As I look back over the years of my life -- the good, the bad and the just plain crazy -- fear has been the driving force of so much of what I have done and what I have allowed others to do to me. These four small letters called my name, created my days and colored all my dreams. For you see, until fairly recently, I was terrified that I was unworthy. I was scared in my secret heart that I was not lovable or really good. I was always on a mission to prove myself or to protect myself. And fear was the fuel that drove the ride.
It has taken enormous courage and profound honesty to admit this to myself. But without opening the door to this tender and soul-killing terror, I would not have been able to begin the healing of it and the claiming of my own being. I am learning to love and like myself more than just a little. This shifting of my spirit to a self-intimacy of acceptance, love and truth, has brought a potency of peace into my life.
I am no longer afraid to trust myself. I now listen to the inner part of me and pay deep attention to my feelings. I no longer ignore things that make my soul twitch or tell myself I am silly when a red flag waves in my head or heart. I don't push aside my perceptions and intuitions. I am able to now say, "This is making me uncomfortable. I do not want to do this." If others protest or think I am foolish, this is totally okay. I matter.
I can speak my truth without fear. In loving myself, I am no longer afraid you will walk away if I tell you how I really feel. I now have the courage to take good care of my own heart. I can speak of what I want, what I need and what nurtures my being. I no longer stay silent and let painful behaviors just continue to roll on -- or over me. I am creative and open, loving and brave in my dealings with the people in my life. If the owning of my truth upsets the status quo, so be it. I have worth and value.
I no longer fear being alone. By rising up in quiet love for myself, I have upset the "balance of power" in many of my relationships. With gentle firmness, I now refuse to participate in interactions that hurt me in any fashion. I will no longer allow the half-truths or slanted motives of others control my actions or my words. In compassion and self-care, I now let those I love know what is acceptable to me and what is not. More than one long-standing relationship in my life is no more. But the ones that have gone were the ones that pinched and punched my heart. I don't want that kind of "love" anymore.
This letting go of fear is a constant and quiet choice. It is a breathing of myself into each moment -- wide open, allowing and self-aware. Letting go of fear is the stretching of my soul into "life happening" with a wide spirit and ready heart. Without fear, there is now enormous room for others to come into my life. And, what amazingly brave and gently loving people keep showing up!