostitute your emotions to solicit someone else’s affections. You are loved, accepted, and valued. Don’t chase it down.

There I said it.

If tribe security is one of your fears, face it. Walk in the extraordinarily individual nature of who you are, and if they don’t appreciate your beauty – grab your lunch tray and choose another table.

I know you’re afraid – do it anyway.

You are strong and courageous.