fear. . .
I’ve always had a sense of fear.. . ever since I was young and set in a place where I was alone, not knowing the language of this new land; set apart from the rest of my family once my siblings were born, one after another. It wasn’t just because I was alone a lot of the time. But because it seemed there was no one who understood that I might be afraid, nor asked me anything about it. At the time, I don’t remember thinking or feeling that I was fearful. That recognition didn’t come along until a long time afterwards.
Later in life, I was faced with so much to handle that I knew I had to give it up to a higher power and ask for help (see “eggs in one basket.”) After my divorce and jobless, living in a town where I hardly knew anyone, my children trying to find their own way, I lived for about four months by myself in what I recall as one of the happiest times of my life–because I had handed over my fear and asked for help.
Then, I received a phone call to do some project management work at a new biotech company in central Massachusetts. I commuted over three hours a day until they offered me a permanent job. I packed up my things and moved there, not knowing anyone besides the people I worked with. When I arrived, I found a wonderful place to live and by chance, met my second husband there (“how we met.”)
Life is long indeed. But what I forgot often was that the fear, though temporarily stemmed at crucial times in my life, would return, sometimes without my even being aware of its presence. It was as if there was a tiny, dark ball that could be lowered down a bottomless well and disappear. Not ever retrievable. Nor put to rest.
So, I have decided to place my fear (as old and as well worn as it is) into the hands of a Higher Power which I call the Cosmos, or the Sage and Helpers (according to the I-Ching). Once and for all. To align and place my fear into that shelter and to displace its energy from my daily existence.
This post is not about religion. It is about faith. A belief that there is a higher power that may shield me from harm when I ask for help. That knows better than I, taking me to places that I could not ever imagine myself. I believe in it because the data of my experience demonstrates how it steered my life while navigating unknown waters, and then brought me back to safe harbors. It has saved me more than once when I had no idea what would come next (“stirring the pot.”)
So, recognizing this kernel of primal fear from my childhood has convinced me that it’s the one thing that I want to put on a divine shelf where it can rest and perhaps disintegrate from non-use. If you think this is heavy, it’s way more weighty to live everyday with fear just in the back of my mind, ready to emerge as impatience, judgment of others, or as constant self-criticism.
I don’t think we can know nor control how life will keep going for us: whether it will be rough or smooth. But the one thing I know will hinder me most is feeding the fear that I have nurtured for so long. So, it’s time to say farewell and to place it, all of it, into wiser hands. And once it’s gone, to give thanks for a life, removed from fear’s grasp.
Footnote: In draft stage, I discussed this stream of thought with someone, and she commented that I seemed to be doing a lot of processing by thinking. My mind over matter, you might say. When, in fact, real resolution occurs once I’m able to begin FEELING a sense of self, freed up from fear and feeling good at the center of myself.
Food for thought!. . . I mean, feeling! I feel like I’m in grade school when it comes to feeling while I have a Ph.D. in thinking!
What do you think (or feel) about fear in your life?