Monday, March 21, 2016

Fear-full to Fear-less

Fear came to call on me since last we met, like a cacophonous parade unleashed in my mind. I was being faced with decisions and fear had one too many thoughts on how I should, or should not, proceed. Mostly should not, because it kept rattling off all the reasons why I must do an about face on a project I hold dear to me.

Fear bought the notion that it was protecting me. I’m not going to lie, it had some valid points. In truth, the messages it was sending me were based in facts from my past. But that’s the point, it was programming from my past. What I was to do in the present had me tossing and turning as I took time to sort through the gnarled mess that was before me, and it was a mess.

The most basic form of self-preservation yanked me back, all efforts focused on chaining me in place lest I do something radical, like speak my truth. The world isn’t always a fan of truth, many in it would prefer I continue to play nice and deny my experience. And fear whispered louder and louder that that indeed would be in my best interest.

Initially I bought everything that fear was selling. Sit down and shut up seemed like it might just be the easiest way. Soon enough I realized that initially it might be the road of least resistance but began to question if it would it be in-line with the greater good that I hoped to serve. Following fear’s lead seemed to be more an act of selfishness, one of self-preservation, as I felt myself shrinking into a corner instead of standing in the expanse of my light.

But fear is a tenacious bastard and soon had me wondering again, but what if? Yes, we’ve all danced with that question many times and for many reasons in our life. There are loads of possible answers to that query. I decided that dividing that question into two different mindsets would help me to see with greater clarity as to how I might continue.

I made a mental list of potential outcomes, both desired and undesirable, for the questions: What if I do?  What if I don’t? That was when fear began to lose some of its hold on me. I understood that not continuing on the path I had begun would leave me disappointed in myself. Others will always have their thoughts and opinions but what I needed to focus on was my own sense of self, and I didn’t want to let myself down by letting fear be my guiding force.

With that I had to own that there may be some unfavorable outcomes for myself and a few others, but ultimately I sensed that a greater good would be served if I had the courage to continue to move forward. My project wasn’t just to benefit me, but many. 

In writing about this it all sounds so fluid but I must say that it was a tumultuous process. Fear had me crawling into my own mind, feeling depressed and despondent, and unable to see a larger picture. I was beginning to believe my fearful thoughts. I must say it was quite uncomfortable but despite that it still it took great effort to pull myself out of that mindset.

I had to force myself to literally get outside, of my own head and house. Walks in nature served to remind me of the vastness and complexity of our world. With that perspective my issue suddenly seemed a bit of minutia in the whole cosmic play and I also began to tap into the universe’s desire to only and always support me. I was not alone.

Yes, I was not alone and so I had to reach out to those in my life that could display and offer the support I needed. I shared my story with others and with each telling my vision became clearer, I found myself again. And it was when I reconnected to me, not fear, that I knew and understood what direction I next needed and wanted to take.

With my intentions in site once more, I was able to reflect back on where I had been. What I realized that I was making a common mistake, I was looking for a way that I might still fulfill my goals without any discomfort on my part. I was not accepting the situation for what it was and instead was unsuccessfully trying to mold it into something it was not. I was fighting the reality of what stood before me and it was only through processing that I threw in my sword and embraced its totality. There were no short cuts to take, the only way through it was through it.

Lastly, I was unknowingly scrambling to find a way to move forward without any fear. Again, not an uncommon approach taken by us when faced with a challenge, but one that is often done in vain. So I say to you, there is still some fear attached to my choices but it is courage that prevails; and courage tells me to carry on despite the fear.

And so I will.

What is fear whispering to you? How is fear tossing you about in a challenge that faces you? Your choice is no different than mine, step into the river of fear and be swept away further from your truth or painstakingly wade to the banks of mindfulness. Which will you choose?

Be well and happy.

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