I woke up at five o’clock this morning drenched in a cool sweat, heart pounding in my chest, desperately drawing deeper breaths into my lungs. My nightmare included bombings and frighten children and hiding from “the bad guys” and isolation. It was a nightmare that felt so real and so true, one that let me mix the images and circumstances of reality with my own deep seeded fear.
Fear is a strange bedfellow. It seems to linger and lurk in the shadow of every shift and change. It crawls onto our backs every time there is loss or even a perceived loss. It waits for us at the corner right when we decide to change direction on our path. And yet it is a necessary companion along life’s journey.
The thing about fear is that instead of dancing with it, asking it questions, unmasking it, we choose to give it the car keys, the hiking boots, the password to our heart. Fear is not meant to lead us although it strives to do so and works hard to take control. Fear is just a companion that emerges from our need to feel secure and safe. In that way, fear is like our overachieving, sometimes annoying, very loud internal body guard and it is up to us to acknowledge it, tell it that we see it, that we feel it, and then let it know, “Don’t worry. I got this.”
I’ve heard Fear referred to as the acronym Forget Everything and Run. I choose the acronym Face Everything and Recover. When fear shows up, I have a choice – let it lead, drop everything and run. Let fear decide. Or, I can stand firmly in my roots and face that fear, even dance with that fear as a means of understanding its origin and its patterns. Fear always shows up at a time of change and if I let fear decide the perceived outcome of that change then I stand paralyzed at its feet or worse, run the other direction. If I recognize the pure potential and boundless possibilities that change can bring then I have chosen life over fear.
Our world is changing and some have shared and written about for years the need to plumb into the deepest and darkest shadows and our most profound fears in order to come together, to reconnect, to regenerate, to tell a new story of love, hope, compassion and peace. What if the fear and shadows that are present at this time are the gateway to the new story.
So I’ve made a choice: I will not run from my fear. I will not fight or struggle with my fear. I will dance with it as we shift, transform and evolve. What choice will you make in regards to your own fear?