How to Make Space for Fear
Fear has been knocking at my door... Last week, I came across this passage in the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and it struck a chord: "To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is to take the risk to be fully alive - the risk to be alive and express what we really are." Do you ever feel like you are not really going for it, not fully living this life? We hold back from telling our friends and family we love them, from jumping in cold water just to see what it feels like, from waking up earlier to see the sunrise, from telling our deepest truth, from being fully present with our children, from smiling to a stranger, from opening up and sharing when we're okay and when we're not... And just a few days ago I was reading with my son: a children's book from the library called "Me and my fear". It's the story of a child - let's name her Cherry - and her secret friend called Fear, who looks pretty cute by the way: Fear reminds me of a little marshmallow pet. Wherever Cherry goes, her faithful friend is right there by her side. When she's next to a cliff, Fear is there to hold her back. Most of the time, Fear keeps her safe, but then, one day Cherry arrives at a new school. She doesn't know anyone and her little friend Fear starts growing and growing. Fear grows so big, it takes up the whole room and keeps Cherry from interacting with other kids. Finally, Cherry makes a new school friend, who also happens to have a secret "marshmallow friend". As Cherry feels more at ease with her new acquaintance, Fear goes back to its healthy size. Cherry then realizes that all the kids in the school also have their own little "Fear pet" following them around. As adults, we also walk with this secret friend. We build walls and stories so we can better hide Fear or at least pretend it doesn't exist. Whether we let it take over and control our life, is really up to us. We can lovingly acknowledge it and allow its presence instead of resisting it. It isn't something to annihilate. We can learn to share its existence with others. And we can learn to function with it and still live a fabulous life.