No matter your strength of heart or the armor you are able to wield when the time calls for it, the truth is that each and every one of us has felt fear throughout these unprecedented times.
Whether you feel the fear on occasion, or it has come to hang out like an unwanted house guest that won’t get up off your couch, it is showing up and it needs to be recognized and honored.
Many of us try to ignore fear. We try to put on blinders or build walls hoping it will stay on the other side. We try to push through it, like the strongest officer on the force with a battering ram. We try to outrun it or create diversions hoping it will get the hint and disappear while we try to focus on anything else.
We expend so much of our precious energy and time trying to escape fear, but the truth is it cannot be escaped from. We may be able to hide for a short while and we may be able to divert our attention for a bit; but like every other emotion, it will not be sidelined forever.
Listening to Your Fear
I wrote about the gift of “I love you. I am listening.” the other day. In the face of fear, this is the perfect opportunity to use that gift. To really recognize, honor, and listen to your fear. It is not trying to hurt you. It really is trying to help, even though we may let it get to the point where we experience it in a very unhelpful way.
It’s not the fear that hurts us or causes the pain; it’s how we relate to that fear. When we try to make it nothing and ignore it, it will get bigger and scarier because (just like with every emotion) it will not be ignored.
If it feels like it needs to try harder to get your attention, then, just like an angry toddler, it will get louder. Fear has something to tell us and it’s up to us to pause and listen so that we can move past it, through it, or even more likely, with it.
The point of bringing your fear into the light is not to have solutions to what you are fearful of, because the fears may not be “solve-able.” Often what fear needs is just the recognition that it is there, that you are aware of its desire to be known and seen. That you love and appreciate that it is trying to keep you safe because really that is all the fear is trying to do.
Fear Brings No Harm
Fear doesn’t want to hurt you. It doesn’t want to destroy you. It doesn’t want to keep you from your life. It doesn’t want you to get stuck. It doesn’t tell you that you are weak. It brings no harm. It only brings truth.
Your fears just need the space to be seen and heard; it’s up to you whether or not you are going to allow them that space and the air to breathe. Allowing your fears space doesn’t grow them. It’s in this allowing that they are able to resume their healthy frame, rather than their amped-up, need-all-your-attention-right-now! state.
We all have fear. The purpose of recognizing and honoring the fear is not to attempt to get to the state of no fear, because I don’t know if that is actually possible. I believe we all will always have some fear. Bringing your fear into the light is a healthy practice that allows you to have the fear and do and be what you want and need.
I encourage you to take some time today to check in with whatever fears have been surfacing for you and allow them to come into the light. Remember that you don’t need solutions, although if there are solutions to be had, trust that they will come in their own time. This practice is to allow you to accept that fear is natural, and also that it doesn’t have to define and control you. You’ve got this!