For most of my Life, I’ve lived with a lot of fear.
Fear to speak, to be seen, to be judged, to be rejected, to fail.. I didn’t trust myself, other people or even Life itself to take care of me. I’ve held back so much out of fear, missing out on so many opportunities to feel Love, joy and connection since these feelings cannot exist when fear is present as it closes down our Hearts.
Though I still struggle a lot, the last 2+ years has been a crash course in facing my fears. I’ve allowed myself to sit in the discomfort, learning to breathe through it, to guide myself into safety as the trapped energies are released from my body. And what I’ve realized is that for most of them, once I allowed myself to actually feel this fear FULLY, to let myself go into and imagine what I BELIEVE in my head (and all the messy emotions that come along with it), that’s when the fear disappeared and I started to feel better. The mind doesn’t know the difference between a lived and an imagined experience, so it’s often our minds’ projection that causes the discomfort in our body, which is just trying to get us to go deeper to release ourselves from the root cause. (Spoiler: it isn’t often what we ‘think’ it is).
But if we keep resisting feeling our fears, insulating ourselves from them, doubling down on avoiding them or projecting them onto others, they only start to appear larger and scarier. Much like the monster in the closest, once we open the door and turn the light on, we realize that it was just our own shadow causing it. But it isnt until we meet our fear head on (even just in our imaginations), that we start to understand and become brave enough to then face others. This is how we free ourselves from the mental prison we’re currently in. Rather than expecting everyone to accommodate our fears and triggers, insulating our society to be as safe as humanly possible, we need to learn how to become brave enough to face our fears. To sit and be present with ourselves and others as we move through and release these feelings.
It isn’t a coincidence that at the root of the word ‘courage’ is Heart. Because the hard truth I’m learning is that it takes bravery to live and express ourselves from this place. To go into the dark places of our Hearts that hide our pain and anger and grief. But that is what we need to tap into, since our Hearts are also stronger and more capable than we believe. Life will never be completely safe, which I think might be the point, otherwise we wouldn’t grow and evolve. So instead we may need to learn how to become comfortable with discomfort, to feel the fear but do it anyway. The most rewarding, transformational experiences I’ve had are when I went past where I thought I couldn’t, which allowed me to become a better, more capable person for it.
And what I’m realizing is that on the other side of all of our fear is actually Love. It’s trust, compassion, acceptance and our true potential.. Right now, it feels like our society is living in a kind of purgatory, not wanting to move backward, but also too afraid to fully step forward into the unknown. Of letting go.
I believe Humanity is at a crossroads right now, having to choose between the ego-ic comfort of our past Life, and listening to our Hearts that believe a better Life is not only possible, but on the way. But to hear our Hearts, we may need to go in and release some of the emotions that reside in there first, freeing ourselves from the heaviness that is preventing us from taking that step forward. It is with deeper breaths that we can bring in more Life, while exhaling and letting go of the old. This is the path forward, leading with more compassion and understanding in the face of our fears. Owning our emotions and being brave enough to feel them, which of course, won’t be for the feint of Heart.
Gordon Caldwell 2022