Do you have fears? What ifs and bungee cords holding you back from where you want to go or who you’d like to be? Do they stem from the past? Or are they potentials you feel looming in the future?
I have fears too. I shared a post about following your joy, and it’s so important to crack open the moments you live to find the inner light to guide. That is the deepest anchor you can find to help you on your way.
But that’s not meant to negate inner fears that can rear their ugly head too.
When I was little I was bit by a goose on my thumb. I was bout 5 years old and at Woodland Park in Kalispell, Montana. I attended the Montessori school across the street and we’d often traverse the cross walk in a line, holding hands with are partner, ready for play time.
Woodland park held so many adventures: many play structures complete with jungle gyms, even a hidden one in the trees, soccer fields, ponds that would freeze in the winter – perfect for ice skating and when melted the habitat for many birds, moon rocks – well that’s what we kids called them as they looked extra-terrestrial, a swimming pool and bird reserve.
It was here that I was minding my own business, possibly feeding ducks bread (we didn’t know that wasn’t best for them back in the 80’s) and a white goose with a carrot orange beak came up and bit me. Just like that. I didn’t do anything. After being bit I was terrified it would happen again. I’d walk around them with my thumbs tucked into my hands.
Every day I go out and run along the Columbia river there are geese lounging on the river banks. Now these are Canadian geese, but still… geese are geese and a whole gaggle of them watching me with their beady eyes as I run passed stirs the fear: what if one bites me?
It’s been decades since that first bite and I have not been bitten since, however, the memory of such is instilled in my brain like a red flag alerting me to danger.
We’re designed to be like this as it’s part of survival; our brains have a negativity bias. I don’t remember the thousands of geese I’ve walked passed without being bit.
I remember the one that bit me. And if I let that experience, that fear, stop me, I’d lose out on doing the many things I like to do that have gaggles of geese lounging around.
But y’all might be like: so what, a goose biting isn’t the same as the types of fears I face.
And I get you. But what I’ve come to understand is that you can run away from your fears or you can face them, brave them, and find out what resides on the other side.
A few fears that I had to face to get to the other side were getting pregnant after my miscarriage. If I let the fear of losing another baby keep me from trying again, I wouldn’t have my daughter. And she brings so much joy and light to my life (balanced with the frustrating inability to brush her hair and teeth in the morning in a timely manner!)
Another fear is that I’m divorced. I tried and it didn’t work out. That put a crevice in my heart. One that I wasn’t sure would ever feel whole again. But I found myself falling in love with another and that relationship brought me so much that I never thought possible between partners; my heart anchored within myself as a result knowing that no matter where I go I have love – my own love- guiding me.
Lastly, my writing. I used to write poems or in my journal and then let the cover close only to collect dust. Putting it out here, is a fear as you never know how it’ll be received. But the joy in expressing how I feel and sharing stories with others outweighs any potential negative feedback. And, honestly, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.
Brave fear is a concept a friend of mine, Brianne Dosier at Brightly & Co shared with me during her Immerseive Mastermind. It really resonated with me as it’s not about pretending you don’t have fears, but braving them and following where they may lead if you bring what I like to call Coeurage (Coeur/heart + courage) with you.
Life isn’t without risks, our hearts aren’t meant to be closed off, our fears are guideposts and our joy our inner guiding light.
There are healthy fears like bears or lurkers on a dark alleyway. And then there are the fears that if braved, help pave the way to realized dreams and potentials that exist within each of us.
We are more resilient than we think. We have the ability to crack our hearts open and allow expansion in new experiences and growth.
What fears will you brave today?
I’ll meet you on the other side <3