FEAR – WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
What do you fear? When you were a child, what were your fears? As a young adult, mature individual or older person, what were your fears? What are your fears now? Are they similar?
One day as I was reading a book by Richard Rohr titled, “Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer”, I sat down with a piece of paper and pen. I wrote “What did I fear –“on the top of the page.
I would suggest before you read any further – if time permits – that you take a blank piece of paper and write “What did I fear?” as the heading. Then sit, breathe, and let the words flow. Do not take a long time performing this exercise. If nothing comes to mind, no problem.
How many of the items you feared occurred in your life?
Of course, I was afraid on a daily basis that abuse or torture would occur. Unfortunately abuse was a given in my life. I did not even put it on my list.
Here are a few of the items that made it to my fear list:
Being alone, on the outskirts
Not being like my friends and school mates
Not knowing the answers, not being smart
Being judged as mentally ill. I was told by a family member as a child and by my former husband (abuser) that I would not be believed if I told of the abuse.
What did these fears matter? I realized that these fears held me back in my life. Most of what I was afraid of actually occurred. When I allowed the abuse history to surface, faced the reality of my situation and my daughter’s, Megan’s, and became a protective parent, I faced many of my fears directly. I was judged as mentally ill by some. I was financially poor. I did not know all of the answers; and, I definitely was not living a life similar to my friends.
Later … days or weeks later after writing the above list … I thought of other fears. These included:
Afraid to speak up
Afraid to do what is right
Fearful to be who you are
Afraid to make decisions
Afraid to decide not to act
Fearful of not being believed if I told of the abuse
Afraid to accept what you do not agree with even though sometimes you need to accept life on life’s terms (which somehow can allow you to make changes after that or at least make changes within yourself)
The fears that occurred in actuality in my life did not destroy me. I endured. I survived. I mostly thrived in spite of or because of the fears becoming reality.
As is common for many of us, I had various fears throughout my life. Some were age appropriate and some were not.
There reaches a point in one’s life when you may get tired of your fears. Ask yourself at times, what you afraid of are when you are in the midst of situation causing you difficulty.
Our fears many times underlie our hesitancy to take action or to decide not to take action. As a life coach, I am able to walk with you as you see what might be preventing you from moving forward or to discover you want to be where you are.
As a person living in the United States of America, I sense fear in our society in our daily lives since Trump became president. We are living in unsure, divisive and challenging times.
“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.”
“When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.”
Choosing to face my fears as well as being forced to face them at times provided definite opportunities for growth and for realization of how strong a person I was and still am.
I learned to trust myself more …
I learned to trust in the Universe … Higher Power …
I learned to trust in Love more ….
Collectively and individually we are on a journey which includes fear and growth. How do you respond? How do you live your life with integrity, authenticity and dignity?
Each of us … separately and together … can be a part of the world that is created. This world may be a nation or a family or a workplace or a spiritual community or a shelter or a hospital or a school or any place where we interact and connect with other individuals or groups.