“The thing you fear most has no power.
Your fear of it is what has the power.
Facing the truth really will set you free.” – Oprah
We heal ourselves with great risk. Risk that we change, and lose the familiar parts of ourselves, so that we no longer recognise ourselves. Risk that our friends and our families no longer recognise us either, and no longer wish to be around us. But we remain stuck with a fear of changing at great risk too, risk of getting sick as our bodies hold in our anxieties, our anger, our resentment. Risk of “going postal” because we could begin to resent the people we love, the job we are in, and one day we wake up and implode. Or worse, explode.
Fear serves a purpose, yes. At its best, it holds us back and makes us think about what it is we need to do, before we jump right in and do it. At its worst, it prevents us from taking the leap and we remain in a box that no longer fits us, twisting ourselves up into knots in order to stay in a space that we have already outgrown.
Facing the fear involves realising that it is the fear itself, not the actions we need to take, that makes our heart race, our blood boil, our stomach tense. How do we move from this? I suggest we pour out a cup of tea and invite the fear into the room to find out what it wants from us. Talk to it, thank it for the warning. Ask it what would happen to you if you stay where you are. Ask it what would happen if you take the steps you are thinking of taking, the ones that scare you so much. Ask it to become your ally in your life’s journey, to hold you when you are making a mistake, and to walk with you instead of against you. Things are difficult enough in this world to be fighting against yourself as well. And when you do this, the fear is then seen, it feels recognised, validated. It softens, and delivers a message to you that you might not have considered before.
Like Oprah says, its the fear that has the power, because you are giving it that power. Turn fear into a friend, and you can do anything.