Big Scary Things

*More to my babes…a bit of relaxing ranch reflection was in order and couldn’t have been more appropriately timed. Stockpiling those ‘happy place’ moments carry us through the tough ones.


The recent past has been chock full of Big Scary Things. 

The phrase was offered many times…What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger. There were times when I just didn’t want to hear it. I tried to protect myself from moreby partially sealing off my ears to the words, as if that carried shielding power against the unknown. I had been there, done that before and worked through the grueling process of finding peace with the unexpected many years prior. I felt strong enough, thank you, and wasn’t interested in – and also feared -what it could be preparing me for down the road.

Big Scary Things are inevitable, pre-written into Life’s manual every handful of pages or so. They will present themselves in all shapes and sizes throughout your life: facing new challenges, speaking up for what you believe in, changes in your routine or family structure, exercising your independence, loss, deflecting harsh words or judgment, gaining responsibility, transitioning into new roles, starting over, finding your true self, sharing your true self with others, the unexpected…

Some will be bigger than others. If ever you are bowled over by Big Scary Things you must begin to rebuild.

I find the rebuilding-of-self process to be much like cleaning out a closet. You stand back and inhale deeply as you take inventory of the scope of the project. Then, you must dive in. As you remove the big, obvious, regularly used stuff, you find all sorts of things you forgot you even had inside.

Some of what you find within doesn’t serve a purpose anymore and you ditch it. It can be hard to ditch those things. They are familiar and comfortable to us, even if they are not ‘useful’ or productive any longer. You feel a pull inside telling you that it was once there, so it must be a part of you, necessary. We must reassure ourselves that in order to see clearly what we have, we must remove the clutter. Much of what we are holding onto simply recalls the memory of its importance or significance to you at one time in your life, and passing it along won’t eliminate its existence. Those things once served a purpose. We must now make a conscious effort to move on.

Then there are the gems hidden among the junk. They are the pleasant surprises, treasures we forgot we had inside; either shoved back too far or covered up by something taking precedence in your current life stage. Discovering them feels much like a reunion, lending a slight smile to your face and a sparkle in your eye as you hold each one up into the light, reminiscing and admiring it. “I remember this…I love this!” So you dust it off and find a more prominent place for it in your life. Those pieces of you are reborn.

It is through that labor of rebuilding ourselves that we begin to recognize that we havegained strength from what didn’t kill us. A little ways down the road our internal triumphs begins to fuel us in a way never before familiar. Stronger. Driven. A short distance beyond that, we are chanting the song lyrics with Kelly Clarkson, fist pumping, as we lap people on the trail. 

Big Scary Things are always looking for a place to settle. Just when you think you’ve built yourself a safe and comfy dwelling, Big Scary Things pull up in an RV and park next door.     

Fortunately they are easily uprooted and highly portable – they aren’t choosy about their company and tend to fold easily when confronted face-to-face. Their paralyzing reputation is just a facade, and if you see through it, you will find light.

When you come face-to-face with the Big Scary Things, let them scare you, but only briefly, while you dig deep to find out what it is you are to learn in that moment, and what discovery and growth it brings about within. Then, tell them to take a hike. You’ve got places to go.

So, it turns out I am stronger. Much stronger. Big Scary Things have challenged me to stand at the rocky edge of my limits, and then shuffle my toes just a couple of inches forward beyond that, watching the rock crumble and fall, stirring dust into the air. It seems our limits are relative, after all, and with the strength you gain from each encounter, you are able to find a bit more space at what once was the edge.

And what is interesting is that I find myself even gravitatingtoward Big Scary Things now and then, rather than wishing to camouflage from them.

It can be a welcome challenge at times…”Oh yeah? Bring it.” Each episode of life hiccups, has taught me something real and important about myself.

I’ve created a personal comfortable space for myself here…in this collection of reflections for you, my babes. Starting out may have been a Big Scary Thing, but the result of making peace with it, has been invaluable to me. 




  1. I don’t know how you do it -but each and every time I read what you have written it captures exactly what I know is going on. I feel as if I am sitting back in the tuck under sharing secrets. I am so incredibly proud of you!!


  1. […] together in bigger ways than I can presently imagine through today’s lens. I believe in doing Big Scary Things. And I commit to practice the humble acceptance of the potential of arriving at a place of […]

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