When pregnant with Carter, my mind and my speech were littered with words belonging to Dr. Sears' books on natural childbirth and the "conspiracies" hospitals weave. Me and my best intentions hired a doula, practiced different birthing positions on a birthing ball, and had the hospital's number on tap so we could put dibs on a labor room with a bathtub while on my way to deliver.
Ten hours into labor, I asked for an epidural and ended up having to have a c-section.
My obsession back-fired.
As I processed the why's of my emotional attachment to the idea of natural childbirth, I found that there was some good in there. I really did have honorable motives, but those motives were also intertwined with fear, and pride, and that obsessive nature of mine.
So, about a month ago, when a friend directed me to some "traditional" and "real food" blogs and research, that old obsessive nature kicked in big time.
Some very real and persuasive motives captured my attention and launched me into Obsession-Ville again. Of course I want to eat healthily. Of course I want to feed my kids the best foods I can afford and prepare. Of course I don't want toxins and pollutants and MSG. Who can't agree with those premises?
There quickly arose a problem, though. What started out as something Good--the desire to learn more about nutrition for myself and my family--became saturated with Fear and Worry and Urgency. I allowed myself to be swallowed by fear, instead of stepping forward gingerly and with discernment.
Neal and I talked about my research over dinner at Carrabba's one night. As I contemplated ordering the GMO corn-filled polenta covered with factory-farm steak tips on skewers with pesticide-ridden grilled veggies (roll your eyes now, just roll them), I told him I'd devised a first step out of Obsession-Ville.
"I'm going to unsubscribe to my blogs. Like, fast from them for a week."
It's not that I don't believe a lot of the principles of these "real food" bloggers. I do. But I know that my nature tends to pollute the potential good with fear. And reading two posts every day about what I was potentially doing wrong was not helping.
I think with all good things, all good changes of direction or new goals, fear will challenge our movement.
But it doesn't mean we don't move.
For me, I had to unsubscribe. And then continue my learning at a much slower (and less judgmental) pace.
For others, it could mean granting yourself heaping loads of grace as you attempt to learn how to read the Bible. And for someone else, this could mean lowering your standards for that anticipated finish time of your first 5K--not stressing that you didn't train like you wanted to and choosing to be proud for just finishing the race.
Fear will always creep onto the path of the Good. In those moments, our decision should not be whether we should continue down the road, but how.
What Good have you attempted to do, and then encountered Fear?
How did you move forward?