The first blog post I ever wrote was six years ago on facing my fear of dogs. Since that day I’ve written hundreds of posts and faced many fears. I’m thankful for a sweet German Shepherd mix who showed me that rather than running from things that look big and scary, take a chance. Here is a second post I wrote six months after the first. Abbott, it turns out is one of the sweetest, gentleness dogs I know. For the last five years, I’ve walked into his house without a thought of fear.
Yesterday Abbott lost his battle to lymphoma. My heart hurts for my friend and her family. Abbott taught me it was safe to not be content with fear, but push past it. I’m a better person as a result. In the years since my first post, I’ve learned that people are like dogs. Some are mean. But most are kind and loving. I’ve shown up afraid, over and over. Somewhere in the process, I’ve learned to love and be loved. I still get afraid. But I do it afraid. And I’ve never regretted it.
When my daughter moved out she left behind word art above her bedroom door that says “Be Brave”. I want to be brave. To be honest about what I’m afraid of. And then to look that fear in the face and say, “Not anymore. You don’t win. Not this time.” I wish I didn’t struggle with anxiety. That it was a distant part of my past. But I celebrate my victories. So, I show up and face the things I’m afraid of today. And I do it over and over. Because the rewards always outweigh the risks. Thank you, Abbott, for teaching me it’s worth the risks, and that there are good dogs in the world.