Fear lives inside of us as a wise messenger, to tell us when we are not ourselves; to tell us when we are in danger. Yet unguided fear, as I wrote about last week, loses her wisdom and becomes a monster in her own right. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Disney’s Moana, so let me give a brief description of an important part. In Moana, there is a scene where Moana herself is at a pivotal moment; she must defeat the monster that has been keeping her island and people from prosperity. In a swift plot twist instead of defeating the monster, Moana saves the monster who turns out to be the lost goddess of life. In our lives fear unguided is the monster. We are the lost goddess of life.
Fear begins with such a kind intention and true wisdom when it first presents itself. Remember the lion I wrote about last week? Fear tells us that we are in danger from either the outside world or from losing ourselves. The problem is, when fear is given free rein over our minds because we have not cared for her, she becomes the danger. We then feel madness and are never at home in our own minds. Unbridled fear drives us to always be at war.
This fear comes in so many ways but is kept alive with shame. Confused and worried that we are in fact in danger (if we don’t know how to guide our fear), we spiral into shame and either destroy ourselves or others. Fear is a monster when it is unleashed and unguided by understanding. Yet fear starts trying to be a wise counsel. When we don’t listen to what we need to stay safe, fear decides to write the narrative. I don’t know about you, but I’m fucking done with fear writing my narrative. She’s is an awful driver.
Fear Needs the Spirit of a Warrior
Over the last few days, I have been falling back into fear. I felt the signs and yet continued on until, at last, I cried with my sister and reached out to a few friends. My signs were that I was shopping, watching TV, scrolling on my phone at night, and drinking a glass of wine several nights a week. While all of these things may sound lovely (this is why I was doing them), they were in fact damaging because I was doing them to avoid discomfort and not because I was me. Fear had placed her hand on the wheel. She wanted to drive again. Luckily this ride was brief and I took the skills I have developed to stop fears reign. I soaked in a hot bath, candles lit, and asked my fear what she needed. Skills. She needs skills.
You see my life still has a lion chasing me. My body is still affected with PTSD from domestic violence and I only know how to prevent symptoms from climbing to a panic attack, not how to expose myself without being hurt. I have the strength inside of me yet I don’t know how to train fear to protect me. Fear needs a fierce spirit to protect me, to give me strength, to keep my heart soft and open. Fear needs the heart of a shepherd and the spirit of a warrior.
Learning to Manage Fear
Too often I’ve spent life just telling myself I’m OK because of the external world I create around me but am terrified at opening my heart. My heart desperately wants to be opened but cannot safely do so because she doesn’t have the skills to navigate pain and attack. My heart needs to know that when danger comes I will be her guardian. That I will listen and honor her sister fear. I am responsible for her and have treated her so badly over the years. There are tiny moments I fill her up when I know we can be safe. In the basement snuggling my boys, on the couch at my sisters, or when I’m at a meeting with my trusted team. I have a small circle where I can open my heart and fully accept love. And yet, when pushed into the world, the battlefield of life, I armor up in fear.
When I look to either my trusted circle, comprised of pretty much the best humans you’ll ever meet, or I look at those who have harmed me/others I see this same being. I believe this has always been my gift and curse. As one of my staff, Toshi, told me (see? best humans you’ll ever meet) when people meet me they give me their best because they see a successful woman in business they want to impress. What I see is all their potential and sometimes blindly look past their flaws. I do this personally and professionally. I am the chance giver. Or so I used to be. Now I openly look at each human in my presence and realize we are all bruised but whole. That it’s not my job to make anyone’s life better or worse but if my gifts can make anyone’s life better I will tell you I’m 100% in… but not at the cost of losing myself. I am responsible for myself, and my life. And you, my darling ones, are responsible for yours.
You see, life is not without pain. Pain will come. We will all be broken throughout our lives from heartache, grief, bullying, failure, and the like. But pain does not kill us. We can feel all of the pain and still move on. We can still live. We simply need to know how to protect ourselves in the absolute best way from real dangers within our lives and how to care for ourselves when all other pain comes. Fear is screaming at us to pay attention. I do not disagree with her. Yet her actions when we do not pay attention or have the skills to keep ourselves safe and loved are damaging. That’s how fear runs the show.
To provide our glorious hearts with what they need, we would all be wise to pop Wonder Woman in the DVD player (for you cool cats like me that like to watch actual movies, not streaming) and watch the goddesses train. This is what we need. Training. To be ready for the battles of life so we can stay, not become, the god/goddesses of our own hearts.
Aren’t you tired? Aren’t you ready to change things? Don’t you want to live the life your heart tells you is possible? Guide your heart with the partner of your wise mind. Look at the fears running your life and train them one by one. Train on how to let the fears that have no merit go and train on how to conquer the true dangers. Train to find your strength and to be ready for the battles that may come in life. When the next lion comes charging, do not be afraid. Be ready. Never forget, too strong for who?