To Fear or Not To Fear?

Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are – Don Miguel Ruiz

There are times when I feel like as if I’m a marionette puppet.  I’m being stringed along,  doing the daily grind and many times in my life I have wondered, is this what life is supposed to be all about?  Really? Because if it is, this really sucks.  I appreciate the people and things I have in my life, but I feel as if something is missing.  I look at around me, and everyone seems happy, content at where they are in life, and I say to myself “Smarite, are you sure there isn’t something wrong with YOU!?!”

You know, there IS something wrong with me.  I can feel it inside my chest most times. No, I’m not having a heart attack and I don’t have indigestion.  I’m talking about that painful, heart-twisting, hollow feeling in my chest.  You know what I’m talking about.  It’s the one that when you quietly sit alone long enough, and truly listen to what your inner voice is trying to say to you, you start to get so scared at what you might hear that you want to cover your ears and yell “LA, LA, LA, LA.”  I’m working up the courage to hear THAT voice right now.

I want to hear what is being said to me, and I know it won’t be easy to do so.  This requires me to look deep into my soul and truly face that fear I’m so desperately trying to run away from.  It means that I have to finally allow myself to see the horrible things in MY world, and literally scare myself to death.  It means letting the old me die, in order to become the new me, and essentially have phoenix processes over and over again.  I’ve done that before, but looking back, those were mini ones.  This time it’s going to be big.

This means that I will have to dig deep inside and face the things that keep me up at night.  Confront the ‘boogey men’ and the ‘wolves’ which frightened me.  I need to find out what paralyzes me at night; so much so that I am afraid to set my tiny toes to the ground for fear that something from under the bed will grab hold of me, and suck me underneath.

But before I can face these items terror, I feel that I need to learn a bit more about fear.  When I think of fear, I feel alone, shaken, desperate and out of control.  I think fear is something that we learn over time, something that is instilled in us.  I remember my daughter when she was first born, and going through all her ‘firsts’ – crawling, walking, running etc.  She would fall and pick herself up again and try again.  She didn’t cry, she wasn’t scared, and mostly because I didn’t react with fear.  But when she would try things that I found to be fearful, she would act in a certain way because I would project my feelings onto her.  She learned to be scared, frightened. Over time she would become paralysed with fear herself and not try new things.  Looking back at those things she didn’t try, I robbed her from new experiences which would have allowed her to grow.  Now, with encouragement she is building her esteem up and becoming confident in herself and the things she can do. So to me, I don’t think fear is present with us at birth, but something we learn over time.  Fear really stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real.”

So I know there is something I’m fearful of in taking this journey of self-discovery.  I know that I have a choice in this matter, I can either face my fears and weaknesses, or I can continue stopping myself, really, from living.  There is nothing else stopping me but me.  I know that even though I’m frightened, life is sending to me people and circumstances which support and enable me to face my fears.  It keeps giving me opportunities to transcend.  I see the signs, but why am I stopping myself?

I don’t know.

I’m lying.  I do know.  I’m afraid of what I may find out.  Actually, I just lied again.  I know what I will find out, and what I’m afraid of is the confirmation of that I am right – that I have been right all along.  My fear is not of the boogey men or the wolves.  My fear isn’t of discovering some big family secret.  My fear is in the knowing that the answer has been in me all along, and that what I have been searching for boils down to is love.  Yes, one word: LOVE.

The one and only answer is love.  I’m afraid to love, accept and forgive myself.  I see that there is a huge disjoint with the level I love myself and others.  The level to which I can give love, acceptance and forgiveness to others should be a mirror of how much I can give myself.  But I’m afraid to love myself.  And I know that whenever anything other than love shows up to my doorstep, I know it’s the universe mirroring back to me what I’m putting out there because I’m not loving myself unconditionally.  I need to ask myself at those times “why do I feel like this?” rather than pointing to the other person saying “you did this, you’re wrong, life is unfair or the world is a big, bad, scary place.”

But I don’t want to ask myself why I’m feeling that way, because it means to look into myself and find out why I’m not loving myself.  It means looking to find out why I’m feeling inadequate.  My fear is in the realisation that I am NOT inadequate, I AM powerful, I AM capable, I AM beautiful, I AM smart, I AM talented.  I just don’t understand why I don’t give myself permission to be.  Why am I afraid to love?  Why am I afraid to live?


6 thoughts on “To Fear or Not To Fear?

  1. Had love been been sugar, do we value the sweetness or measure the quantity by quality
    or taste? Maybe the love you seek requires you to step out of your comfort zone to get it. We will always have our definition of love, how much we give and how much we are getting. We often mix up what we “want”, “need” and “desire” with love, but we never question what love we “give others”. Maybe the giving is affecting the receiving, hence the disappointment. In our We always score 10 stars for “our” efforts on love but never check to see what a 10 is worth to someone else. Because love isn’t 50/50, we need to find out where we stand in that realm and how our love is received. Maybe the love you seek requires you to step out of your comfort zone to get it.

    • You’re absolutely right! And the fear lies in the getting out of the comfort zone and to do that requires facing things uncomfortable. How can you really love yourself unconditionally when you aren’t living life as a whole. And it does affect the love you receive because as a result of not being whole, the other person cannot give to you what you need, therefore you are at a loss both ways – from what you receive from yourself and others.

  2. Smartie, beautiful, beautiful Smartie. Can I propose a radical alternative? Do you need to know why? Will it help you to know why or make any difference to how you live your life in the future if you do? Maybe you could accept that in the past, due to circumstances and various factors, you felt that you were unable to love yourself, but from this day forward rather than dwelling on the why, focus on the now and the how. Sit quietly, with pen and paper if that helps, or coloured pencils and paper, and ask yourself gently and patiently “How can I love myself?”
    What are the things that you need to do for yourself to allow YOU the freedom to be, to love, to live, to do whatever you need/want/love to do?
    You ARE powerful, You ARE capable, You ARE beautiful, You ARE smart, You ARE talented.
    Now it’s time for you to see and believe what we already know.
    Rae-Anne 🙂

  3. This seems to be a problem that at one time or another in life we all face. A realization that our fears sometimes become more powerful than our better judgement. You’ve taken the first steps by understanding that to live a life full of love you need to overcome them or at least be able to move forward by not forgetting, rather understanding them. We all have a closet of skeletons in life and it’s those skeletons we learn from. Ask yourself this when you are facing your fears, what happened to make any situation become a fear, what did I learn from the situation that I now can move forward with confidence and know that it’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to have fears. We gain experience and confidence because our fears have educated us. True happiness doesn’t come to you assembled, it comes in pieces. Just take the time, use your knowledge, attach the benefits of your experiences, good or bad and put the pieces together one at a time.


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