Every morning, I get an email containing a personalized message, from the Universe. Started by Andy Dooley in 1998, Notes from the Universe grew from a subscriber list of 38 to more than 750,000 in 185 countries. I’ve been receiving these emails for ten years. They often make me smile or stir my heart or resonate with me as deep truth.
Such was the case today. I received this note:
“Sometimes, Cindy, instead of running from something scary in your life, it’s easier to learn not to be scared of it. Let it stay. Pull up a chair. Share some iced tea.
Besides, Cindy, you’re bigger… and you have wings.”
I immediately identified with this note, in a very personal way.
Overshadowed by Fear
I grew up afraid of the dark. That’s a common fear for kids. Not being able to see in the dark or anxiety about the unknown is the psychological reason given for this childhood phobia.
However, being a child born with the gift of perceiving the spirit world, my fear was rooted in what I could see and hear and feel in the darkness. As the first born child in my family, I usually had a bedroom to myself. The most terrifying situation for me growing up was waking up in the middle of the night, alone in the darkness.
And…I did not outgrow that fear. I slept with a nightlight or stairwell light on until I was well into my 40s.
I made a decision when I reached my late 40s. Tired of the iron grip terror had on me, I radically shifted. I had never lived alone because of the sense of dread that overcame me each evening as the sun set. To move beyond my fear of the dark, I had to face my fears head on. For the first time in my life, I chose to live on my own and take an inner journey into the very heart of darkness.
It wasn’t easy, however this battle was necessary. At stake was my creativity, my freedom and at the core, my identity. I could not accept who I was while expending huge amounts of energy doing everything I could to avoid scary situations. And trust me, I spent a lifetime attempting to control the elements that triggered fear. I was tired of avoiding, tired of being afraid.
Inviting Fear to Stay
These are the steps I took to move past fear:
• I allowed myself to feel it. I’d spent so many years trying to prevent being afraid. It was time to allow fear to be present. As this morning’s note suggested, I invited fear in.
• Journaling daily helped me to uncover deeper issues. My fear stemmed from being different, from seeing and hearing things other people didn’t. Embracing who I am and accepting my unique gifts allowed me to reframe my fears and gave me a fresh perspective. As fearful as I was, nothing ever hurt me. I began to express gratitude for being me.
• Meditation helped me to calm anxieties and slow my heart rate and breathing. I learned about energy and Divine protection. And I learned how to use energy practices to make myself feel safe, even when alone in the dark.
• I recognized that I was never really alone and that I had been protected my whole life. I consciously asked the Divine to surround me with protective white light and I sent that light throughout my dwelling place, cleansing the space of any low, dark or negative energy. Every night I asked for angels to stand guard at each door and window.
• For a few months, I played music every night as I slept. The sound of the group Third Day was comforting to me, and filled the darkness with praise and songs of worship.
Inviting Fear to Pull Up a Chair
The evening arrived, after months of intense inner work, when I felt ready to invite fear in for a long chat. I turned off all the lights in my home, lit a few white candles and sat quietly in a chair. Then I waited, taking long slow deep breaths, sending out energy, and asking for Divine protection.
When fear showed up, I allowed it to stay, figuratively getting cozy with it. I worked through many emotions that night, and again and again, I looked at fear without flinching. Eventually fear bowed and stepped aide. And beyond it doors that had long been barricaded opened wide, revealing the most amazing gifts.
My life shifted that night. Fear’s icy grip around my heart loosened and then fell away. And my inner child came out of hiding. We continue to get to know each other again, my inner playful, artistic child and I.
Does fear ever show up now? Yes. Fear is a bully. Intimidation is its favorite ploy. But I know what to do when I feel the lightest touch of disquiet. I don’t allow the uneasiness to escalate to full blown terror. Instead, I breathe. Meditate. Ask for Divine protection. Express gratitude. Examine my surroundings to see what’s going on, in this world and the spirit world. And I check in with myself, to see what deeper lessons are being offered in the experience. I prevail.
Fear and I have yet to share a glass of iced tea. However, I brew an excellent cup of hot herbal tea. So pull up a chair, Fear. Stay a while. Teach me what I need to learn. And have a cup of tea. I’ll tell you a story…