Had unexpected discussions today with two people I respect, about fear.
Both conversations were independent of one another. So I have to consider that the universe put the topic in my path for a reason.
My truth and understanding is that every negative emotion I’ve had has stemmed from fear. Envy? Fear I’m not enough. Anger? Fear I am not in control. Hate? Fear I possess or am capable of possessing a characteristic of the person or thing I’m hating. (Although, I haven’t ‘hated’ for a very long time. Hate is such a strong word.)
I experienced something last week that I processed quickly enough so that I didn’t react – instead I responded. I was able to understand and diffuse a toxic situation.
I shared something personal with someone I trusted.
That person, in turn, shared it with someone else, accompanied by a derogatory comment … but accidentally sent it to me.
I addressed the issue immediately. I told this person, “I shared that with you in confidence – had I wanted that other person to know, I would have shared it with them.” Denial followed. But, when you have proof in black and white – it’s hard to deny.
I was then treated very cooly by that person.
It’s funny isn’t it? When we’ve harmed another, we tend to treat them as if they were the perpetrator of the wrong doing. Out of embarrassment? Guilt?
Okay, maybe not so funny – but it is a common reaction to getting caught hurting someone.
I sent this person another message – telling them that I understood the temptation to share the information, as obviously I felt the need to share it. And ‘Let’s start the day over.’
Of course, it took the rest of that day getting the cold/embarrassed shoulder and half of today – but the latter part of the day, their shame must have dissipated and they forgave themselves enough to warm the shoulder back up.
I forgive them.
I shared this story, because I’ve come to understand a lot about others through understanding myself.
As I said to one of the people I discussed ‘Fear’ with today – “I still have fear. But I no longer sit in it. I acknowledge it, examine where it’s coming from and address it.”
And I let it go.
I’ve had moments in the past when I’ve been absolutely crippled with fear. It’s just a most horrible feeling.
Fear of losing someone – fear of financial insecurity – fear of failure.
But I’ve come through those moments. Everything worked out. As long as I looked the situation in the eye – searched for the root of it and did the work to the best of my ability to fix what I could.
Sometimes a situation like losing someone, can’t be fixed. But my attitude about it can be. I have to believe that nothing happens by mistake.
My fear of financial insecurity? Probably a healthy fear, especially considering that I am not a material girl.
I feared not being able to provide shelter, food and necessities for my son and myself. Having almost been homeless – counting out change and selling items to pawn shops for gas money in order to job hunt tends to strike some fear into you.
But, we did not find ourselves homeless, or hungry. I had faith, kept moving forward and I did find a job.
When I realized that job was not going to afford me the ability to meet our needs, I took a second job.
As for the fear of failure – as long as I’m doing the next right thing – realizing where my shortcomings stem from and making the effort to change them – I cannot fail.
I combat fear with faith. And I feed my faith with gratitude.
And the more I am grateful – the more peaceful my heart becomes. The more peaceful my heart becomes, the better I become at loving others. The better I love others, the quicker I am to understand and forgive them.
And loving others helps me to understand and love myself. I don’t fear that.