Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fear and Light.

quotes on fear
Fear taps scratching cracks onto 
the windows nestled inside of our brains
luring our thoughts to engage,
away from what we could be
planting seeds of worry and shame-
a dangerous dance of doubt and denial
Fear wishes to ensnare...
Repeatedly, we learn to push away 
these forward and unwanted advances
until we decide to stop the back 
and forth and be gentle with fear:
what if fear is something to invite in?
Perhaps fear has a message for us,
something we need to learn about ourselves
in order to catapult us into
Why is it so hard to believe that we
are capable of something significant?
Why do I specifically have so much insecurity?
What can I do to change this?
I have to dive into dialogue with fear,
hear it out,
make sense of its desire to protect,
learn from it. 
And then, 
I must choose to stop talking to fear
and while still respecting its rightful place
walk past it with strength and awareness
towards what is next. 
Fear can stand by,
staring me down, causing me to quake,
but it must not, cannot
stop me. 
So right now: conversation stage.
Hey there, fear-what's up? 
I am all ears. 
I am willing to explore 
what you are encouraging me
to consider right now:
the risks, the what ifs, the futility
or missing pieces?
Yup....got it. 
Well then, thanks fear, I am sure
that some of this will serve me well,
if I want to be successful...
I assure you I will reckon with it,
make appropriate accommodations to ensure that 
the risks are minimized...
sorry fear, but from here I am
going to find it necessary to walk on 
past you.
I know what I am capable of:
I am feeling almost ready to do it. 
Vision is what is needed now, 
and Fear, you sometimes like to throw a blanket on what could be:
"It's too risky! Don't see it!"
But I must walk toward it, pull back the veil
and be brave.
Being brave is what is next.
I am going to go to the source.
I am going to find the truth.
I am going to create the path.
Fear is not my path. 
Shedding fear lights me up
ensuring the path is not outside of me,
so that the path can become me.
Keep moving. 
I am the light. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

On becoming unstuck...

Let's face it, things are not going as well as many of us would like right now in our country. Whatever "side" you fall on, whatever your beliefs, it's hard to deny that the struggles we face feel yucky. (Or maybe you don't feel that way at all, and in this case, you aren't paying attention. And that's certainly a thing that happens as well.)

The fact remains that issues are complicated and we aren't all that comfortable with sitting with layers. Black and white thinking is easier for us. But the world doesn't work that way. And neither do people. Sometimes more than one answer can actually be true. Which leaves us with the "stuck feeling" that we may be experiencing right now. Or maybe that is just me, and I can reframe:

I feel stuck right now. 

It reminds me of taking both my LCSW and LICSW licensing exams. Those were really hard, as they were each very long, and extremely high stakes tests, the outcome of which had a direct impact on my future plans. However, they also followed three years of grad school where I only engaged in paper writing (fun) and presentations (less fun, but totally manageable). Anyway, allow me to elaborate on the idea that these exams feel a lot like the challenges of society right now.  

 Many questions on these licensing exams involved a potentially real scenario, with many unique elements, needs and options for supporting the individual, people or situation. Often each answer provided was 'right'. Meaning that one could reasonably justify any of the possible courses of action to help aid the situation. However, only one of the choices was considered the best thing to do, or alternatively (depending on what the question asked), the first thing to do.


As a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (yes, I passed), I feel this way a lot. Society and culture is not not black and white. People's lives are not black and white. Problems people face are not black and white. Solutions are not black and white. There is not a clear linear process, as so much depends on other variables, and sometimes we just... falter. Or new environmental circumstances arise that can cause dramatic shift to our perspective or to the path itself. 

Our internal worlds can be very messy places to live. Our outer world is messy too. 

If we can all agree in the truth of this last statement then I propose we can come to an agreement on something with the potential to be profoundly helpful:

We control whether or not we allow ourselves to suffer. 

We have the ability to choose whether or not we linger in our attachment to pain. We can be aware of our pain, and we have a choice in how we respond to that pain. The difference between pain and suffering may seem simplistic or maybe even a bit "out there", but I promise if you marinate in this concept and really practice noticing your own life, things will change. 

Consider committing to cultivating a practice of mindful awareness. All that is necessary is just noticing without judgment what our thoughts are, how we feel about these thoughts and then how we behave. 

Just becoming aware of the intersectional relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions allows us a to experience a special kind of freedom. It doesn't mean we always enjoy the thoughts, feelings and actions we engage in, but it invites us to take a closer look at what is holding us back and sit with it. Decide what to do next with more intention, less attachment and far less suffering.

Give it a thought, see how it feels, notice what happens next.

Let's keep on this path...!

More insights to come, up next: The role of *connection* in enhancing this...