Fearlessness has become of my top values! Feel the fear and do it anyway is my motto. Fear is one of those beasts we all carry around and it seems that we conquer one fear and another is upon us, sometimes it feels like life is a series of fears we have to face and in order to keep moving forward we have to keep on keeping on by stepping through each one as it stares us in the face.
Saturday night at the Ashram is movie night, tonight we watched “Defend your Life” a story about people who go to the “holding cell” to defend their life to see if they will come back to earth and try again or move onto another place, whatever that may be – enlightenment, nirvana, bliss- who knows? It is a Hollywood spin on reincarnation and past lives, each person is put “on trial” and they get assigned a number of true life experiences from their life that will be played out on a screen in front of them; the prosecution is presenting that this man did not overcome his fears therefore he has to go back to earth and start all over but his defence, on the other hand, tries to put a different spin on each experience each time he backs down from his fears.
It made me think about coming back to earth and doing it all over again. I just wish we could retain the learning from each lifetime then we would all be using 51% of our brains then wouldn’t we? (you have to see the movie to get this) So many questions popped into my mind.
Do we remember all the work we have done in this lifetime, does the spiritual work we have done in this lifetime transfer to our next life?
What about old souls? Aren’t they a representation of having been here before and having some memory from past lives?
Fear, can we ever be rid of it? It seems that as soon as we conquer one fear another shows up? Is life about conquering fears? If we live fearlessly does that mean we are living a spiritual life?
It can all be so confusing. One thing I know for sure though is stepping through fear is the only way, you can’t go around it, you can’t go over top of it, you can’t move it off to the side, you can’t slide under it; you gotta go straight through.
I remember once at a speaking engagement, my daughter’s one year celebration of sobriety, I was so nervous as I usually get when I have to speak in front of a bunch of people, I felt physically sick, I couldn’t concentrate on anything and I wanted to run from the room screaming “I can’t do this”.
Thankfully, I had just read a book (can’t remember which one there have been so many that have inspired my life) and in this one the writer explains about mastering your fear by talking to it, like a friend. Fear is our friend, it can protect us and it can be a warning system but at the very same time it can be our enemy and sabotage and paralyze us. The book explained to let your fear know that you know he/she/it is there, acknowledge it and then speak to it like a parent would speak to a small child, thanking it for being there and trying to protect you, share your gratitude for its protective instincts and then let your fear know that “you got this one” and ask it to kindly take a back seat while you slide into the driver’s seat. The night of my daughter’s one year anniversary I had to b-r-e-a-t-h-e ALOT I had a conversation with my fear and thanked her for coming along, I acknowledged her effort in taking care of me and then asked her to kindly take a seat in the back row and be a witness. “I got this” I told my fear and I watched as she made her way to the back row and took a seat, smiling at me she nodded. The book went on to say name your fear, give it a name, use your imagination and imagine what it looks like create an image of your fear complete with full, bright colours so when you are speaking to it you can get a mental picture. I named my fear and pictured her to be a very large protective shell all around me to keep me safe, she was large and all encompassing, she, like EGO, sometimes has trouble getting through the doorways because she was so BIG and overpowering.
Just because I asked my fear to take a back seat did not mean that I was no longer scared, it didn’t mean that my heart rate returned to normal, it didn’t mean anything other than I stared her right in the face and took back my life in that moment. When my name was called, I took a deep breath and I went for it and to my surprise the more I spoke, the more I calmed down and came into the moment and focused on the most important thing in the room that day, my daughter and all that she had accomplished up to this point in her young life. I faced another fear. After I had said what I wanted to say I felt a wave of confidence wash over me, one step closer to believing in myself, and one step away from letting fear control me.
Fear is a panoptic beast just like the EGO. I think fear can be masked by the EGO just to complicate things, sometimes we think we are afraid of this or that but perhaps its not even the fear you think it is maybe deep down its simply the fear of stepping out of society’s conditioning of what you and everybody else think you should be doing maybe the fear is about stepping out of the box.
Is this our greatest fear? Does it envelop so many other delusional fears. This monster -FEAR – and the admonishment of it leaves us open to judgement from others, judgement of ourselves, are afraid of what other people will think? Are we afraid of getting hurt? What if they don’t like me? What if they think I’m stupid? What if … isn’t it always about what other people will think?
Is facing fears is about facing ridicule and judgement? We are afraid to ask a question for fear we will look stupid, we are afraid to fall in love for fear of getting hurt, we are afraid to be ourselves for fear of not being accepted; it is absolutely ludicrous when you think of it because we are all doing the same thing to one another yet we all want the same thing, acceptance. WOW!
I used to be afraid of everything, so afraid in fact I rarely spoke as a child, a teenager, or a young adult, so unsure of myself and so afraid I would say something stupid and embarrass myself so I just didn’t speak much at all. I would become so embarrassed if anyone asked me a question or put their attention on me. I was terrified of my own shadow, I feared everything and everyone. Once I had my children I had to start coming out of my own shadow and interacting with the world, the universe has a funny sense of humour because she gave me the most gregarious, outspoken, in your face child imaginable. I had no choice. This was to be my path and she was and still is to be my greatest teacher in this lifetime. This beautiful soul, my daughter, has come to teach me many lessons. I am still learning.
I became even more fearless when I didn’t have anyone to hide behind anymore, leaving my marriage was the first real step into fearlessness. So many fears, so many worries, so many anxieties but one by one I had to face each and every one of them all by myself. I was scared, terrified, in fact, but fear by fear I had to step up and push it aside and take back control of my life.
One of the proudest moments of my life to date was facing the fear of speaking to a judge on my own behalf because I could not afford a lawyer to act on my behalf. I joined toastmasters, a speaking club, to overcome my fear of speaking. As I wrote my speeches I realized my love of writing and a new child was born. I practiced in front of the mirror over and over again, I got myself a coach, a mentor and I gave it all I had. This fear had been one of my greatest, a monster that put a fright into me each and every time I even thought of it, never mind actually getting up and doing it. I would sweat, my heart would pound so hard I thought I might pass out, my mind would threaten to go blank and did a few times at the most inopportune times. After some practice and good coaching, I stood up in front of a judge and said what I had to say, trembling, yes of course, my heart pounding out of my chest, yes indeed but I stood my ground, faced my fear and did what I had to do with a favourable outcome to boot. This was to be my greatest fear and the funny thing is it is turning out to be my path, speaking in front of groups of people. Little by little the universe continues to present me with opportunity after opportunity to share with groups of people. Imagine if fear won!