We should treat fear like being afraid of the dark as a child (or an adult). What do you do? You face the fear until you’re no longer afraid of the dark. What did you learn to do when you were afraid of the dark? Turn the light on – it goes away.
If we face our fear and shine a loving light on it – the fear will shrivel up and die. Now whatever that fear is – it will take time, practice, and patience to shine that loving light. Sometimes you’ll feel as though you’re fumbling in the dark looking for the light switch – your heart’s racing, you’re seeing monsters in the shadows, and hearing whispers in the dark.
Once you work up the courage – lady nut up, man up – to look at that fear – what do you see? Seriously, what do you see? Usually, in my experience, nothing. An overgrown imagination of something that either is not, will not, or did not happen. Why are we so afraid of looking at that fear straight on? What are we afraid of seeing?
For me, it was facing the fear of speaking up for myself, speaking my truth – I was both afraid of upsetting other people & afraid of being seen as a bitch for speaking my truth. Especially if that truth was different than the other person’s. I’d suppress my truth – creating a host of other issues – imagining how angry the other person would be, how hurt they’d be, how stupid I’d look, or how they’d reject me and not want anything to do with me. I also kept myself from looking at the reasons why I thought those things. Why did I think people would be upset or think I’m being a bitch?
When I finally decided to nut up and look closely at my fear – a couple things jumped out – my fear of hurting others, making them mad, feeling stupid – came from different events from my childhood to early adulthood. I found out that I could speak my truth without hurting the other person, making them mad, being/feeling stupid and if the receiving party was a true friend and a confident person, they’d accept it and we’d go on with our day. Someone who is not secure in themselves and/or not a true friend will be offended by what you say or not have the balls to listen, even if they disagree, to hear you out and make your way to the other side of the conversation.
Once I shined a loving light on my fear – it shriveled up and died – like most boogie men in our minds. They’re simply made up out of the bits and pieces of fabric from our lives; different events where we pull a piece of this and a piece of that and sew it into this fear blanket and cover ourselves with it. Looking at it with love and shining that loving light on our fear, shows that it’s really only smoke and mirrors in our own heads.
Other examples of smoke and mirrors in my pretty little head: I’m too flawed and broken to be loved by someone; I’ll never be a healer because I’ve got too much to heal; I don’t know enough to be an expert in ______; I’ll never have enough money/love/time to do what I want.
You see how these tiny mad ideas get trapped in our minds and we weave them into giant monsters? Shine a loving light on your fears and poof! gone in an instant. You are courageous enough to shine the light of love on your fear – whatever it is. Start by asking “why am I afraid of X? or “why does X bother me so much?”. Then keep asking why until you find the core of that tiny mad idea. It might take a minute, a month, a year. I believe you can find that light switch and burn that fear away. I’m here to support you and hold that flashlight if you can’t.
Tell me if you’ve shone the light of love on your fears lately or if you’d like to do so. Let me know how it turns out. You got this!