NOTE: This post has been sitting in my drafts, unfinished since I started it on April 27th. Yay, fear!
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, when I should have been reading a book for a discussion I’m co-facilitating this Thursday or at least readying myself for bed, I saw Darren Rowse had tweeted a blog post on dealing with fear. So of course I read it. I think you should, too. No, really; it’s got a great connection to my next post.
As I have joined the world in mourning Prince Rogers Nelson, I keep coming face-to-face with this fear|courage ‘dichotomy’. Is it even really a dichotomy? As Darren’s post discusses, fear can be the very thing that activates our courage. Numerous posts have cropped up discussing how Prince encouraged people to be themselves/oversome their fears/expand their horizons… but it was while reading ?uestlove’s tribute that I decided to write this post. Now, whether it was because of the timing with Darren’s or something else, I’m not sure but I knew I wanted to write about how I’m addressing my fears after reading Darren’s though ?uest’s helped me bring together why Prince means so much to me (something I don’t think I really understood how much until he was snatched away from us):
He lived unapologetically.
In my reflection, I finally heard a message the Universe has been trying to send me for eons:
Please don’t kill yourself trying to please others, even if you love what you do.
Listen to your body & let yourself heal.
People who are mad at you for doing so never really cared about YOU to begin with – they just wanted to consume what you had to give and suck you dry.
Now, I don’t know if that’s a demon that Prince dealt with but it’s a common theme in the human experience. And it’s a thing that my ancestors have been working overtime trying to protect me from. So, now that I have recognized and accepted this message, I’ve begun thinking differently about the things that give rise to fear for me:
- What will I be when I grow up?
- What if i don’t make it?
- Who’s gonna accept me & all my challenges (this question applies on multiple levels)
- Do I really wanna deal with any environment where I have to hide my needs to survive?
So I decided it was time to address these fears that have been contributing to my lack of productivity. Being the lover of charts that I am, I figured I’d drag my current fears through the three questions posed in the image above. [NOTE: I started to make the chart but I decided not to fill it in because as soon as I set it up, I began to realize what I needed to realize. I’m including it for the visual.] Several (all?) of these areas overlap, and no I’m not going to describe them in detail because I’m finishing this post after already making my decision.
At the end of his post, Darren writes,
Courage is courage – even if you only have a little bit of it.
Given everything that’s facing me, I think the only way forward is through what little and “wobbly” courage I currently have.
To be continued…