Just as the lyrics in “Closer to Fine” describe it, I led a life cloaked in fear. Although I had moments when I could abandon my fears, often I would reach for that false security. Life brings loss, betrayal, and disappointment, and though these experiences fed this idea that I had to be careful because the worst-case scenario was possibly lurking around the next corner, I know now that it was always a matter of perception. Like Dorothy, I had the ruby slippers all along and could send myself home to my authentic self at any time. Now it is more than simply knowing; it is necessary. When I feel possessed by those old familiar feelings, I must walk through the fear, or crawl, if that’s all I can do.
Friday, October 29, 2010
fearLESS Friday with Carie Roberts
This morning I have the honor of introducing you to my friend Carie. As I write these words, a feeling of pride bubbles up inside of me. I don't know what other word to use--I just feel proud of this woman, this mommy, this writer, who I've watched, over the last few years, begin to shed all kinds of heavy fear stuff.
A few weeks ago, Carie & I, and another friend, got to share a kid-free, grown-up evening out. While we sat there, over wine and tea and chocolate, and discussed mommy hood & creativity & God and other light stuff, I thought about how far each of us has come on this journey of moving through fear and accessing that deeper, knowing place inside of us. Carie, I'm so thankful to have you as a companion as we continue to find our way. Thank you for blessing this space with your beautiful, wise presence and giving us the gift of your words.
Something tells me the world is going to being seeing a lot more of Carie Roberts...I sure hope so--for everyone's sake.
By Carie Roberts
“I wrap my fear around me like a blanket; I sailed my ship of safety ‘till I sank it; I’m crawling on your shores” – Indigo Girls, “Closer to Fine”
The truth is that the moments of crisis, the truly scary stuff, can be bad, but never as dramatic as my mind likes to predict they will be. When I’m standing in the wake of a loved one’s fury, waiting for a phone call that never comes, or watching someone I care about wrestle with illness, there is the quiet of the truth. Life keeps moving even when my own heart has dropped, and the world around me seems distant, clueless, or unkind. The quiet in the moment of crisis urges nothing more than sitting with the truth and finding the heart space to be with it. Love is what matters. The words and the movements follow. Pain is the fear stirred by remembering and predicting.
The night after Julia asked me to be her FearLESS Friday guest, I dreamt I was at the coast, somewhere kind of like Seal Rock, Oregon with my husband and two small children. Another family was there, who like our own, has had to work through watching loved ones battle cancer. Cancer was not on anyone’s mind, though. It was not a topic of conversation. The children were poking sticks in the sand, pulling windblown strands of hair from their faces, and running to the water’s edge. Once the edge of cliffs, massive basalt rocks stood steadfast offshore as the ocean swirled and rolled in around them. The rocks themselves were impressive, mostly by the way they provided contrast to our human height. Somehow, it was different than standing next to a three or four story human construction. In places the water eddied or lapped the sand into a steep embankment, rather than creating the gradual rise of sand to crumbling cliff. This beach was captivating more than calming. We laughed and squinted in the salt wind, like subjects in a silent home movie. Then someone commented on the strange way a few waves crested high above the others. It looked like something jolted the ocean beyond our sight. I crouched with my children and my husband, unconcerned until I looked over my shoulder to see a sheet of water so tall it eclipsed the sky. For a moment, I felt startled and afraid. Then I turned to my family and there was nothing but quiet and love. Just love, deep and true. I didn’t need anything else. The dream ended.
When my mind begins to take me on a journey into fear, I try to slow down. I try to accept the situation at hand and access the love that is always there. This gives more clarity and in some cases, a greater ability for me to navigate life circumstances than any amount of worrying ever would. Somewhere I read that “the only way out is through.” Love gets me through. It is always there. I just have to access it.
Carie Roberts is a writer and teacher. She loves creative work and helping others access their creative energy to tell their stories. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org