Step Out

Have you ever felt like you were on the verge of something wonderful? That the thing you always dreamed of, been so desperate for, longed for, yearned for deep in your soul is about to happen? Inside you has gone from butterflies to sparks to feeling like you can no longer contain it. This thing must come out. When it does it will be the most spectacular light show your eyes have seen. It will be so joyous your body will dance to the music heard so loudly in your soul. And yet…there you are…wrapped so secure in all that comforts you that you cannot move. Fear, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, doubt and negative messages are all reasons you may have for not being able to move. To me, moments like this feel like standing on a ledge, waiting to jump but I don’t because I’m afraid I’ll fall instead of flying.

It is time to step out, to come forth from the comfort. I’m certain like me, you’ve heard many positive words from those trying to coax you into moving. I urge you to move forward at your own pace, to listen to those who love and believe in you, to find courage and move/jump/leap/step. Comfort is good until it becomes complacency and locks us down. It doesn’t have to be a big leap. It can be one small step. I promise it will be worth the step (especially if you are wearing your favorite shoes).

There are moments I have been frozen with fear because of negative messages and the unknown in front of me. I remember when the last of my children was grown and left home. I felt like my security blanket was ripped off, and I was standing naked in the middle of town with everyone staring at me. I could not tell my children to move back home. I had to figure out my life goals, to move on.

It wasn’t until 4 years ago that I ever shared any of my writing or poetry publicly. Many of my poems are very personal, written about some very dark moments in my life of being a survivor of domestic and sexual violence. I was encouraged through a group of women writers to read a poem of mine at an open mic night. The night had come, and it was my turn at the mic. Trembling, I stepped up, spoke into the mic and read my poem! I received some snaps (poetry applause), and there were words of encouragement from the audience of strangers.

Have you noticed that the letters E and H are the only difference between the words “comfort” and “come forth?” E stands for empowerment, encouragement. H stands for healing, hope.

There are times I need to curl up in comfort because I am overcome with negative self messages or fear of the wide open unknown. Instead of being wrapped in fear, I wrap myself in grace, in love, in peace of who I am, in remembrance of all I have survived. As empowerment, encouragement, healing and hope rise in me, I step out, going from comfort to come forth.


On this quiet Saturday in December, I take time to review my to do list. As I rest on the squishy soft purple cushion in my favorite chair, southern sunshine warm on my face, my Mom mug with hot tea resting on a coaster that says love, I hold in my hands the single piece of paper that is my to do list. Right now in this warm comfy spot, and on several occasions this week, stress has tried to ease its way in, whether it is through a cranky mood, my not wanting to be around people or through my physical health. This to do list is overwhelming. This list my life demands. This list my spirit demands. It is December, and this long to do list does not even include Christmas (my children made the decision not to give material gifts, but to spend quality time as a family this year).

This list of mine has to do with life’s circumstances of being unemployed, of my spirit’s longing to write and share my story, of goal setting for 2020 after reflecting on 2019. So much is flying through my mind (visions, ideas in me-poems, books to write, goals to accomplish and to set, blog, job…….). So much is flying at me (this is how you should do it, this is who you should connect with, these are the steps you should take…….). Yet, here I am, not taking flight (yet). I am in this frozen mode where my mind moves, my hands move, my feet not yet in stride with what is in my heart. I am in this frozen mode waiting for a magical prompt to begin. There is no magical prompt. If anything is actually magical, it is in the moment where hope steps in and pushes out stress. It is in the moment I just simply step forth and start the doing of what is in me, what has been there from the very beginning.

It is the undoing of the lies. It is the doing of the truth (of me and my voice, my story, my words). The undoing of the lies of you’re not good enough, no one will care or be touched by anything you have to say or write, you are too different and will never fit in anywhere. The undoing of the lies of do you really think you have those gifts–because I don’t see them. The undoing of the lies of do you really think you have come far enough to help or encourage anyone. Then there’s the quieting of the laugh of the lies at anything I set out to do. The undoing of the lies turning around my words or throwing them away, deleting them from the computer’s memory or erasing or crossing them out from the page on which they were written.

This that I have shared here, is the reason why we need to find, connect with and keep people, items, events/memories/accomplishments near. Having them near to reach out, to gaze upon, to hold in our hands or hold in our hearts. This is what allows the whisper of hope to become the loudest voice in the room. Hope reminds us of what we have already survived and brings about the promise of light and love for our future.

Who are the people in your life who help and encourage you? What are the items (gift, picture, card, song, scripture, art, etc.) that help and encourage you? What are some personal and professional accomplishments you can think of to help and encourage yourself? Jot these down so you can pull them out the next time the lies try to overwhelm you. Keep them near so that you can remember to hope and look forward to the promise of your future.