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?