A Story About Facing My Fear
This morning, I experienced such a miraculous triumph over fear that I wanted to shout it FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS…
But Medium will suffice, haha.
2021 has been a year of Total Transformation for me. It’s the hardest year I’ve lived through. And according to my astrology chart, it’s far from over — woohooooo.
I’m in the process of shedding my previous self/life — career, ideals, relationships, etc. I’m letting go of the version of me that my parents wanted, society wanted, who I thought I wanted. I’m uncovering my shadow self and coming face-to-face with my ugly parts. I’m knee-deep in the muck and mire and although I’ve always been a fan of evolution, this is something else.
And in the midst of it, I’ve been dealing with fear and anxiety like never before.
Scared by my lack of control. Scared because life doesn’t work like it used to. Scared to be vulnerable and believe the Universe has my back. Scared I won’t fulfill my dreams of achievement and prestige. Scared I’m not worthy, not lovable. Scared all the magic I’ve uncovered in the past two years isn’t real. Scared I’m not ready for the future.
However, as of late, fear has sat in the back seat. Its presence has been visible but it hasn’t steered anything. It’s been a quiet passenger through yet another recent change… Until yesterday.
Fear came crashing back in with a vicious roar as I looked at my schedule, my bank account, my current state of affairs. GAHHH.
It’s my usual loop as of late. Things are going well, gaining momentum, and I feel confident. Then it’s like I wake up to reality and FREAK. I dive into distraction in one way or another. Or jump back into my uber-masculine tendency to “take over” and “make” something happen. Either one leaves me depleted, irritated, and I retreat to a quiet corner until I feel strong enough to deal again. REPEAT.
But this time, I was determined to handle it differently.
So before I went to bed last night, I made a date with myself to get up and spend time with my fear before going to work. I wanted to journal. I wanted to face it. I wanted to go deep.
But by the time I showered, sat down with my cacao, and was ready to get real, I realized there wasn’t going to be enough time to fully let myself open up. Side note: Veryyy little makes me anxious like the idea of being late, haha.
I knew that I couldn’t rush this.
So I grabbed my Selenite and Blue Agate, placed them in my lap, and decided to follow whatever felt right. I was immediately called to start with one of my breathwork practices focused on Safety & Surrender and dove in.
(I’ve been taking a breathwork course with Jenn Mansell called Closer and it’s been such an answer to prayer. She’s AMAZING.)
For eight minutes, I sat and breathed — inhaling and exhaling with an audible “ahhh” with my hands pressing into my stomach and heart. I needed to be calmed and soothed. I needed to surrender and to feel safe.
When it was over, I sat breathing quietly into the silence and felt the fear returning… I usually bypass in those moments, but I stayed soft and welcomed it in. The intensity blasted across the length of my body and shook my nervous system. But I stayed strong, continued to welcome it, and acknowledge its reason for being.
Then I began to speak to the fear, letting it know that I wasn’t going anywhere, that I wasn’t afraid. That it was time we became friends. Which just seemed to further enrage it as it yelled and thundered through my body, sending pulsing vibrations into my chest.
A dark fog started coming towards me, threatening to take over, to swallow me whole, but I softly stood my ground… Intuitively knowing the softness was key.
And all of a sudden, my inner child, my little Ahna, broke through the fog and came running towards me. I quickly crouched down to welcome her into my arms and quietly rocked her — in shock.
I hadn’t expected to see her at all.
But she was there with me, sobbing into my shoulder telling me how scared she was. Telling me she never felt safe. Telling me that it was all she wanted.
I held her, felt her beating heart, and tears rolled down my face as the memories of my childhood washed over me — remembering the home that never felt safe. Never knowing what would happen next. Never knowing if my parents would return angry or happy. Never able to relax. Never knowing if I had done something wrong. Always feeling like I didn’t do enough.
I held onto her even tighter and didn’t hide my tears. I told her that I was scared, too. I understood her fear. Validated her feelings… Then I gently pulled her back so that I could look her in the eyes, and I told her that she could count on me to create a safe space for her. That she would always be safe with me even when we felt fear together.
I promised her to do my best to nurture her. To hear her. And to be there whenever she needed me.
We shared tears and hugged each other deeply. And before I knew it, her tears had dried, she was smiling mischievously at me, and wanted to play ball in typical little Ahna style.
It was so beautiful…
I wanted to share this story because it felt like a solid, practical example of what happens when we stop running and face our scary emotions — in a tender way.
Afterward, my fear completed disappeared and was replaced by a deep peace that’s still moving through my body... And what’s interesting is that the entire time I was with my little self, the dark fog was present behind her, but it was far enough away that it couldn’t get to us, and it wasn’t trying.
Living without fear is impossible, but since I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say that her greatest accomplishment was making friends with her fear many years ago, I’ve been trying to work my way there.
Fear has always been too relevant in my life. I’ve always felt like I was doing something wrong and was going to be in trouble — even as an adult. And all that’s done is keep me small. But this ass-kick of a spiritual transformation isn’t remotely interested in allowing me to stay hidden.
If you’re thinking this is interesting but there’s no way you could do it — believe me, it’s taken time to get here.
I have to thank Tara Brach and her book, Radical Acceptance, for teaching me to acknowledge the fear and allow myself to feel it, but not let it take over.
And my intuitive transpersonal psychotherapist, Judith Corvin-Blackburn, who first helped me navigate my inner child life and begin the healing work I’m still drawing on today.
One of my biggest objectives for this lifetime is to get into my body, to feel, and to experience my spiritual power. And I know that while I’ve got a long way to go, these moments are paving the road towards that evolution.
They are helping me become more of me.
One moment at a time.