I’ve been facing fear.  It’s a slow process because it’s so deeply engrained in my personality.  I also fear what I might uncover if I put it under a microscope.

gardenia 2Fear controls much more of my life than I’d like to believe.  It’s like an old friend who barges into my home without an invitation.  He smells, belches, and farts his way into my life, smelling like day old tobacco, desperately needing a haircut, dental work, and clean clothes.  But I somehow don’t have the heart to kick him out.  He’s a friend…with a soul.

That’s the irony of our darker sides.  We love that they’re a familiar part of our lives.  And we recognize that deep within the miasma of our darkness rests our soul.  The shadow of my fear distracts me from seeing my true self, like thick, etched glass.  It allows me to indulge myself as a romantic victim of the terrible world around me.

Fear shows up for me in many ways.  Fear of failure.  Fear of being seen as a failure.  Fear of looking stupid.  Fear of losing control.  Fear of being shamed.  Fear of abandonment.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of losing out.  Fear of being judged.  Fear of being unworthy and not enough.  Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of being hurt…again.  Fear of love and of not being loved.  I could go on.

Oddly enough, what I don’t fear is that which I can see, touch, and work on.  The concrete, tangible aspects of life seem to shove fear to the sidelines.  I feel more confident when I’m surrounded by the wonder of nature, the joy of cooking, the logic of architecture, the creativity of painting, the expressiveness of writing, or my intuitive sense of what others need to find healing and peace.

This last element is a real enigma.  When I consider what people can do to me, I’m terrified.  Yet when I think about what I can do for people, I’m filled with hope and yearning.  When I’m face to face with a person who has the least bit of transparency, I see the child within.  I hear the child crying out in fear and I want to take away the fear.    Despite my own fears.

I’m in the process of reading Joe Dispenza’s book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One.  It’s a wonderful exercise in reworking the feeling-thought connections of our minds.  I’m just beginning my meditation on fear.  Writing about it helps.  And I hope it helps you too, to see that you’re not alone, that your fears are real to you, and that you can let go of them too.