The Many Veils of Fear
There are so many ways fear shows up. It hides itself in frustration, anger, exhaustion, indifference, chaos, and sorrow. All of which I have felt in the last few weeks. It took me awhile and a lot of reflection to realize that it was fear and the ego behind all of these emotions and my inability to make forward progress. As soon as I would work through one emotion, another would show up.
A few weeks ago, I went to the Front Row Foundation Summit, an event to help shape the future of the Front Row Foundation. It was an amazing event with incredible people. I had one of the most epic front row moments of my life and that is not an exaggeration.
During the event, we broke into groups and had to answer a specific question regarding the next steps to help grow the foundation. I offered my ideas but didn't feel heard and since my world still revolves around me, I armored up and did not give to the group in a way that was in alignment with my values. It felt gross, it was ugly, and I felt horrible. For the rest of the afternoon, I was very upset and continued to think about that time. I took part in the festivities, but I was my typical withdrawn and socially awkward self. I was really disappointed that I was continuing my same old, unwanted habits. I reflected on it all night and decided I needed to apologize to my team for acting the way I did but that didn't feel quite right.
The next morning, I found some time and space to meditate where I realized that I didn't need my team's forgiveness, I needed to forgive myself. I was on the brink of tears many times on my jog back to our meeting spot where we were led through an amazing yoga practice where I felt supported, safe, and I managed to allow myself forgiveness. I took off my armor, I put down my shield, I walked outside my protective dungeon, and crossed over the gator filled moat into a space of presence, and I started to cry. I was feeling very vulnerable and exposed and it scared me, but I didn't push it away like I normally do. I accepted it and felt it fully. It was magical, confusing, mysterious, and scary.
A little later we broke into small groups and had to share our Front Row Moments of the event so far, and I shared my experiences from the day before and morning. I was not letting fear win and that is a big accomplishment for me. After that we were asked if anyone wanted to share in front of the whole group; something I shy away from because of the internal turmoil and discomfort I feel every time I get in front of an audience, but today was a day for change.
I got up, I tried to speak. I choked. I cried. I said out loud that I felt afraid and vulnerable, but I knew I had to move past this to become the person I wanted to be. I shared that standing up there right then was one of my Front Row Moment of the event, and as I went to hand the microphone back and take my seat I was surprised to see people walking towards me. Many of them surrounded me in a huge hug. For just a moment, the panic of claustrophobia set in but I said no. I accepted their love, support, and protection as they stood around me and embraced me. I shook from adrenaline, and I let them see and feel me shake. I exhaled and I embraced this moment with them. It was literally a pivotal moment in my life that I had never really experienced or accepted before.
After this event, I expected to be able to continue to excel, be disciplined with my healthy habits and create growth. But I struggled. I felt sad and unmotivated, tired and indifferent. Instead of practicing healthy habits, I was implementing unhealthy ones. I was unraveling. I stayed up too late, didn't meditate or practice yoga. I tried to practice smiling but it just didn't feel right. I lost my mojo, and I was so confused as to why since I had such a breakthrough and then spiraled downward wasting any motivation that may have been there.
Then finally after much reflection, journaling, and meditation, I realized it was fear. That damn fear that continues to cause me to close my heart cutting off my energy. It was feeling threatened by this new behavior and came out in full force, hiding itself in different ways to stay in control. I haven't ever had the courage to write (and especially share) poetry, but this flowed onto the paper and I like it. I am shedding light on this fear. It cannot elude me anymore. Today, I will choose growth, openness, acceptance and love. There is no room for you here fear; I have better things to do and feel.