We often quote Franklin D Roosevelt “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” as a way of saying fear is unhelpful.
When in fact fear is real, natural and can be a helpful motivator.
For me it is an indictment of how we, in general, deal with vulnerability.
We all get scared and yet are scared to show it.
Even in these enlightened times where Instagram and many other forms of social media are plastered with well meaning memes from people like me encouraging us to all share how we feel…
…actually society on the whole is not that interested.
We are not meant to be scared, hurt or sad. We are meant to be happy.
We should be happy.
That “should” can lead to a deeper level of vulnerability, that of shame.
Most of us, through conditioning and experiences, are so ashamed of feeling vulnerable that we wrap ourselves around our hurt, our sadness and our fear.
We hide them with pride, bravery, social media, shopping, busyness and our drugs of choice…food….alcohol…sugar
When we wrap ourselves around our vulnerability the purpose may be to hide it in the moment but the reality is we hold on to it for a long time Sometimes forever.
By wrapping ourselves around it we inadvertently feed it and give it a reason for being so that it can become a thing all of itself. A thing to be feared.
Until one day it says “face me” and we are forced to revisit, remember and reignite all of our vulnerability in one overwhelming tsunami.
I watch my daughters. I am proud of them both.
I see them consciously eternalise their fears. Sometimes those close to them, friends, boyfriends (parents) think that is a cry for help…”rescue me.” It isn’t. They are just externalising it while they work it out.
Then they do it.
To quote another well used book title. They “Feel The fear and do it anyway.”
The more we own our fear the more we develop and grow, becoming proud of ourselves for living with, dealing with and thriving with fear.
The more we disown it the more we build our enclosures of shame that shrink day by day restricting our growth until we feel like we cannot breathe.
I want to breathe. I choose to breathe.
If I want to leave a legacy it will be that fear itself did not stop me enjoying life.