I’m constantly feeling fear…
I’ve never been this scared, at least not consciously. Fear does weird things to people, it brings up all kinds of hell-bent emotions and knee-jerk reactions. One current example from my life: I’m starting a new business and in doing so leaving behind an identity I spent years creating. I’m leaving behind financial security, people I care about, work I’ve loved, and a music community that I’ve been an integral part of for the past ten years.
That shit is scary. It can make me worry about what will happen if I don’t have enough money. What’s the next best way I can make money and who can I go out and get it from? Or what if nobody cares about what I’m doing and I’m a total failure and they think what I’m doing is boring and then all leave me and then I’m all alone for the rest of my life with just myself except for maybe my cats?
My fear is also my guiding light. I know that the more I push, meander, and sprint my way through its muddy, foggy resistance the more my heart will be filled, to the point that it’s bursting wide open with joy. This is what I keep my eyes fixed on. And lest you think I see this joy as something separate from myself, something to be attained, I’ll tell you that I feel it in the deepest parts of me, it’s part of me. It’s waiting patiently, lovingly, for me to unpack all those layers that have been muffling it for so long. And as the layers come off it it stretches and yawns and breathes deep, tremorous breaths.
And plus, fear has got its own set of fears! What threatens it are the most honest and authentic parts of myself, my gifts. I’ve got gifts that I can express like nobody else is able to. I’d like to share a few of them with you.
Gift #1– I love and appreciate those around me as openly and honestly as I can manage. I say “I love you”. I let them know how well they support me. I let them know how their gifts encourage mine. I speak these truths to the point that I feel embarrassed and ashamed and nervous. But you know what? If the way I feel afterward is any indication of how THEY feel then I just made their day, week, or month. With just a few words I have the power to validate a part of them that may have been yearning to be seen and acknowledged for years, perhaps even a lifetime.
Gift #2– I look to support others before finding out how they can support me. I have everything I need. I am loved and taken care of. I will always have enough food and a place to sleep and people who care about me. I know deep down that this is true and from here springs a mindset of abundance: What do I have to offer that will benefit you? How can I help you feel more heard, more loved? I have enough to share, and I would love to share it with you.
Gift #3– I’m deeply committed to (my own and others’) honest growth. This means that I don’t bend to my fear of feeling. This means that I will not run away when things get tough (at least not for too long). This means that the people in my life can trust me, deeply. It’s not that I won’t make mistakes, but it does mean I will come clean and do everything in my power to make things right. It means that I won’t settle for anything less than the very best that life has to offer, even if (especially when) our fear wants to trick us into believing we don’t deserve it.
Fear’s always going to be with me and I’m not in the business of pushing it away. I’m making friends with it. Pressing close and learning the feel of its body against mine, the sound of its voice whispering in my ear, and the smell of its presence. Me and fear, we’re getting familiar with each other and some days you might even just see us walking down the street together, hand in hand and looking each other in the eyes, laughing about that time when we ALMOST didn’t and really thought we couldn’t and had it in our heads that we probably shouldn’t but went ahead and did anyways.
I want to hear about three of your most honest and authentic gifts, ones that truly define you as a human, friend, lover, and son/daughter. Actually, I NEED to hear. From you and everyone else. The more we share this stuff the more complete we (all) become, and the most beautiful part is that we get to do it together. Take a few moments and share in the comments below.