if the fear could write

make a cup of tea + put on this playlist. my current favorite is faith by bon iver. x

her voice message was short and simple and sent me inward, the way the best inquiries do, asking, softly —

if the fear could write, what would it say?

but that would mean confronting it. dissecting it. accepting it’s presence. and frankly, i thought i’d broke through when i picked up my life and set it down on the other side of the world. i thought that the soil i returned to wouldn’t be what it needed to thrive. to grow. maybe the tension has been from avoiding hearing what she has to say. from labelling her as negative. from the shadowy parts of me saying that the mere fact that she’s back means i’d made the wrong decision.

fear is something i knew i had. we are old acquaintances that i thought i had ended things with. but i’ve always been an over-giver. and recently, one of my biggest learnings is my tendency to be a martyr — the one to self sacrifice my needs and put others before mine, treating them as my own.

so, here i am. welcoming the fear back. putting her opinion first. sacrificing what feels good. the thoughts that keep me light. giving it more weight than what i know to be true. and shape shifting in ways that she suggests to — shrinking and speaking quietly and hiding.

my fear says, i love too deeply too quickly and my heart will crack again, just as it did when we welcomed in 2019. but with more intensity. more fragility. and i’m naive to think otherwise.

my fear says, the love is going to leave as quickly and intensely as it arrived. that honesty and vulnerability will lead to space. but not the kind that creates room to meet in the middle. the kind of withdrawing, backing away, ghosting.

my fear says, it’s not safe to trust in relationship. that i have to tread lightly or i’ll scare them. i’ll be too much.

my fear says, my writing is the same as theirs. everyone is writing and healing and processing and my experience isn’t serving others differently or uniquely within it all.  

my fear says, i don’t have the discipline to write the book. or to commit to a job long term. or to do the work to gain the skills to do what i want to do and offer what i want to offer.

my fear says, i won’t be good at it. a new job, she means. that i’ll fail. i won’t succeed or grow or be what they are looking for.

my fear says, i don’t have the courage to get after something new and have a stable income.

there are emotions that i give space to, that i allow to flow in and out as they appear. grief. sadness. pain. joy. happiness. gratitude. but the discomfort that comes with fear has never been something that i allow to stay for long. until now. and it is here, that i’ve welcomed fear in. to have a conversation. to listen to what she has to say. to learn the difference of accepting her presence, and accepting her presence as truth. to allow space for her, and simultaneously, space for the strength i know is within me — the courage that has been dormant because i didn’t realise they can co-exist. strength and fear, i mean. but they can. and they do. and the moment you step out of your shadow and into the light, the moment you hear, truly, what fear has to say, is the moment that your courage and strength will lift you up and reveal what is true. it is the moment you will feel safe opening yourself up to the tension.

it is safe now, to hear the fear. but also to hear the courage.
step forward into it instead of retreating.

try to. i’m right there with you. x

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