What I learned from dating fear.

For much of my life, I have been in a relationship with fear. Last year, it became pretty serious between the two of us and I knew things had to change.

I noticed how often fear controlled my thoughts but also how safe I felt in its predictability and steadiness. Moreover, I relied on these feelings to protect me from vulnerability and to shield me from the rawness underneath my layers of protection. However, this security came at a price. It robbed me of living and feeling real joy.

Knowing it was time to let go, I pushed and struggled to break free; I ignored it, I pronounced, “I am letting go of you!” and I attempted to outsmart it by predicting all of the hidden dangers and possible disappointments in my life. If I remained prepared, I’d stay in charge.

It didn’t work. Fear pushed back harder and stayed longer.

Our relationship went on like this for a while and finally I understood. It was impossible to will fear away. There was no off switch.

There was only a shift in power.

By choosing to lean into my inner wisdom, I showed fear that it no longer controlled me and in doing this, strengthened my own potential. I trusted in myself again.

Fear and I remain close friends.  When she comes knocking on my door, I kindly ask what it is that I need to learn and then listen respectfully. Yes, fear challenges me and teaches me to grow, but I am so much more fulfilled in my new relationship. Trust never hovers or holds me back from success. She believes in me unconditionally and provides me with the comfort of knowing that indeed, I am enough.