I spend days feeling fear. Today I decided to make a big list of all my fears and burn them. Byron Katie author of Do the Work says to write your fears as if they are happening now in order to release them. Ok here goes.
I am afraid I am running out of money not working in the USA.
I am afraid that I am bored and isolated here in the mountains.
I am afraid that I am a sloth, that sleeps and eats, and lays around just passing time.
I am afraid that I am not enough for my partner.
I am afraid I have nothing to say, nothing to contribute.
I am afraid I am wasting my life in Colorado.
I am afraid that I have no friends here.
I am afraid we are driving each other crazy in this gorgeous house.
I am afraid to have sex on the new 750 thread count sheets.
I am afraid of losing myself.
I am afraid I am becoming someone else for my partner.
“We have to be careful of how we handle our fear-because I’ve noticed that when people try to kill off their fear, they often end up inadvertently murdering their creativity in the process. So I don’t try to kill off my fear. I don’t go to war against it. Instead, I make all that space for it. Heaps of space. Every single day I’m making space for fear right this moment. I allow my fear to live and breathe and stretch out its legs comfortably. It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes too. In fact, I cordially invite fear to come along with me everywhere I go.” Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic
“The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch. He takes on the assignment that will bear him into uncharted waters, compel him to explore unconscious parts of himself. Is he scared? Hell, yes. He’s petrified. So if you are paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. Steven Pressfield The War of Art
So feeling my fear is a good thing. It means I am onto something big, meaningful, important. It is the opposite of what my ego tells me, that fear is a warning sign. Henry Fonda, the famous actor, used to throw up before each performance out of fear. But he still went on the stage. He did not stay in the wings and let his fear rule him. Many people who don’t know me well have said “you are so courageous”. Perhaps that is true. I am not sure there is such a thing as a fearless person. It is a matter of making space for my fear, but not letting it rule the action.
As the author Elizabeth Gilbert says, she takes her fear along for the ride as a passenger, but she does not let her fear drive the car, touch the maps, or even change the radio station. Fear sits in the back seat, and looks out the window.
Fear does not drive my car.