I'm Not Fearless, Nor Do I Want to Be
I am not fearless, nor do I want to be. Attempts to forever eradicate fear seem to me, to offer an emotional lobotomy. And it will be a botched one at that. Fear might still try to share her insight, but it will be met with dulled nerve endings and detoured synapses. For me, not having the acknowledgement of fear is the illusion of a boulevard on a dead end.
What a shame to not feel fear. It's such a beautiful barometer of ourselves, biology, psychology and edges. I would never want to surrender one of my emotions and cut myself off from the fuller spectrum of knowing, understanding and wisdom.
Feelings and emotions are messengers. They ask for our attention and when given, bring information about ourselves, our world and how things are going. While I have some preferred emotions, I don’t think of any of them as inherently bad. And until we hear them, they will up the ante of being heard- often in ways that would have us wish we’d listened to them in the first place.
To cut ourselves off from emotions is to have less of a human experience. Come on, you’re not Spock.
We have come to fear fear and betray it. We are conditioned to judge it and are stunted by its very presence. “I’m afraid” is incorrectly translated into “You’ve failed”, “You’re stuck”, or “You suck”.
When fear is betrayed it becomes a tool of manipulation. Fearful manipulation is bullying. But I won’t live there. I will not fear fear nor be exploited by it. My own fears or the fears of others.
Fear has kept me alive. Fear has pointed the directions for loved ones to leave violent relationships. Fear has initiated changes that have led to better lives for many. Fear is a red flag, but it’s not a decision maker. It’s a moment to take stock and see what we are afraid of, why, and offers us a change to mitigate risk see if we take a detour or change direction.
Fear educates us. It can help us find what we believe in and what we do or don’t want for ourselves. A wise woman uses her fear as part of the alchemy of discovering her truth and knowing who she is and what she wants.
Fear and risk are dance partners. They do the same steps but with different views. Fear is the informant of calculated risk.
Fear is not a sentence to be served. It doesn’t forge who we become. It’s the heat of the fire that strengthens our mettle. (Yes, that was word play.)
Fear is not synonymous with failure, inaction, or daring or making the leap. Nor is fear the absence of faith, strength, perseverance, or love. Fear examined, lets you act without it being your primary motivation or force. When fear is named, examined and identified we no longer allow it to become our subconscious compass.
Embrace fear. Let it sit on your lap and listen to its concern. Ascertain the wisdom and intuition that it is trying to articulate. It has my best interests at hand and wants me to listen. Respect it.
But fear is not meant to rule. While we know not to kill the messenger, we also know to not surrender to it. A life fueled by fear is a dousing rod for depression, anxiety, and a life half-lived. Don’t feed your fear and don’t let it become the boss. It’s not meant to call the shots. That’s your job.
Let fear be the opening act for courage. When fear is understood it lets us lead with and come from a place of love.
It’s seldom that I am afraid. I don’t dwell in fear. I listen to it as I would a wise old friend.
Fear is not a problem. Letting it rule you is.
(Thanks, Dad. I learned this from you.)