Good Morning, Divine Universe!
Another day begins. A stretch of cloudy, rainy weather begins. And, for me, a few days of R and R begins, as well.
Fear has been quite a focal point for me lately. I’ve been sharing my changing relationship with fear in these pages; but, as well, it showed up as a centerpiece in an interview with golfer Bubba Watson on 60 Minutes, my most recent paddleboarding adventure, and in conversations.
Actually, my hunch is that it’s always around, bobbing at or just under the surface; I just happen right now to be tuned in to that frequency, so I’m spotting it everywhere.
A few days ago, I shared examples of the messages I hear from my lizard brain. And, people seemed to recognize that sort of self-doubt talk that plugs into our fears and amplifies them to a volume that can really freeze and imprison some of us.
I’m glad people could identify themselves in what I wrote, could understand that they aren’t alone, that it isn’t only happening to them.
I hope that what also got through was the second part of my message; that by taking on daily risk, by regularly practicing vulnerability, by facing the initially terrifying work of risking failure, and of failing – I discovered and developed my own strengths; my resilience, adaptability, and creativity; and the deep reservoir of peace within me.
This may not be true for everyone who suffers with fears; but, for me, I came to realize that I wasn’t so much afraid of dangerous things and failing at things – I mean, I was – but, the underlying fears that drove those surface fears were my self-doubt – that I couldn’t handle a challenging or dangerous situation, and my belief that my failure in all those situations would prove me worthless and unlovable.
The tricky part, I think, (or, one tricky part) of the lizard’s messages is that there’s the kernel of truth to them.
Uncomfortable and afraid of strangers? Aren’t we taught from a young age not to talk to strangers; that some people are scary and do bad things?
Scared when going new and unknown places? Don’t we hear stories about people traveling, away from home, who get lost, stranded, or attacked, and can’t find help – because they’re surrounded by strangers – so, right back to Fear Number One?
That, if we fail or fall, then people will mock us, will judge us unworthy, and will disassociate from us? I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen and experienced that everywhere – from on the playground, in the classroom, in the workplace, to even in line at fast food restaurants and the DMV. Some people are nasty and shaming.
The first strategy I tried, (which failed,) was to try and convince myself my lizard messages were lies. But, all it took was one story about a traveler getting lost, suffering, and being mistreated by strangers; or, my next trip to the grocery store to hear someone “huff” because someone else didn’t do something “right,” or was asking a “stupid” question.
Right away, my lizard would say There you go; you see it for yourself. It’s true!
The real shift started when I began to explore Unconditional Love. When these scary things happened, where was Unconditional Love? When my lizard spoke to me and told me I would get hurt or would fail, where was that Unconditional Love?
Supposedly the Divine Universe Loves Unconditionally – but, what if it didn’t? What if it didn’t love me?
I was then told something. Something I heard within me – that even when my lizard is telling me to be afraid, telling me that I will fail, and telling me that I wouldn’t be loved, s/he was saying it to try and protect me. S/he was saying it all because s/he did Love me, Unconditionally – and didn’t want me to be hurt.
That, if love from any other and every other source was withdrawn and disappeared, deep inside me was a truly unwavering Love and Care for myself.
And, at the same time that I realized that I had that core of Unconditional Love within me, I recognized that that was precisely what was the Divine within that connected me with All the Universe.
That knowing that I was Loved Unconditionally, and no longer fearing loss of Love, I was freed from my insecurities, and opened to love others.
It was like the dam opening, and the Flow of Love in the Universe went right through me.
Goes right through me. I still get petty, especially when I’m sore and tired – which tells me I should care for myself and rest, because I want to keep the Flow open within and through me.
When I wrote the other day about my shouting lizard, someone responded, “I’m glad you overcame your fears of being a leader. It’s NOT cut out for everyone.”
I wasn’t just afraid of being a leader – I was simply afraid of being me, for fear that being myself would not be “good enough.”
When I located that Divine, Unconditional Love within me, it allowed me to trust; to believe, for the first time, that – Right Here, Right Now – I AM enough. Not someday, when I’ve gotten everything just right; but, right now, with this degree of humanity, these imperfections, this 49-year old body and mind – I AM ENOUGH!
It’s really cool to embrace the ENOUGH-ness of one’s self; because, for me, it has really opened me up to see ENOUGH-ness all around me, in everybody. Or, I should say, even if I don’t see it, have NO DOUBT that it’s there!
Try this Prompt today:
Make a list of your lizard’s Top Ten hits on its playlist.
Can you see how s/he is trying to protect you when shouting these things?
Can you look beyond the scary rhetoric, deeper into the Core of Love and Care your lizard is?
Try thanking your lizard for its opinion and its concern, and then remind it, and yourself, that you are well.
Dear, Dear Guides – Full-ness and Enough-ness. Thank You!