Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fear: The Dream Monster (and how to get rid of it)

"Portraits of White" Begins
At 7:00 p.m. on December 6, 2014 I stepped out onto the stage with complete peace and confidence.  I was in my sweet spot and my whole being felt it.

Conductor, Ed Kee, and I run through last minute details before the concert.
At 4:00 p.m. on December 6, 2014, I was sitting in the bathroom with a serious case of diarrhea.  I rarely get nervous before a concert, but this was not a normal concert.  This was the birth of a dream I had been carrying for years.  I was suddenly struck with paralyzing fear.  I had 2 hours worth of lyrics, music notes and stories to remember and though I had been preparing for this for over a year, I wondered if my brain and physical body would hold up now that the moment had come.

I have already heard from a few people who have been encouraged to step out and pursue their own 'inklings' (or fight to keep them in some cases) as a result of my own story Saturday night.  I thought it might be helpful for you to know that pursuing what's in your heart will usually mean fighting to the very end.  Even up until the moment you step out on to the stage.

I fought my worst battles with fear when I first started dreaming this dream and right before I finished the dream.  Don't get me wrong, there were certainly moments of doubt and fear all along the way, but the worst came a week before the concert.  

Here's some of the thoughts I had to fight:
  • You shouldn't be so honest in your stories - people will think you are weird - don't tell the truth. 
  •  No one else struggles like you do. Keep it to yourself. Play it safe.          
  • You can't do this.  It's going to bomb.                   
  • You've taken on something that is too big for you. 
  • What were you thinking?
  • It'll be just your luck that a big snow storm will come and ruin it all.  You've been set up and it's all going to fail.
A friend kept checking in on me all week and when I began to tell her of my terrible battles with fear (especially in the night time) she asked me to name some of my fears so she could pray specifically for me.  Even before I told her anything, she had been sending me e-mails and notes in the mail speaking truth to me and encouraging me.  I don't know if I could have made it through without her prayers and words of truth.

It became very apparent to me that "Portraits of White" was not just another concert just by the sheer magnitude of the monster that started to raise its ugly head at the last moment.  It's as if it took one last swing at me to try and make me run the other way. I'm so glad I didn't run.  

The best way to slay the 'dream monster' is to keep going.....right smack toward it.  You might want to gather a few friends along the way to help you.  When you really start pressing in to becoming who you were created to be the battle will get FIERCE at times.  Don't give up.  Don't back down.  Rally your friends. Pray like crazy and hang on.

When you finally step into your 'sweet spot' it will feel absolutely amazing and worth every battle. The best part is, you will take others along with you and soon a big army will arise.  An army of people wanting to step out and do bigger things.  Greater things.  Things that could potentially change the world.

As I said in my concert:  "I would rather die trying to thrive, than live having just survived".  If you live this way, you will surely encounter the dream monster.  But you'll never feel more alive when the battle is over.

A nice way to end an amazing evening.  My long time husband and supporter surprises me on stage.