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,


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.