Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. –Eve Ensler
I’ve been working on fear.
Well…let me be a little more honest.
I’ve been more aware of fear. I know it when I see it. I can feel it take up residence in my chest, my throat, my stomach at different times for different reasons on different days. I am able to stop myself and say “Hmmm…I’m afraid of doing this” or “I never realized how terrified I am of that.”
In discovering and recognizing my fear, I am able to also ask myself if fear is the right emotion.
A little more honest…
I’m able to ask myself if I’m feeling terror instead of emotions that make me feel unsafe.
From a young age I learned to let terror settle in when I should feel a host of other emotions. I learned to be fearful and careful and also to push through courageously to do the simplest things. I learned to do this all so well that many people who know me think I’m fearless, ballsy, brazen, and aggressive.
Those who really know me know some of my deepest fears. The things that sit on my shoulder and whisper meanly that I should be careful. That I should walk softly. That I should know full well that the consequences of my next action could be my undoing.
But now…this time…this round of transformation…is different.
Oh, I’m still afraid. Hell…maybe I’m even more afraid now that I’m recognizing the fear. I certainly feel the terror more fully. My arms break out in goose flesh. My blood feels thick. My hands feel clamy. My heart takes on a different cadence.
And still…as American Playwright Eve Ensler says above…I’ve gone so far away that now I’m not really afraid of not coming back.
I’ve gone far away from living into next week.
I’ve gone far away from worrying about being liked.
I’ve gone far away from believing that perfection is attainable.
I’ve gone far way from letting my fears define me.
I’ve gone far enough away, that now I’m not even afraid of not coming back.
Living present is unsettling. Living present is unnerving. And Living present is a gift. A beautiful, lovely, terrifying, and welcome gift.
I have today.
Today I will be afraid of something…many somethings.
And today I will extend grace to myself and I will only push into the things that matter. Otherwise, I’ll smile and leave the rest of it to someone else to pick up. My choice. Their choice.
I’ve gone too far to be afraid of not coming back. And I’m grateful for the distance between there and here…think I’ll just keep on walking.