Fright or Flight (Or… The Year I Made My Daughter Dress as a Fighter Pilot)

What better time than the present to look fear in the eye and show it who’s boss?!

Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
~Orison Swett M

I’ll never forget the year my daughter wanted to dress as a princess for a costume party, and my husband and I all-but forced her to dress as a fighter pilot.  (She will never forget it either, for completely different reasons.)  She looked SO AWESOME.  I was so jealous of that costume.  And she would have GLADLY given it to me.

I wanted her to see herself as a strong, courageous contributor to society, rather than a cliche’. She wanted to reflect the grace of fairy tale character.  I wanted her to embrace her inner warrior.  She wanted to wear pretty colors.

That was the last time I ever saw her in a fighter pilot jumpsuit.  She has, however, embraced the look of aviator glasses.  (Baby steps.)  But here’s the thing.  She is growing to be such a wonderful combination of two extremes.  She is lovely, gracious and sweet…but I would dare say there isn’t a fighter pilot anywhere who could match her strength when courage is needed.

I want more than anything for my children (and myself… and all you friends out there) to realize that most of the things we fear are not nearly as scary as they appear.  We were created to thrive — to take life by the horns and LIVE —  not to shrink back and wait for a magic wand to sweep over all “unfairytale-like” unpleasantness.

We all have to find our own journey to courage and strength.  That journey may or may not involve a fighter suit and aviators.  But I hope we can all find it.  Somehow, some way.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

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