fear ˈfir/ noun - an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
It seems to be the back bone of so many pieces of our society. Advertisements tell us to fear aging, to fear looking different from their models. They teach us to fear being poor and not having enough. We are indirectly taught to fear people who look, sound, act and think different from us. We are told to fear change, to fear new experiences, to fear not being good enough for others, to fear failure, struggle, contentment. Moms fear, dads fear, grandparents fear, kids fear, teens fear - we all have fear, so much fear.
Most of the time fear pops up in the form of a no or I can't. Sometimes it shows up as worry or anxiety. Fear can be working 70 hours a week or crippling inaction. Sometimes we notice it, sometimes we don't. It is always there, the little negative voice talking in our head.
My fears keep me trapped, separate and alone. They comes from a place of comparison. Instead of keeping me safe and in control, my fears are actually hurting my relationships and my growth. I know this because I can hear fear tell me, "you won't make connections in your new home, not like the ones you already have. You are going to be forgotten by the people who love you and they will move on with their life." Fears hold me forever afraid to leave the past and forever grasping for perfection in the future.
I have come face to face with some of my deeper fears. I looked "success" in the face and walked away from a socially accepted idea of how to get it. I looked "not good enough" in the face and said "I am good enough." I saw loved ones moving on and told myself being forgotten wasn't happening.
Soon I found myself hearing fear often and I asked myself, "why do you even think that? who told you that was true?" Turns out, no one in my life has ever told me "Cordelia, you are not good enough, you are going to be alone forever, you will never have any success."
My practice now is hearing fear talk to me and knowing I actually don't have to listen. It's a practice of letting go of the beautiful past and not pushing for a perfect future. It's a practice of being present, of living in the moment, of listening to my intuition and my heart and choosing to listen to the voice that says "you are good enough, you do make connections, you are successful, you are content, you are loved."
So no, I don't live a fearless life. I have fear, I choose to trust that with every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I trust that I have what I need, when I need it. I trust that I receive what I need, when I need it. I trust that I will know what I need to know, when I need to know it. I choose to live life by flowing from moment to moment, trusting that actions unfold naturally with out force and knowing that good or bad, most of what happens, isn't permanent.
I have a choice to listen to fear or ignore it. Currently, I am ignoring it.