Fear is knocking at my door

Fear is knocking at my door. It squeezes in and invades my being before I have a chance to realize what’s happening. It changes my mood and thoughts instantaneously, as if I’m being dunked in ice water. I feel shaky and have a hard time concentrating. I can’t get comfortable. Do I need to sit down? Stand? Walk around? My mouth dries up. I feel lightheaded and start falling down a deep well of What if? What if? What if? How will I? How will I? How will I? The well is dark and damp and suffocating. I’m finding it harder and harder to breathe. I glance around, hoping to find a glimmer of hope but no hope has sprouted so far beneath the earth, in this well of despair. My body contracts. I curl up. I feel so small, shrinking into my doubting thoughts.

Until. Until a bucket of light is slowly lowering down toward me. I reach up toward this gift. I am too small and the distance too great between my frightened self and the possibility of hope. I so want to hold that glowing aura of luminescence that I can sense is within this bucket. It’s the only illumination in the bottom of this well. I start stretching out my arms. I notice that the more I believe that I might be able to reach this beacon, the faster my body starts unfurling and expanding. As I bridge the space between my scared self and this gift that holds my self-talk tools, my heart settles into a calmer rhythm. I start breathing more easily. I stand up tall and look around me. What before had been an impossibly deep, black hole into which I had spiraled, now is a shallow opening. I stick out my torso, feel the sun on my face, bask in the joy of a blue sky, and inhale the fresh air.

I take one giant step and climb up out of that pit of darkness. I settle onto the grass next to it, get very still, and wait for guidance. I cradle this basket of golden wisdom in my lap, as one might a kitten. I hope that if I get quiet, I might be able to hear what it has to teach me. So I sit and I wait.

And that’s when I notice something tentatively crawling toward me. As it nears me it starts becoming more recognizable. It is Faith. Faith in opportunity and my ability to live the life I crave, despite the new circumstances I am fearing. I recall evidence that, in my past experiences, when I had allowed faith to overcome fear, my difficult situations resolved. I remember to focus on what I want, in order to create the energy I need, to attract empowering, positive experiences.

I start listing everything that is going right in my life today, as the mantra, “Right now is all we have” plays repeatedly in my head. I realize that this fear I have let in is about my future. If I can manage to focus on living in my Now, rather than focusing on my future, I’ll remain in the peaceful place I am scared to abandon. In my Now I am healthy, my family is healthy, I am loved in every which way. I have food to eat and money in the bank. I am part of a community, have a wonderful home, jobs I love, and interactions and plans that bring me joy. I have goals I can accomplish and the ability to change my mindset. At this exact moment my life is a dream. And this exact moment is all I have.

If I can stay focused on that energy, then the worry that had paralyzed me a few minutes before, can stay out of my way. The fear cannot possibly help me and in this case it’s a wasted emotion. Freaking out doesn’t make any situation better. There is an easier way and I choose to follow that path that leads me to find the joy that will lead to more joy.

I carefully take my golden, amorphous, aura of promise out of the basket I am holding. My mind is automatically leaning into feelings of vulnerability and anxiety. I understand that for me to be strong enough to hold onto these gifts of hope and faith, I need to fully embrace them. I thank them and dance with them. I explore them. I write about them. I get a drink with them and buy them dinner. I get to know my gifts of hope and faith better than I know my fear.

I start to feel grounded and calm and grateful for the knowledge that if I can save myself so quickly from drowning in a pit of anxiety, then I can also remove the worries that brought fear to my door in the first place. I am empowered by knowing that as soon as fear started taking over my being, I started looking for the light that would guide me out of that darkness. We all dip into fear but how long we stay there can be up to us.

Fear will come knocking at my door again. I will not answer; I will be too busy dancing with hope and faith.

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