The Other Side of Scared
After last week's unemployment reports made the media headlines, after front page articles like the one in yesterday's USA Today, on the state of the housing market and the rise in Cancer, Alzheimer's disease and auto-immune diseases it is challenging not to jump back in bed, cover our heads and cower at what might happen next. But while you are hiding under your covers let me ask you a thought provoking question. "What difference does it make if the thing you're scared of is real or not?"
Most of my thoughts today come from a book entitled "Something More" by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
While our fears are always personal and particular to what we are or have experienced, they are also universal. This is something to be thankful for because it means we're not crazy and we are far from being alone when we find ourself feeling paralyzed by something that scares us. So what are you frightened of? Perhaps the economy, your employment, the severe weather, not being able to be successful, being successful, not living up to yours or someone else's expectations of you, not being good enough (for exactly what most people don't even know), or how about not being smart enough? We have all these fears primarily for one reason, because we believe we have to have all these things worked out to be loved. Just think if we could control all these things we would surely be truly loved at last.....wouldn't we?!?
It seems to take years for many people to overcome their fears and need to try to control the uncontrollable. And often at the end of the day the one fear still remains. Being loved. That is because so often we feel that love needs to come from others, from outside sources. When in truth it comes from within. I know you've heard this a hundred times and don't really want to hear it again, but wait, please read on.
Most the time when we don't feel loved we feel we are lacking in something or some way. If we can just realize that often times it is because we are the living embodiment of abundance --sometimes too much of a person, too much love, too much passion that overwhelms other people. That doesn't make us unlovable. It only makes us unique and wonderful. It may take awhile to fully understand that feeling loved means embracing our authenticity; no longer embarrassed by who we have always been. Instead, we need to come to terms with and be grateful for being someone who feels deeply, generously, and spontaneously. Some may even describe us as over the top, or nieve, but that is a compliment.
When we try to tap down our love of life, our desire to take the world on or to be quiet and thoughtful or just be whoever we feel like being today, this very moment, we are simply pretending to be what we are not. Have you ever felt like you needed to hold back for fear of looking foolish, or concerned about showing emotions only to be rejected, to share an 'off the wall' idea to fix a problem because someone might laugh at you? Each time you do this 'a sacred fire smolders within you until you suffer from the searing eruptions of first degree heartburn'. Your mind might be able to pretend to be someone else but your body can't.
This is when illness or dysfunction within the body begins to happen. Embracing your authentic self is an important part of wellness.
There is an old Shaker axiom that says," Be what you seem to be, and seem to be what you really are." This is the secret to authenticity. It is the secret to happiness and feeling loved because when we are authentic and embrace who we truly are we find love within ourselves. That love then flows from us.
Why is this so hard? It sounds simple enough so what gets in the way? Fear. Being scared stands in our way.
However, the other side of being scared is the sacred. Just move the 'c'..... which could stand for courage, confidence, criticism, confusion, conflict, children, circumstances, challenge, caution.....and one word can be transformed into the other. The author writes, "Over the last three decades I've derailed and detoured my dreams for every one of those reasons. Reality, I called it." Research shows that most people, women in particular, spend 25-30 years of their lives before they break through the actual and conventional lies they tell themselves. This is especially true when it comes to what they need to make themselves happy.
Just as we can learn to trade in being SCARED for embracing the SACREDness of our dreams, we can acknowledge and diffuse the lies we tell ourselves that keep us from embracing our authentic self. As we do this we will have more energy, we will be ready to make healthier choices and we will free up so much of our trapped energy so we can get well again. Isn't this what we all want....to be happy, to feel loved, and to be healthy. They are all entwined.
I encourage us all to move to the other side of SCARED and revele in the SACREDness of our own self.