Fear, have you felt it? Have you interpreted it to mean you should stop what you are doing? Or do you feel the fear and do it anyway?
Coming to the mountains for love, I have felt a lot of fear. Mostly fear of making a mistake. Part of me wants the map for my life.* The really scared part of me wants to know that my relationship will work out, that this is it! We all know that there are no guarantees with love. By leaving my home country for love, I have this hidden expectation that this should be worth it.
Having this expectation put demands on the situation, that really has nothing to do with the situation, or the other person, but has everything to do with fear.
I was researching the history of this area in the Colorado mountains. During the Pikes Peak gold rush thousands of men came here, young and restless and hoping to come for a summer, then go home with a pocket full of gold.
Breckenridge was a town of men and some women in transition, who were adventurous, restless, and seeking an outcome that would make the sacrifices worth it.
Am I any different from these 19 century gold miners?
My gold is love, intimacy, connection, an expanded self, success in a career, and having a true life partner.
Dr. Barbara D’Angelis says “fear is a natural response to the new, and the unknown, the invisible. Fear is an energy that keeps you alert and paying attention” .
I find this reassuring, that I’m growing.
If I listen to my fear long enough it immobilizes me, and stops me from moving forward. My fear would have me stick to what is familiar, and would never make a change. My fear wants to keep me in a holding pattern, in limbo. Focusing on my fear leads me to want to eat sugar, drink beer, and sleep; all behaviours that are avoiding taking responsibility for my life.
Its like driving with the parking brake on, or living your life with one foot on the brake, and one foot on the gas*. What if I feel my fear, listen to its voice, but don’t let it dominate the discussion in the room?
What if I take my foot off the brake?
When I was 20 I leapt and was not fearful, I was fearless. Is it possible we get more fearful as we get older?
What if I make friends with my fear?
Risking love again brings up huge fear. Having lost my husband suddenly in a crash, has left me with parts of my heart that have walls up; parts of my heart that have been intentionally unplugged for 8 years, so that I would not feel the pain.
But Dr. Barbara D’Angelis says “we cannot selectively open”, meaning we don’t pick and choose who or what we open to. I always believed I could shut down parts of my heart, and pick and choose whom I love, when I love.
I told myself when the time comes I can choose to love again. But after years of practicing shut down I am like a vintage car that has been in storage for 8 years and needs an overhaul just to be driven again at any speed. Hell, I might even need a new engine metaphorically speaking!
Whenever one of us embarks on the risks of love, are we all not leaving our home country; the place that is familiar, to go to the unknown. Is that not the role of love to get us to unknown territory within ourselves; to expand us, to grow us? Are we not all prospectors of the heart?
*concepts explained by Dr. Barbara D’Angelis author of the bestselling Soul Shifts and the upcoming book The Choice for Love (out Feb. 14th).