Inviting Fear to Pull Up a Chair

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.

Inviting Fear to Pull Up a Chair

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.

Inviting Fear to Pull Up a Chair

Facing Fear

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 Pull Up a Chair

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

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…

Inviting Fear to Pull Up a Chair

Journey 308: Between the Dreaming and the Coming True

I awoke this morning, from a very vivid dream. As I did my three pages of free writing, I explored the feelings that lingered as I moved from dream to wakefulness. And those thoughts have stayed with me all day. The dream marked a milestone on my journey, and reminded me how far I’ve come in the last four years. 

  
I grew up with a great deal of fear. I’m an intuitive and the veil between this world and the spirit world is very thin for me. My earliest memories are of experiences no one else in my immediate family had. I saw things, heard things, sensed things that the other members of my family could not. At least, not at that time in their own journeys. My intuition is a gift, passed down through generations on both sides of my family. 

But I didn’t see it as a gift then. It made me different. It made me fearful. And the fear drew more scary things into my life to fear. Being alone, in the dark, was terrifying for me. And remained so…until I was well into my forties. My life began to shift when I recognized that not all that happened around my intuition was frightening and that I was surrounded with God’s light, protected more than I knew. 

Finally, just four years ago, I felt ready to face down my fear and embrace fully who I am, which included my intuitive self. I learned to bring Divine light and peace around me and through my home. Fear ebbed away, little by little, until I could sleep alone, in the dark, without fear. 

  
What I have found incredible is that my dreams at night reveal the state of my mind and heart. I have always had very detailed and visually rich dreams. As a child I was plagued by nightmares, dark snapshots of what was going on in my waking life. As an adult, gripped by fear, I continued to have bad dreams that would cause me to whimper in my sleep or breathe erratically. I’d wake in a cold sweat, my heart pounding, afraid to sleep but afraid as well to be awake in the middle of the night. 

When I accepted that I am intuitive and combatted my fear, the first changes took place in my dreams. The scenarios no longer made me wake trembling. Rather I was able to watch what was unfolding in a more detached way. The first time I spoke during a dream and firmly said “Stop it”, I woke amazed at my courage AND the fact that the bad dream did stop when I spoke. Over the last four years my dreams have continued to reflect the changes in my life. I still dream of spooky stuff, experiences that have scared me in the past, but in my dreams I am taking control of the situation and watching more with curiosity than fear. 

  
The dream I had early this morning showed me the current state of my mind and heart. People were having frightening experiences in a huge house that held negative energy within it. I was asked to clear the house. There was absolutely no fear as I visited the home and saw the dark entities there. I assured the owners I could handle it. And then I took charge and assembled a team of competent people to assist me. We showed up at the house, we faced the darkness, and I led them in speaking the words that cleared the negative energy away. 

What a difference between taking charge…and waking in terror. This dream showed me how much my life has shifted. It perhaps showed me as well that I’m watching a lot of Doctor Who. A lizard man was part of my team! What an amazing dream. I woke feeling empowered and confident and courageous. 

As those super charged emotions have stayed with me today, the title of a book came to me, written by Robert Benson, “Between the Dreaming and the Coming True”. It’s been years since I read that delightful book. I never quite understood the title. Suddenly, this afternoon, those words made sense to me. As I am growing in my journey, my subconscious is feeding the shifts into my mind, where the changes play out as dreams. They are running ahead of my reality, the coming true part of my life. I exist in that “between” space, between the heroics of my dreams and the realization of what’s possible. That’s where my journey is.  

I am thrilled to have had such a powerful dream. Fear has no place in my life. And my subconscious is making that known to me. I accept that. I believe. And if the need arises, I am ready to assemble my team! 

  

Day 287: National Face Your Fears Day

National Face Your Fears Day

Who knew that there was a day specifically set aside for facing ones fears? I didn’t, until this month. According to daysoftheyear.com, this holiday is always the second Tuesday in October, so the date changes each year. This year it is today, October 14. And for my first, I “celebrated” the day by being mindful of my journey and all the fears I have overcome.

Fear is a powerful emotion that can paralyze us, keeping us stuck in a supposed safe place. Many terrors begin in childhood because of an incident beyond the control of the child, such as fear of water because of a near drowning, fear of storms because of a tornado passing through, fear of the dark because of strange noises emanating from the closet. The memory or energy of that incident remains trapped within and each time a similar event occurs, that memory gets triggered, and the energy stirs, and we feel it as butterflies in the stomach or an icy grip around our hearts. We pull back. We begin to avoid those things which trigger the fear and a phobia is born.

I know all about fear. I lived most of my life in the clutches of it. Many of those fears were common fears… of the dark, of dolls, of strong storms, of loss, death and isolation, of failure, of not being enough. It took reaching middle age, and the loss of two dear people, to realize that all my fears centered around one major, deep seated fear. I was afraid of who I was, at my core, and the gifts I’d been given to share with the world. I was afraid to shine, as the person I was Divinely created to be.

Watching The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring about 12 years ago, a scene caught my attention. I knew I was seeing a picture of myself played out on my tv screen. Gandalf the Grey, the wizard in the film, is leading the fellowship through the mines of Moria. The little band of travelers has just discovered that the occupants of the mine are all dead. There is a darkness in the mines that goes beyond a lack of light. Gandalf raises his staff and allows a very small amount of light to shine forth, lighting their way. He whispers, “Let us hope that our presence may go unnoticed.” I replayed that scene over and over and something shifted near my heart. That was me, not allowing my light to shine brightly, hoping that my presence would go unnoticed. That fear of shining as my true self kept me small and invisible. It caused me to be a people pleaser, an avoider of conflict and controversy, silent when my voice could have made a difference. It was my smallness caught in isolation that created the fear of death and loss, fear of the dark, fear of being alone.

My journey shifted as well that day. Oh, the fears didn’t disappear overnight. But as I released fear after fear, I began to draw amazing people and situations to me that gave me opportunity to shine as the person I am created to be. And finally, as I fully embraced who I am and all that I am, gifts, abilities and quirks, I could quietly, courageously face the last of my fears and watch them drop away. The dark no longer menaced me and I no longer had to fear being alone, especially at night. It is a continuing journey, walking as me, finding my voice, and I am still learning and growing into what that means and how to offer who I am to others.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” I agree. By facing my fear, I have done that which I never thought I could do, in many areas of my life. I am grateful for National Face Your Fears Day because it reminds me of how far I have journeyed, and what is possible when I shine bright. There is no place within me for fear to hide in that great light.

heart of light 2