Though she wrote this in the context of travel, this quote hits home on so many levels. I grew up in a relatively negative country, in a very pessimistic family, to parents who taught me to fear everything. Forty years later, I am still shedding those past fears, to realize that there is nothing to fear at all.
As I blazed my way through divorce, and tried to date fearlessly, shamelessly, and gloriously, I was warned by girlfriends of the horrors I was destined to encounter regarding modern men, and relationships. As well intentioned as they were, my friends were teaching me to fear men, dating, putting myself out there, to fear the heartaches, expect disappointments, demand impossible commitments, fight to keep dead relationships alive, and to settle for less, because amazing men just do not exist.
Thankfully, I am a stubborn Goddess who was determined to have fun anyway, and make up for 12 years of waking up to the same man, with dating younger guys, trying new things, exploring sex the way they told me not to, just to live life the way I always wanted it to be. I simply did not want to hear how doomed I am supposed to be, at 40, without a man, and a divorce on my relationship resume.
So I ignored my girlfriends, and enlisted the help of my guy friends to teach me how to date like a man. I noticed early on, that men love dating. They take pleasure in meeting new women, getting to know them, they love sex, they love variety, they don’t fear, they don’t whine, they appreciate women like a fine wine. I wanted the same, as a matter of fact, I felt entitled to it.
So I embarked on what I called “Sherry’s Excellent Adventure”, knowing that I will stumble, I will get bruised, but knowing with 100% certainty that I will date gloriously!
Ladies, if I can give you any advice at all, it is to drop your fears, stop listening to the 1001 ways you could get hurt, and just live it! This is what life is all about. I guarantee that it will be one amazing adventure. you will scrape your knees, but you are a grown woman, meant to date like a Goddess, not a frightened little girl.
Everything that I am today is a result of ignoring friends, family and experts who tried to caution me, and advise me to be more prudent. My exotic travels, my amazing experiences, my unorthodox dating life, have empowered me to make my own rules, and march to the beat of my own drum. It is 100% liberating, empowering, and life altering.
But back to Elizabeth Gilbert’s quote about people who fear. I absolutely had to filter them out of my world. They were good friends who for many years were my support system. They were family members who had my best interest in mind, but couldn’t see life outside their little box. As well meaning as they are, teaching you to fear dating, love, men, adventure, sex, travel, and life, is a toxic lesson that takes years to recover from.
You’ll find that people who are afraid of the world, rarely move outside their tight little boundaries. They travel in groups, hold hands with the same friends for the rest of their life, resent men who wouldn’t offer them a contract, can list every global disaster, hate uncertainty, demand protection, and in general, do not get far in life. The reason they are so eager to settle down is because they fear being alone.
But fearless women thrive in chaos. We explore, we learn from mistakes, we grow even when growth is painful. We love life, embrace our future even when it is uncertain, and try new things to satisfy our curiosity. In fact, when it comes to relationships, we plunge right into new experiences, regardless of whether they hold promise of a future.
I have a friend who loved fearlessly, and was good inspiration when I was recovering from divorce. I learned so much from her positivism, her willingness to explore her sexuality, despite the criticism from all her girlfriends. In life, you learn that your critics are just people who are afraid you will succeed. And despite her 257 breakups, 3 elicit affairs, 34 broken hearts, and 1001 “I told you so’s”, she approached every relationship with a her heart wide open.
Sure, medical “experts” would caution that this is not a healthy human being, but spiritual experts know that nothing could be further from the truth. Some women refuse to fear. They live life on their own terms, make no apologies and have no regrets. In fact, that is the healthiest way to enjoy one’s life to the fullest.