As I write this, it is Saturday morning. I have been crying for over an hour, but I think it’s stopped now. I feel cleaner for letting the tears fall.
I have been running from Fear my whole life. Yes, I have moments of great courage where I push through and do things like selling everything and taking a trip to the Southwest United States for 3 months, or moving to the Far North of Canada, or becoming a freelance writer — but for a woman of my girth, I am an awfully good sprinter and long distance runner.
Hello, my name is kathy, and I am addicted to numbing.
Despite having watched Netflix until after midnight, my body would not let me sleep beyond probably 5:00 this morning. My neck and shoulders are so stiff that I wake up with a pressure headache nearly every day now. And I’m often dizzy too. When the dizziness happened last year (after I got through a bout with BPV [Benign Positional Vertigo] right about this time last year), I took it mean that Spirit, Guides, and Angels were trying to get my attention. And so that is what I’m going with again.
This morning I felt if I didn’t get up, I would end up with a migraine. I don’t really know what a migraine is, but when I get a headache (thankfully very rarely) that causes nausea, I think that might be what a migraine is.
So, I had to get up. I finally listened and sat down to my journal. Don’t get me wrong, I do write in my journal every day, but I’ve realized that my journal has turned into a hamster wheel of work stuff — things to do, my victories, or challenges. My journal has never been like this for me before. In the past month, it’s like I’ve stopped going deeper.
As I sat there with my journal open, feeling so stiff and sore, achy and headachy, nothing came. I knew this was important; I had to stop running and feel. To listen to the fear and pain. So I beseeched Spirit, my Guides, and Angels to tell me what to do, what I needed to hear. If I didn’t do it then, I wasn’t sure I’d ever do it.
I heard nothing. I switched to my non-dominant hand. All I heard was, “Eat better. Move more. Sleep more.”
And then suddenly the words came tumbling out of my heart and I started writing what I heard:
“I am fearing the ‘big change’ that is coming. What is it? Is it bad? Is it good? Is it illness? Is it abundance? Is it devastating poverty? I am fighting so hard to push Fear away, but it isn’t working. I am frozen in fear. I want to throw up right now. My body is so tired of carrying me.
Please, help me. I need a sign or something. Or do I just need to be still?
Do I need to do more of The Work? What? Please tell me. Show me a sign.
I need to do this course, I have promised people salvation and I can’t stop or cancel. I have already spent the money. What do I do? I feel like a complete failure.
I have pushed away everyone who can help me or who will hold a mirror up to me. I am so scared of showing how scared I am. How unhinged I feel.
I think I need to be outside, going for a walk with Lulu. I haven’t done a proper walk in over a week.
I do feel better now [that I’ve cried my way through writing this], thank you.
I keep looking at “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton. I need to read what she has to say again as she has her 90-minute hot yoga meltdown.
And there it was.
I had read the two chapters from Love Warrior that were filled with meaning for me at least three times. On my fourth read, I took out a highlighter, because I felt there was something in there for me to not only hear for myself but to share with my journaling students.
This time I read the entire highlighted areas aloud. Within a few sentences, I was crying and snotting right along with Glennon Doyle Melton as she sat on her mat in that 90-minute hot yoga class. By the time I finished reading, I felt, in my own way, that I had survived Fear too.
As Doyle Melton says, we press the easy button to escape. Food, sex, drugs, alcohol, television, even reading can be easy buttons. I am a master of the easy button.
I wonder, if as she writes [with my paraphrasing], what if pressing the easy button is “keeping [us] from transformation? What if [our] anger, [our] fear, [our] loneliness were never mistakes, but invitations? What if in skipping the pain [we are] missing lessons?... What if pain — like love — is just a place brave people visit?”
I don’t feel particularly brave, but I did pass through something. I do feel better. I’ve sat with my fear before, but this was different. Far more intense because I couldn’t even tell what I was feeling. It was just a tangled up mess of anxiety.
I’m going to start this practice, of turning to face Fear every day by sitting in stillness — but with my journal to write in. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to still my mind without the pen. I can see how it would get easier as I learn to trust that whatever comes up won’t kill me.
I may even get to that place where I can watch, unaffected, as Fear parades by me, down the road and then out of sight.
HERE'S WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE
The ONLY way to ever get Fear to stand down is to turn around and face her. Remember, she's been protecting you your entire life. You can listen to understand why she thinks she needs to be in charge, but if you want to be the driver of your own life, eventually you have to say, "Enough. I understand why you want me to stay where I am, but I need to take action. It will be worse for me if I stay where I am, small and scared, than if I fail or I get hurt. I need to learn how to fail in order to succeed."
One more chance for Writing From the Heart Live and Interactive this month
I'm going live and interactive with Writing From the Heart. The first group that went through was COURAGEOUS! There's one more opportunity for you to catch Writing From the Heart Live & Interactive on February 26th at 1PM ET.
Even if you've taken done WFTH before, it's a great refresher to get you back on track. But if you're just starting, this is the place I recommend that you begin. Click on the box below to find out more and to enroll.
kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)