What does fear mean to you? Does it play a role in your everyday life?
For me, fear isn’t a big part of my emotional landscape. It used to be, that’s for sure. It usually showed up as social anxiety, anxiety about cars, work, money, and relationships, especially in my early-mid 20s. In my late 20s I worked really hard to see my fear surrounding those things and slowly release it. It’s because of that work that it usually plays such a small role in my daily life now. But recently…it’s been back. An unwelcome visitor.
It really started the night that my husband was flying back home from Louisiana. I had terrible thoughts about the plane crashing and him not making it home. I even had mental images of a toy he had bought for our daughter floating amongst the wreckage of the plane crash in the Pacific. Heavy, seriously unpleasant stuff. But, when I examined further, admittedly just below the surface of those fears, what really came up was fear of being alone. Fear of abandonment that stems from being left alone with our newborn daughter when my husband went back to Afghanistan 1 week after her birth via cesarean.
And last night, when my husband was late getting home from work, the fear came back. Even though that night he was flying home I realized that my feelings were rooted in that fear of abandonment, they didn’t go away. I didn’t fully deal with them, inspect them, or embrace them. All I was able to do at the time was acknowledge them. And sometimes, that’s enough. At that moment, that was enough, but overall, in the grand scheme of life, I have more work to do.
By the time he did get home from work I was already in a state. I knew, logically, that I was upset because I was in a state of fear, and I also knew that this was a carry over from the night he was set to fly back.
Later, when I was reflecting on all of this in the shower, I realized how much fear was actually floating around in my mind. WAY more than I consciously acknowledged and that was a part of the problem – not consciously acknowledging it.
Isn’t it interesting how these things are there? They obviously are negatively impacting our lives and we blame small things, insignificant things, when the truth, the root of the issue, is there, floating just below our body of awareness, waiting patiently for when we are ready.
Only we don’t always feel ready, do we? Last night I certainly didn’t want to deal with it. Gunky, heavy, dark, feelings of sadness and abandonment heavy in my chest. No one wants to feel that way, but if we ignore it it will just come back. And in my experience it doesn’t “just come back”. It comes back with a vengeance because it’s had other crap piled on top and now there is more to deal with. So that’s what happened/is happening right now.
And just right there I wanted to write, “…happening to me right now”, but my mind immediately corrected that to, “…happening for me right now”.
This, I believe, is another key to consciously integrating these difficult emotions and embracing our shadow – the way we frame these issues in our minds and in our speech. Life doesn’t happen to us. Life happens for us. We can choose to learn and integrate and grow from these difficult situations/feelings or we can let them ruin our days/weeks/months/years. And I have no intention of letting my fear of loosing someone ruin my weeks/months/years.
So, here I am, sharing about a difficult part of my life, trying to make sense of it and work through it and let it flow through me. And I hope it will bring someone else comfort that is working through something hard too.
Can we sit with these (horribly) uncomfortable feelings long enough to let them move through us and eventually out of us? Can we be honest with ourselves about their origin and be willing to heal, no matter how uncomfortable that healing may be? I hope so. I sure as shit am going to try. I know that I can do it, and I know that you can too. We were born to integrate all aspects of ourselves and embrace them as part of our amazing and glorious whole. And when we do this, we make space for others to do the same. We open up our hearts and minds to healing, that we may be facilitators of community healing, global healing. It all starts with us.
Many Blessings Friends♥