I recently wondered upon an art store closing. My brain was over-stimulated, next to chaotic; brushes, acrylics, oils, mats, frames, canvases, framed originals, plus all the fixtures.
As I browsed, I noticed my last name printed on a children’s picture book – “Buffalo Woman, written and illustrated by Paul Goble. The vivid cover included bisons standing in front of brown dust clouds, two women wearing Native American clothing, one child, and three black birds.
I paid for the book and left. Whew, what a relief; I escaped the claws of temptation and didn’t buy one of everything I wanted.
Back home with Google, I learned the author of my purchase lives in South Dakota and has written and illustrated more than thirty books relating to Native American heritage. Where have I been?
Unfortunately, I am not his long-lost niece, but, we are both authors, share the love of stories and art, and I am one-eighth Choctaw.
In my computer search, I was drawn to a quote in one of his books, “Horse Raid: The Making of a Warrior.”
It read, “…To conquer his (warrior) fears, he must first face his enemy.”
In my mental health career, I have listened to a plethora of fears; snakes, spiders, driving, leaving the house, conflict, public speaking, dirt, commitment, rejection, taking tests, and death, to name only a few.
The same principles apply today just as they did with young warrior training; we need to recognize our fears, because they are enemies, and we need to look them square in the eye if we want to win.
When one avoids natural habitats of nature, doesn’t drive, stays home, cleans compulsively, avoids relationships, and never says what s/he feels, out of fear, the battle is lost to the enemy.
It reminds me of Susan Jeffers’ book, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.”
To be mentally well, and capable of living a moderate to high existence, we must face the enemy, whatever or whoever it is.
The art store’s liquidation, seeing my name in big letters, plus the wisdom in Paul Goble’s children’s book, caused me to revisit the power of fear.
Fear can keep us safe, be debilitating, or both. We choose.
Until the next time: Live while you live!
(Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of My Clients…My Teachers, and the blogger and encourager of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.)
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