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“Do Not Be Afraid” or What the Hell: Go Ahead, Be Afraid

Here’s the truth: I am afraid. All the time, I fear . . . constantly. In circumstances without justification, I tremble. That’s who I am. I used to deny this about myself. I pretended it wasn’t true. Buck up, I ordered my quaking self. Get over it. Tossing my head, I stomped down the hallway, refusing to acknowledge that this FRIGHTENED me. Ultimately, I beat myself up about this aspect of myself that has been true as long as I can remember.

Now, I say: yeah, that’s you. Of course you’re afraid—you’re first reaction is always fear. That’s okay. Go ahead, do what needs to be done, afraid or not. Or sometimes I circle ‘round. Give myself time to recover from my first, fearful, reaction. Waiting for the fear to subside, creating room for the more-considered reaction to push through.

From the outside, these reactions might look the same—the job gets done—but they are worlds apart. Because the problem with the first approach is that it’s too easy to logically justify not doing what scares you. Welllllll . . . your clever brain says as the fear begins billowing inside of you, it isn’t that important. No one cares about this but you. It won’t make a difference in the world, the world will keep turning, and, besides, you have so many things on your agenda that need to get done. Don’t worry about it.

Thus do the very small, crucially important things that God puts in your path get blown off.

Fear wins.

“Do Not Be Afraid?” Hell, I’m Piglet. I am the fount of fear. I will be afraid. I just won’t let it overcome me. I will keep moving into the next thing—which will scare me, until it doesn’t, then I’ll move into the next thing, which will scare me, until . . .

Maybe I’m not “supposed” to be afraid, but I am. Only when I began acknowledging this truth about myself was I able to more successfully do what needed to be done.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

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