What is your biggest fear?

Photo by Ellie Wildhagen

…a reader asked me. Instead of writing a quick response, I took the time to reflect, not without some fear.

First I dumped. I wrote down a list of my fears.

1- To suffer from terminal illness

2- To fail in love

3- To lose my mother

4- To produce unoriginal work

5- To have no friends

6- To have a boring life

7- To live through war / conflict again

8- To mess up hypothetical children

9- To lose my physical strength

10- To get old, and risk not being attractive

Second, I inquired. What is at the bottom of each fear?

For every fear I asked what about it that is scary?

1- To suffer from terminal illness > being with the pain

2- To fail in love > being with the loss

3- To lose my mother > being with the pain and the loss

4- To produce unoriginal work > being with the pain of rejection

5- To have no friends > being with the shame and the loss

6- To have a boring life > being with the pain

7- To live through war / conflict again > being with the pain and the loss

8- To mess up hypothetical children > being with the regret and the shame

9- To lose my physical strength > being with the pain and the loss

10- To get old, and risk not being attractive > being with the pain and the loss

Third, I analyzed. What is the common theme?

Me

I am afraid of myself

My biggest fear is being alone with extremely difficult feelings: pain, loss, shame, regret

My biggest fear is abandoning myself when I need me the most

My biggest fear is me

I let it sink in. What do I do about it?

Remind myself when I am in fear, that I might have my back more than I think I will, if things go wrong.

Strengthen the relationship with self, by spending more time alone, without distractions.

Increase my capacity to tolerate difficult feelings, through therapy work, and connecting with the body.

And in that, my friends, I hope to continue living with less fear of myself, and more love for myself.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson


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