I was born into a family chock full of Adventurers. They would probably never categorize themselves as such, but I think they would be very proud of the label.
None of them climbed Mount Everest or paddled down the Amazon River. They didn’t so much as even backpack through Europe. But they were Adventurers, nonetheless. They said “Yes!” to opportunity, they answered “I will” when asked for help, and their actions consistently spoke of inner courage and strength as they answered the call to new (and sometimes even daring) deeds with “I’ll try my best.”
I was born a hesitant child — and I know that those of you who know me now and didn’t know me then would laugh at the very idea of it, but I was. I was a hesitant child born into a family of doers and say-ers and helpers and triers. I was quiet, I was reserved, I was the least athletic and the tiniest child in the classroom. When asked to go swimming I may say yes, but I was a toe-dipper, never a diver.
Because of my hesitant nature, I always felt as though I was kind of the odd man out in my family. But I was rarely shown any sort of impatience for being who I was. I was accepted “as is” and, when the opportunity came along, I was encouraged to take just one step, one step further into the unknown, the frightening, the new, and the different.
Living outside of my comfort zone has become a habit with me now. There is still a hesitant child inside of me that thinks I’m a little reckless at times, but I have learned how to deal with her fears. I do not scold her for her fears, but instead give her gentle words of encouragement. “You can do this. And if you don’t like it you can stop. But just try it, take one step. You might like it.”
She often protests and whines, “But this is HARD!”
And I answer, “Yes, it is hard. But you’ve done hard before and you can do it again.”
For All Who Nurture, Thank You
Today is Mother’s Day. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful mother and four wonderful children, all of whom feed my spirit, body, and soul in so many ways.
But it is an unhappy holiday for many, some who have lost their mothers or their children and some who never had a mother to care for them or children to care for. I often wish that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day could be labeled as “Nurturer’s Day.”
Nurturers are the mothers, fathers, children, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, neighbors, teachers, friends and coworkers who help lead us along through our lives. They lend us courage and support. They shed tears with us and for us. They feed us when we are hungry, they clothe us when we are naked, they visit us when we are in prison or are sick.
The Nurturers shepherd us when we need shepherding most. Sometimes that shepherding consists of a gentle call to action as they walk by our side. At other times they push us forward through strong leadership.
Who in your life is a Nurturer? Who can you call upon in times of need. Who lends you courage? Who brings you comfort, who pushes you forward, who challenges you?
And if you can say that sometimes that very special Nurturer is yourself, who speaks to the hesitant child who still lives within your heart. And if you continue to challenge and nurture that child to move forward and take a step beyond his/her comfort zone, then I say, “Happy Nurturer’s Day to you. You’re doing a really, truly, GREAT job. Thank you.”