on being fearful

May 17, 2012

It seems there has been much discussion and talk on the ether of late of our self-worth, our secret fears, our inner shadows that seem to manifest as we live this (online) self-expressive existence. I may add my own voice to the list of these, but today it came up in a chain of thought that brought me to pondering a passage from the beginning of the Artist's Way: that of our deep fears. Or rather, our core (unconscious) negative beliefs that stop us in our tracks of our pursuit of living as full creative beings. In the passage in question Julia lists twenty of these such beliefs, many of which I can relate to, but the one that most stuck out for me today was just three words: I will die. For me this deep fear is not so much that if I persist in continuing this creative life I am making the outcome will be my death, but rather the opposite: that if I don't live this creative life, the not doing so will kill me. That if I don't follow my dreams I will be forever lamenting the "I wish I had done that when I had the chance" kind of death.

The Mister and I felt similarly when we decided to stop just talking about moving abroad, but actually make the necessary first (scary) steps and begin our application process. The thought of getting into our middle years, let alone our dotage and thinking back to when we 'played it safe' rather than following this dream, made us (well at least me anyway) quite sick to the stomach. We agreed that it was better to have pursued the idea and failed in the attempt, than to not have tried at all. After all, we said, we could be there and back again in less than five years. We have been living that dream now for three years this month.

Anyways, aside from my own inner fears, this whole mind set of stubbornly persisting and listening to the whispers of my muse, reminded me today of the brilliant poem by Dawna Markova. I first discovered her words of truth way back in my college days on a greetings card and which I have kept ever since. Over the years it has at various times featured on my inspiration board and has held many layers of meaning and significance at different times in my life. Some two decades later it is still the poem that speaks to me most profoundly.

dawna markova quote download caitidid designs

{ Dawna Markova quotation, illustrated and available for download by Caitidid Designs }

And that is it: to live a full life of playing with fire. Of daring to do what others would not. Of daring to do what our fears would not have us do, but doing that thing all the same.

My final stop on this train of thought is from a scene in Children of Dune when Leto Atreides faces an oncoming sandstorm in the desert: "I must not fear, for fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear and let it pass through me... Only I will remain." As Leto discovers, only by embracing our fears can we move forward and become the thing we are meant to be. It is the path that can bring rewards we cannot yet imagine.

What fears are holding you back? What would you do if you could set your fear aside and still step forward? You are very welcome to whisper your thoughts here if you wish, or simply ponder them quietly in your own time... Hugs, XO

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