You have served me so well. And I am sure you will do again, if ever I am about to walk into a road without looking both ways, or when driving on icy roads. But here’s the thing, you’ve got too cautious, you’ve extended your (without doubt lifesaving and super critical) role into my every day. And it needs to stop.
The worst things that have ever happened to me, have done so despite your presence in my life. Because the worst things are surprises - they aren’t things you plan for - they just happen, floor you, reduce you to tears, break you. And then slowly you get back up again. You didn’t help me there, hope did - and good friends.
Because although I know the path I am taking right now is more unknown than where I have been before, that’s exactly why I need to tread it. The road I am on, like you, has served me well, but it also makes me unhappy. It’s not for me anymore. And I now know what is.
I know that there are risks - financial ones, most definitely. But what is the worst that can happen? Might I need to hustle on the side to make it work? Yes. Have I done that before? Yes - I’ve been hustling my whole life and I’m good at it.
Could I fail? Yes I could fail. There is a real chance I might. But I’ve spent so many years playing too safe and being miserable. Failing might be fun, it will teach me, mould me and help me.
Then there is the big one, the one you always pull out to make me stop. Will people see me? Will people from my past who I don’t want in my present see what I am up to, will they judge me? Yes, they might. And I have to stop caring. Because I have lived for over 20 years in the shadow of those people, who bullied me and took away the last bit of childhood spirit that I’d managed to cling on to. And I have to stop caring what they think of me. Or I will die with so much regret.
And my family? Do I fear judgement by them? Yes, sadly, I do. But let them judge and those who do harshly, then so be it. But more than that, as you well know, the real worry is about letting them in, because for so long I haven’t done that. And that comes at a price I am no longer willing to pay.
So I will stand up and be seen, I will reconnect to people who matter from my past, even if that puts me at risk of encountering those I do not. I will let my family in, because that will make us all stronger. I’ll do it because it is worth it.
Because in taking this new path, I know I am going to be rewarded so richly.
I have shut myself off from so much, proudly wearing a badge of introversion, independence and resourcefulness, while all the time missing out on the deep connection that I actually crave at my core. In the last two years I’ve had a taste of this and it is so sweet.
I now know that abundance comes not in things or more, it comes in moments and presence and I’ll say it again, connection.
I know that joy comes from softening and breaking down the barriers, the armour and the gnarly thoughts that you, fear, have put up for me.
I am starting to slowly understand what ease feels like and this road leads me to it. Feeling at ease in my body; in what I am putting out into the world, my contribution; in how I relate to my family, my friends and my community. Feeling a sense of alignment with who I am and what I am doing, that I’ve not felt before.
I could go on, but I don’t need to. I don’t need to convince you anymore because there are no longer any arguments. I am embarking on a new stage in my life, one where my new friend courage needs to take the driving seat.
While I’ll be very thankful to you, fear, for coming along for the ride and shouting out when something super critical needs to be said, I hope you don’t mind me telling you when to shut the fuck up when your (often unnecessary advice) is unwelcome.
Your ever grateful friend,
Have you ever written down your fears? Or better still written a letter to fear? Writing down those things that scare you can be a powerful way to move forward. I am inviting anyone who shares with me a letter to their fears a free session to explore those fears. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org before 31st December 2017 and start 2018 facing those fears.