Updated: Mar 8, 2018
Thanks for joining me for part two (of three) of What I Am Learning from Fear.
In part one I shared that through exploring my fears, I was learning things such as, “It is okay to be afraid,” “Sometimes fear is projected excitement,” and, “Fear is a double agent.” If you haven’t read part one, I would suggest doing so. You can find it here.
Now let’s dive into part two.
It is okay if I am the only one afraid
Perhaps you can relate: everybody else in the room seems so confident. You on the other hand are looking for the exit, convinced you are the only anti-social loser there. That may not be you, but it has often been me.
Though it is highly unlikely that I am the only one in the room that is afraid, I am learning that if it really is true, if everybody else really has it all together… Well, that’s okay. Plus, I always liked doing things differently, so why not be unique by being freaked out in social situations? Hey, I think I am onto something!
Sometimes I am afraid because I am not being myself
Okay, now back into another social setting. I feel fear, I don’t fit in. I judge people, I judge myself, all because I am afraid. I am learning that sometimes I am afraid because I am not being myself.
When I am pretending to be somebody else, there is a little guy in me going, “What the hell?” Well, maybe not in those words, but you get the idea. He feels abandoned. I am not there for him. My authentic self is nowhere to be seen. So he ends up feeling afraid, and then I feel the fear too.
When I show up as my authentic self, then it I often feel excitement. Then little guy is now going, “This is more like it! This is awesome!”. Depending on comfortable I am with the situation, there may be some fear too, anything from butterflies to moderate fear. But if I am going to be myself, I can move through it into excitement.
Fear reveals disowned parts of myself
When I am afraid of somebody, I judge them. If I go deeper though, I see that fear reflects a part of me back to myself, a part of me that I judge, hide, and sometimes hate.
Then comes the hard part - owning that part of me. Sometimes I am not very successful because I don’t want to, or I am not ready to believe that there is a part of me like that person.
For example, I think somebody is being rude. I then try to see how that might be a reflection of me, but since I am never rude (sarcasm intended), I quickly launch into and inner dialogue of, “I don’t do that! I am not rude like that! I care about people!”
Now, if I can face that part of myself, if I can admit that I can be rude too, then I can integrate rudeness into myself. As a result, I become more whole, and I can then have compassion for any of us when we act in less than enlightened ways.
Who knows, maybe I can even enjoy being rude. Is that offensive? I am not sure. I am still learning!
I don’t have to heal every single fear. I can choose not to deal with some of them.
I am on a life long journey, one that some would call a spiritual path. I am not sure what to call it, and I really don’t need to know.
As I have walked, ran and stumbled along in this life, this nameless journey, I see that part of me would love to heal every fear I have. Fear itself will tell me that I must heal it. It is pretty crazy making stuff.
In a strange, twisted way, I am learning from fear that it is cruel to put that kind of pressure on myself. I am also learning to love, and that includes loving myself enough to not have to fix every last thing about myself.
If I choose to not deal with a fear, I can do that with love. And I can always come back to it later.
And now we are onto the biggest and deepest thing I am learning from fear. AKA… the inconclusive conclusion to this series. Read part three here
Still haven't read part one? You can find it here.