There are so many things to fear in the world today. Things like disease, war, our declining natural resources, and poverty. I could go on and on. These issues can cause us anxiety and uneasiness. But the fears that I believe cause us the most pain and worry are the ones that exist within us. Fears such as: Am I loved? Am I good enough?Am I a good mother, sister or friend? Am I good at my job? Am I living the life I desire to live? These are the kinds of worries and fears that I see wreaking havoc in women's lives, including my own. I find that many times these doubts live under the surface. They smolder in our being, never really being talked about or addressed, maybe even not being acknowledged. Why would we ignore them? We sweep them under the rug because they are HARD questions. These are the ones that bring up all kinds of, excuse my language, shit! To address these fears we need to dig into the past, assess the present and perhaps learn to let go of worrying about the future. This is not work for sissies! But I believe, no, I know, that it is work worth doing. What I see with women in my life, including me at times, is that they/we often find it easier to gloss over the yucky, uneasy feelings that bubble up on occasion than it is to stop and examine them and spend time trying to figure out what they mean and why they are coming up.
I mastered the art of avoidance. For years, it was my way of being. That is until my heart and soul were literally screaming for me to stop and listen.
What did that look like? It looked like: exhaustion, feeling resentful, sadness, physical illness and an overall feeling that my compass was WAY off. I had most of the fears I mentioned, but lets take the example of, "Am I living the life I desire or was put on this earth to live?" That is a BIG question. I knew instinctively that the answer was a big fat NO! But my mind could easily rationalize that I was being silly and somewhat selfish to want something different or bigger. After all, by outside appearances I had a perfect life. I had a good paying, well-respected job, a supportive husband, two amazing healthy boys as well as a loving, supportive extended family. My need to rationalize away my desires was all about fear. I knew that what my heart and soul were asking for required massive change and upheaval. This fear is what keeps so many of us stuck, unable to enact the change we know we need. Well, I hate to say it, but you knew it was coming; we have to act in the face of fear.
"Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow." -- Steve Pavina
I am not suggesting you need to take some massive life altering action right away. What I am suggesting is that you at least listen to your heart's desires.
Figure out what it is you really want or need and take some small action step in that direction. Steven Pressfield wrote, "Put your ass where your heart wants to be. By that I mean if you want to paint, put your body in front of an easel. If you want to write, sit in front of the keyboard."
I believe that in any area of our life where we feel stuck, there is fear, and fear causes resistance. I would encourage you to look into what your desires are, what your fears are and where you are encountering resistance. These are the areas that require your attention. This is where your work is. Once you have identified them choose one area where you can enact change and take some sort of action in the face of fear and resistance. When you finally do this, celebrate yourself and this victory! In some way, honor yourself and the step you have taken. This will help keep you on the path to transforming your life.
I am excited to hear from you how you are going to act in the face of fear and resistance. I would also love to know how you plan on celebrating yourself when you do. Please let me know in the comments below.
I will close with a quote from The War of Art, a book by Steven Pressfield. "Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance."
Much love - Angie
Photo taken by my husband in NH