No I'm Not!
"You..... (insert random accusation here)"
"No I didn't!"... "No, I don't!"... "No, I'm NOT!"...
Back and forth the insistence battles- I can hear it like it was yesterday (Okay, Maybe it was.)
Did you have arguments like this when you were a kid? I'm thinking the existence of siblings to issue the perceived accusation probably makes it easier to remember... It turns into quite the match: "Did!" >> "Didn't!" "Do!" >> "Don't!" "Am not!" >> "Are!" I seem to recall that these arguments always went around and around in a circle with neither one of us ever willing to budge. And when it did eventually stop, it always ended in a kind of silent frustration... no one satisfied.
Whew!... I AM SO GLAD TO BE PAST THAT! I mean, um... past doing it with my brother in any case.
While I've learned to be a little less stuck in my insistance and a lot more open with others, to be perfectly honest, I still have these types of arguments with myself on a regular basis. Half the time, without even realizing that I'm doing it.
Because the ego always wants to be right, and I often want to be farther than I am. And sometimes, acknowledging where growth is still needed is HARD. Especially when it feels you've already done so much! Really? Does there have to be MORE?
I've been driving down a 40 mph road at 20 mph every Wednesday evening for a month. Every Wednesday evening for a month now, I've been getting home and looking at the clock and wondering where the time went and telling myself I must've stayed to chat too long... I knew there was a possibility I'd been driving a bit slower, but I didn't want to acknowledge it. "No, I DIDN'T!" Acknowledging it would require me to admit my fear. "NO, I'M NOT!" And, especially given my line of work, that's not always an easy thing to admit. I mean, come on... I'm "supposed to be" through that part! Right?
Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel like you've conquered or survived so much that you shouldn't be allowed to still need more work in that area? Do you ever bury rather than confront the real issue because you are too caught up in the "Didn't"s or "Am not"s to really see it? Do you inadvertently avoid dealing with it because of the subconscious need to protect your own progress or your own perceived worth or ability? Do you get afraid to fall short of the "shoulds"? I think we all do. It's the ego at work. The trick is in learning to recognize it.
So this Wednesday, I'm driving down the road in the dark and hyperactively scanning the corn fields from which the deer sprung in front of my car about a month ago on that unfortunate evening, and I actually look at the speedometer: 20 miles per hour. I looked at my knuckles clenched against the wheel, and I decided to accept the truth of this situation. I am afraid. I am afraid to collide with another animal. I am afraid to experience the grief that I so narrowly avoided this past time when said deer, though clearly injured, got up and galloped away after a brief Reiki treatment (thank God for that).
What really scared me about admitting this seemingly reasonable fear of traveling a road in the dark as a result of a prior accident, was how much more fear it unearthed. It's funny that a simple straight forward life experience can bring a deeper awareness of work still to be done on a deeper level. I am afraid... I am afraid that perhaps it could have been avoided... that no matter how many times the insurance adjuster or my husband refers to it as an "act of God", I am ultimately at fault. I am afraid of causing damage that cannot be reversed out of my own need for convenience. I am afraid of disrupting nature and creating harm. I am afraid of doing or having done the "wrong" thing. I am afraid of being less than I am "supposed" to be! I'm afraid of even being afraid out of some idea that that makes me less!
And I realize that no matter how many times I feel like I'm shattering through my fear, there still seems to be another layer... It always seems to creep back in. For months now, I've been looking at my life and what I am creating and insisting to myself that the fears have already been released and that there is nothing holding me back, but somehow I'm still not getting where I want to be. And I am going to take credit here and say that, yes, I have worked through a lot. Growth, however, is an ongoing process. And fear is a natural part of the cycle. It doesn't make me any less to recognize a few more.
Maybe it's not about shattering fear. Maybe it's more about accepting the fear and integrating what we can learn from it.
Things happen. Sometimes old fears resurface and sometimes new fears spring up (just like that deer out of the cornfield). It's okay to be shocked. It's okay to be afraid. It's okay to be a little resistant. And it's okay to allow the experience. Life is a process of balancing it out. Allowing the fear and embracing the excitement... gathering the strength to keep moving through it, gain the trust, and find the freedom we crave. We cannot find that freedom, without first acknowledging the fear for what it is.
Fear is the thing that keeps me driving at 20 mph on a 40 mph road. Fear is the thing that keeps me playing small and talking quiet. Fear is the memory of a past experience that didn't quite pan out that prevents me from being open to a different possibility. Fear is a lack of trust in the unknown. Fear is the discomfort of growth. Fear is the self-locked shackle that keeps me from being all that I am. Fear is natural and ebbing, like all other emotions, a wave that rolls out just as easily as it came in... and I can learn to surf it. How? By allowing it to be and opening to the deeper awareness it can bring.
I don't think that road is the only place I've been going 20 lately...
Yes, I'm afraid of hitting another deer because I'm experiencing guilt and I don't trust myself to handle it again and I'm not 100% trusting in the will of the Divine here... and maybe I think I deserve to experience it again... And yes, I'm afraid of getting where I want to be because that too kind of brings up some guilt and maybe I don't think I deserve to get there and maybe I'm not trusting the will of the Divine there either... All things to think about. Acknowledging that fear is there has opened doors to deeper recesses of myself and is allowing a deeper understanding of how to re-establish that trust.... trust in myself, trust in my worthiness, trust in the Universe, trust in the path.
What are you afraid of? And how might it be affecting you right now? I find once I see the fears, I can recognize how irrational they may be. Like, what are the actual chances of the same exact car hitting two deer on the same exact road in one month? And I can also debate the deeper issues within myself. Like, what belief do these feelings come from and what do I really believe about that? This allows me to reaffirm the true belief, meditate on it, align my actions, and in doing so, begin to align my subconscious thought patterns with the things I've learned to be true.
Fear does not have to be binding. In fact, fear becomes a doorway when we acknowledge it. A doorway through which new growth happens and new realities are waiting. Are you ready to step through it?