Fear is playing in my body….

Fear is playing in my body a lot lately. I say playing, because my work is about accepting emotions and learning to work with them – and fear is just an emotion. Not some dark evil force sent to destroy my life and belittle who I am (regardless of what my thoughts like to say).

Fear was front and centre of my life for decades. It felt like a controlling force in all of my decisions, all of my life choices. Fear felt present in everything I did. And my choices weren’t which choice wasn’t scary – but which choice was the least scary – because everything scared me.

Now that I understand why I have felt this constant companion of fear, a dysregulated nervous system, and a survival reaction that kept me in a place that felt like an emergency underground bunker, always listening out for possible danger.

I have worked HARD to bring myself into a state of regulation. So that instead of a permanent hypervigilance – I am more often in a place of calm, beautiful, relishing, nurturing, loving safety and regulation.

But that doesnt’ mean fear goes away. Fear – and all emotions – will always be with us. They come and go in our lives like clouds that blow through the sky. We have a special part of our brain that creates emotion. It’s part of what makes us human, part of what makes us able to have loving connections.

I now have the tools to be able to sit with fear and watch it play in my body.

I can see when it’s too much and is pushing me back into that bunker of survival-safety – and I know what to do when it’s happening.

But it’s still deeply uncomfortable.

In the past I didn’t want to accept fear because I felt like it would overwhelm me. I felt like by allowing it to blossom in my body I would be pushed into panic, collapse – I would freak out, fall apart.

So my mind would push me back into that survival-bunker – just in case!

Today I woke up feeling like someone was strangling me. I woke with a shot of panic. As I am getting up and getting ready for my day I have this urge to move out of discomfort. I don’t like it! It feels awful!

In a way it is preferable to be in that safe survival bunker. Because even though that sucks, feeling the very alive painful sensation of fear can often feel worse to me.

But I am committed to working with my emotions – if I don’t accept my emotions I will go back to that time when I was controlled by fear. Controlled by everything I felt like I couldn’t handle.

So I sit on my balcony with a cosy soft blanket, a big cup of warm tea and I start to talk to my fear.

Oh hello fear. Here you are.

I see you’ve shown up.

Is there something you need?

Is there something I can help you with?

*Di- I am just trying to keep you safe. It’s a dangerous place, that world out there. I really need you to be safe.* says fear

OK. I get that, you’re feeling unsafe.

What do you need fear?

*I want to feel safe. I want someone to hold on to. To know that I am safe.* says fear

I can hold you. I can do that.

*I’m scared*

I get that. It’s ok to be scared.

*I want everything to be OK.*

I understand.

*I’m all alone, I don’t like being here all alone. It feels too much, too scary. *

I am here fear, I am here with you.

*I want to cry*

That’s ok, you can cry. Shall I hold you while you cry?

*Yes please.*

And then I start to cry. I cry because I am scared. I cry because I don’t like to feel fear. I cry because I know that I can hold myself with fear. I can be here for myself, and allow myself to feel this fear.

I feel brave – being so tender with myself, being so open and vulnerable. I feel so brave experiencing the fear and listening to it. I feel so brave opening myself up to the sensations so alive and uncomfortable in my body.

I sat with the fear for some time. I feel at times like I am holding one of my children, in that soft tender love of a parent. And that is essentially what I am doing. I am holding myself as a small child, when I felt alone and frightened. That little girl is still there, still inside me, wanting to be loved and held and made to feel safe.

And when I have the capacity to hold her and hold me at the same time, it’s the most beautiful feeling in the world. I am reconnecting to the parts of me that felt disconnected and shut away.

I am bringing a loving tenderness to those parts of my soul that felt shameful to me, pathetic and in need of hiding.

I don’t push or force or cajole – or try to convince myself out of the feeling. I don’t tell myself anymore that I shouldn’t be scared, or there is no reason to be.

I accept that I am scared and it’s OK.

I don’t try to intellectualise myself out of it.

I just sit with it and listen to what it needs. I then give it exactly what it needs.

And it is always tender love. It’s always acceptance. It is always empathy.

The world is rife with judgments, states of prejudice and deep cruelty. There is so much in this world that is dangerous and harsh and unloving.

Our bodies and minds shouldn’t be one of the sources.

Developing a deeply loving, tender friendship with ourselves is the best, most greatest gift we can give the world.

Because when we are tender, accepting and empathic with ourselves – we are that way with others.

When we can give ourselves love – we can give that love to others.

It’s not easy. Because we haven’t grown up in a world that knows how to stay in a loving relationship with ourselves. But it is possible to reconnect to that original source of love, that original source of wholeness and acceptance.

And then we get to break the generational passing down of dehumanising ourselves and each other.

We get to break the judgements and pain, we get to stop traumatising generation after generation of our children.

One heart, one mind, one body at a time.

It starts with us.

Love to you, love to you always,

Di