Fears That Define Us
We all have our personal fears that we have carried with us almost as a banner throughout our lives. These fears sometimes define who we are. These fears hold us back from being our best self.
When we look these fears in the face, there can be little or no truth left to them. They can be lies. At best they help us stay away from danger, at worse they make us into victims and paralyze us from embracing our lives.
The Gift of Fear
Don’t get me wrong; there is a place for fear in our lives. As Gavin De Becker states in his renowned book The Gift of Fear:
“The biggest mistake made by most people who are in danger of injury from others is to disregard their instincts.”
Our instincts are part of our connection to our inner self, they are flags waving that we absolutely should not ignore.
Fear of Ourselves
What I am talking about here are fears that are emotionally driven. We know cognitively they are unfounded, yet they still have a hold on us.
Marianne Williamson articulates this beautifully in A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
I Am Afraid
I watch many wonderful talented women around me holding themselves back from their greatness.
Marianne is right, we are afraid of our power. I know I am. I hold myself back, afraid to become too caught up, too busy to nurture my family. I am still learning to let go. I underestimate myself. I know in my head that I can find a balance in my life that includes everyone and everything that I love to do. My heart just needs to follow.
My question to you today is:
What dream is under the surface, bubbling, trying to come up, trying to bloom but being held back by your fear of yourself?
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”—Mary Oliver (A Poetry Handbook)
The more we are able to overcome our fears, the closer we become to attracting more joy into our lives.