During troubling times, we are particularly close to what it means to feel fear. So many in this world feel fear for their very basic rights...their EQUAL rights as a human being. There is fear for the external and the things that are out of our control. And there is the fear that we may not have what it takes to rise up, and make our contribution to this world, to help, to act.
Fear has been around long before these times. As we react and navigate a world that feels unfamiliar, there is one fear monster that we need to look dead in the eye in order to move forward and do the work we were put on this earth to do. That is the fear that lives inside us. In order to be of our best service, we have to be willing to be our best selves.
Each month at The Hivery, we offer our Hivery Discovery Circle, a group facilitated coaching session. Each month takes a different theme and is often reflective of what I'm working on as an individual. It is true in spades that we teach what we need to learn.
Friday's theme was about FEAR. I have a deeply-rooted belief that internal fear tends to show up the loudest when we are on our path. When we are blossoming or leaping closer to the real us, when we are embodying who we are, when we are doing the thing we were put on this planet to do, including living in service to those who live in TRUE FEAR...that's when fear shows up loud and proud.
In today's times, fear and uncertainty is becoming part of our lives. Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's letter to fear (see below), we collectively wrote a letter to fear together. Dear Fear, we are not afraid to stand up for what we believe in. We are not afraid to be who we are. And, we are not afraid to dedicate our talents and gifts to help make the world a better place, for all.
This blog is our Fear Quilt...our project to acknowledge fear, but not let it own us, and as Elizabeth Gilbert says, "not let fear drive".
Want to write your own letter to fear? We'd love to include it in the comments below.
Dear Fear, I recognize you. You have been with me since I was a little girl. You are a large, black blanket that covers me up and tells me all sorts of lies. Well. Listen to this and listen well. You are no longer allowed to bring that dark, thick mass of blackness into my life. Take that smelly, stinky piece of shit and put it into the washing machine. Wash it on a hot cycle, with lots of soap, add bleach and an extra-rinse cycle. When done, take the water-laden mass and hang it out to dry on the laundry line to soak up the sunshine. - By T.W.
Dear Fear -
I’ve always included you at the party, but you’ve become the worst guest ever. You are loud and boisterous with a need to interrupt and a demand to be center stage. Your voice, while convincing and persuasive, has drowned out all others in the room. And I’ve indulged you. But not anymore.
I know there’ll be times that you’ll have something constructive to add. And I will listen. But now I’m going to listen more deeply to those you’ve shoved to the side and who I’ve neglected - Curiosity, Faith. Courage, and Joy among others. We’re going to sit down and reconnect. We’ve got a lot to catch up on. And for the time being, Fear, you’re going to be the wallflower. By H.B.
Today, you are all lowercase letters. I thank you for your help. You've had a useful hand in helping me get this far. However, here forward, you no longer get capital letter treatment. You are not invited to my stretching myself parties. With love & appreciation, KDP
After the birth of my son, I realized that you were and had been taking a lot of space in my life. I also realized that you had shaped much of my life and decisions.
I know that you were partly passed down to me by my scared mother and family, like an ugly hand-me-down that I wore regularly without awareness.
I’m not going to do that anymore.
I don’t like how I look with you on me and how you make me feel. When I wear you, I can’t connect fully with people around me, I can’t be free and I can’t be my true authentic self.
I realize that I can’t get rid of you so you may stay at the bottom of my drawer where I will sometime get a glimpse of you and as a reminder of where I have been.
But I will not wear you ever again, I will not feel bad because of you, I will not let you interfere with the way I connect with people...
...and I will NOT let you prevent me from being my true authentic self.
I am free of you now and forever.
You think I am weak – but I am strong. Decades ago, I gave you power - fed you, bathed you, and gave you three meals a day. But it’s time you start cooking for yourself. The hour has come for me to take care of myself. I have the golden ticket that allows me now to honor my health and the body I have abandoned. It’s true, I let you borrow it, but I’m taking it back now. You helped me find my voice, and for that I will always be thankful. I honor your loyalty, power, and perseverance. When it gets hard, I will nod from across the room at you and say, “Okay, I hear you, and it’s time for me to get back to all that I know now." Keep me dreaming and fighting, Fear. My biceps may not be as big as yours, but my heart and will are unstoppable.
With great gratitude,
Hello, I remember you; you exist from old stories I tell myself, stories that possibly served me in the past but no longer do. Stories that hold me back, keep me small, keep me limited, and frozen in a trance of unworthiness.
I release you and your hold over my thoughts and therefore my actions. When you speak I will acknowledge you but I will not react, and not respond in an unhealthy way.
I recognize for safely you need to exist, but stay out of the drivers seat and let me find my voice and share it.
I want you to know that I am enough. I am beautiful and lovable and positive and kind. Sometimes I may not have the perfect boundaries or the perfect response to a situation but I’m massively conscious and trying…every day I try. Every day I care. Every day I am want to be kinder and more gentle. Divine Presence, Spirit, Beauty, and Grace are helping me be a better person more inclined toward love and less inclined to listen to you. Even if I grappling a bit right now, don’t mistake that you’re winning! Inside I'm fierce! I'm strong! I’m smart! I’m determined and most of all I’m kindhearted! I will find my way. I already have…I’m sitting here in the Sacred Space at the Hivery.
With love for all you’ve taught me along the way.
I've known you for a long time. You've been a main character of my "story" for many years. Sometimes I got confused between you and what was really true for me. You got me to be too polite, in fear I might be perceived as a bitch or rude. You got me to worry too much about hurting other people's feelings to the point where I put my own needs last, often to my detriment.
You are "FOLG-A" - the freaked out little girl inside, who simply needs to be safe, secure, taken care of, sometimes held and that's okay. I've found better strategies at living my life than being guided by you but thanks for the effort!
I know you are trying to protect me and keep me safe; I truly appreciate that. And it’s time for me to move forward faster and with more beautiful intensity toward what I want and what the world needs. You are allowed to nudge me and warn me when I am going off my path or doing harm to myself or others, but you are not allowed to sabotage me or mess with my health or happiness. And you absolutely cannot touch my soul. It’s my sacred place. Your job is to be one of the many voices that are cheering me on to make my work better and brighter. I’ll do my job of shining brightly and you do yours.
You are welcome in this room - you may grow or shrink as you feel. But you aren't allowed to take me over. You aren't allowed to inhabit my body - or, if you do, I will step into you and bring so much light that it will blind you. And then your eyes will hurt and you'll complain. Your choice.
I will use your size as a gauge. As you grow bigger and darker and more looming-monster-like, I will know that I'm on the right track.
Because the bigger you are, the more brilliant a neon sign you become. A sign that tells me "Keep going. You're almost there."
Thank you from my deepest heart for protecting me when I’ve been in a situation that would be harmful. Please continue to be present in my life in that way.
Where you are not welcome, is in my dreams and potential. You may not interrupt my faith, my love, my devotion. You may not stop me from moving deeper into my perfection and wholeness. You may not keep me down, cast me out belittle my experience or otherwise minimize my life.
Keep me from crossing freeways by foot, getting caught in an undertow and walking in a bad hood in the dead of night.
Otherwise, you know the drill.
I acknowledge that you are a partner in this dance. You may hold my hand, suggest moves, try to guide me, let go and dance next to me, spin me around, catch me, even lift me up in the air at times and inspire and exhilarate me. You may not step on my toes, hold me too tight, inhibit my expression, control me, drag me, push me, trip me, drop me, crush me, and no matter what, you may never hold me down.