I woke up this morning completely anxious. Which really doesn’t make sense because it’s Sunday. And Sunday is supposed to be a calm day. A peaceful day. A relaxed day. And the sun was warm and shining after two days of cold and rain. However, I felt anything but calm and peaceful and relaxed this morning. I felt out of sorts and uncomfortable and wanting to hide in bed all day. But my dogs were whining so I was forced to get up and let them out and feed them. And I had this post to write along with several other items on my “to-do” list. As I moved about my morning, the feelings of anxiousness continued. I expected them to subside, but they did not. My shoulders were tense and a light throb had begun to pulse – pulse – pulse in my head. I started writing this post and then I stopped and started and stopped, not able to find a rhythm. Knowing what I wanted to say but not able to focus to get the words typed. So I went for a run to clear my head. And it was during that run that I realized what was happening. I was getting a visit from everyone’s best friend er worst enemy – fear. I think she was sitting on the bench at the end of my bed all night just waiting for me to wake up this morning. Sitting and watching and waiting. And when I finally did wake, boy did she let me have it. Jumped right on top of my chest pressing with all her might. Clenching and squeezing leaving me dizzy and dumbfounded as to how or why I was feeling the way I was.

Then I thought back – as just yesterday I was talking to my dear friend and neighbor, Kelly (another wise woman I am so grateful to have in my life), about this very topic. Fear and being afraid. And it is was me who said to her something along the lines of this – “Sometimes fear is a good thing. It’s good when it reminds you to not touch the hot flame again because the last time you did you burned yourself. Fear is not good when it holds you back from moving forward in life.” And just a week prior it was Kelly who was talking about self-sabotage and how we tend to talk ourselves out of things that we know we should do or a curiosity we should pursue or how we continue patterns or behaviors that we know we should stop or change. So now putting two and two together today, I realize that fear in the negative is what leads to the self-sabotage. And it’s the self-sabotaging behavior that we use to justify not moving forward. To justify not letting go of something that is no longer serving us. To justify not trying something new. To justify not taking a risk. To justify not listening when life speaks. Yet, just three weeks ago, I wrote these words below – so how in the heck did I end up dancing the tango with fear this morning?

A wise woman learns to listen when life speaks. And then she takes action. She lets go with gratitude and grace. She moves forward with courage and strength. Because she understands that which she is letting go of was, at one time, the scary change that was in front of her. For what it’s worth.

Well, the answer I think is this. Fear never goes away. And sometimes fear is a good thing because it warns us of potential danger and can keep us safe. But fear can also inhibit us and cause us to remain stuck in situations no longer benefting those involved. Or worse yet, keep us from going down a path about which we are curious. Perhaps what we fear the most is the exact thing we are meant to pursue.

A wise woman recognizes her fear. A wise woman acknowledges her fear. A wise woman might even thank her fear. But a wise woman then tells her fear – ever so politely – to fuck off. For what it’s worth.

ElizabethGilbertFear.jpg

Director of some corporate stuff who happens to like writing a lot and other creative outlets - like karaoke - even though she is quite certain those in the room with her while she sings wished she didn't like it so much... Runner of all distances, but prefers longer distances as God gave her the gift of endurance not speed... Mother of two boys and two dogs, who on most days, are perfectly sweet and good...mostly.

One Comment on “On Becoming a Wise Woman – Part 5

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