Facing Fear

I find it interesting to think about fear. What exactly is it we are afraid of? Death? Embarrassment? Shame? Disappointing or disappointment? Loss? Pain? All of the above and more I suspect.

Right now I am remembering fear of feeling ashamed. Ashamed that I will be found out. Found out to be less than, other than, not as good as I expect myself to be….or hope myself to be…..or want myself to be. Ashamed that I don’t know or understand something other people just take for granted. Like a new for me, and complex for me, banking system that takes money from the house I own, converts it into U.S. money, and pays for my new home to be built next spring. My fantasy is someone else will take care of it for me and it will all go away. Thus far, no one else has stepped up to the plate. It is up to me!

The reality is I received some pamphlets in the mail with a paper to fill out and I have NO clue how to do it. I believe someone else would find it easy to do. Just follow the instructions. The instructions make NO sense to me. My brain scrambles. My heart races, my throat and chest get tight, and I want to take a nap.

I’m afraid I will be asked questions I don’t know the answers to, and everybody else in the world would know how to answer those questions if they were asked. All I really need to know is where to find the answers to the questions. I don’t need the answers yet. I can look for the answers, or ask someone, or dream about it and see if something occurs to me. Sometimes obstacles don’t loom so gigantically after a good night’s sleep and a good dream to help process and integrate.

Sleeping and dreaming and integrating all aside! That paper I must fill out looms, filling me with panic because I am probably not smart enough to understand what to do, how to fill it out, how to follow the weird instructions everybody else thinks makes sense.

I took an IQ test thousands of years ago and the tester asked me if I was dropped on my head when I was a baby. My then 16-year-old son said, mom, you don’t even care about the stuff they ask on an IQ test. Those answers don’t matter to you! Wise young man, that son of mine.

My brain works differently than the norm…..whatever that might be, when you really think about it. My brain focuses deep inside me and asks existential questions and looks for someone to talk with about the meaning of life, where we go when we die, why we are alive now and not later or before. The number for a bank account that I don’t even have yet makes NO sense to me whatsoever. My brain aches and my body fills with dread. I’m smart, but not brain smart. Yikes! What does that mean? Really. What does it mean? Does it even matter?

I guess so. It seems to matter enough that I have to write about it. And I want to know if anyone knows what I am saying? Am I the only one whose brain doesn’t even want to do the intricacies of life, but prefers by far to search for meaning in life? Leave the boring stuff for someone else to sort out. I want to live in a life of connection and intimacy. A life of sharing heart to heart and soul to soul. A life where the divine has a presence and meaning and the sacred is respected and held in high regard.

It would be a lie to say I am not afraid, that I really am bored, or really am just above it all: the numbers and the directions and the expectations of running a financially fiscal and responsible life. I can, in my better moments, transcend my fears. I can project myself into my new home and vision walking the 7 mile path in the woods just at the end of my back yard. Transcend or not, that paper has to be filled out before I can move forward at all. Soooooo tonight I sleep. Tomorrow I hope…

I hope that I can step into my mature, wise, grown up self and do my job. Do my job that means using my mind for something concrete and smart. If I can’t do it I can find a friend or a son who will help me. Now, there is an idea that makes sense to me: support, encouragement, respect. Not too much to expect at all.

Maybe my meanderings about fear can help someone else look their fear in the eye and know they have the courage and the wisdom to face whatever it is that life has put in front of them at this very moment. NOW. When fear walks in and takes over, face to face, tell fear, NOW in this very moment I know what to do about you. All I have to do is face this very NOW moment. The next and the next and the next will fall into place as long as I take action in this moment. Fear paralyzes when we project into the future. Staying in the NOW makes doing whatever needs to be done, doable. One moment. Just one moment, and then two and then three and then……it gets done.

Not that easy I know. But just about all it is we have, when you really look at it. Paralysis isn’t helpful and won’t get the  job done. Thinking of all the minutes, hours, time it will take to fill out the paper will not get the job done. At the end of the day, my first step is to look at the pamphlet. The rest actually will fall into place.

I will do it. Or I will ask for help.


Hugs and love, Nancy

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