Being scared but being okay
I’m writing this from an airplane on its way from New York to Barbados. Flights, especially by yourself, always feel so reflective. And often for me with that reflection, comes sadness. Maybe the break from the normal tasks that make up your life, allows for all the emotions to catch up with you and can leave you feeling overwhelmed, alone and unsure about how to deal with it all.
It’s been a weird week and leaving New York after consistently working for the past year and a half in a revamped warehouse in Brooklyn feels strange. Tension with a close friend over the last few weeks has also been hard. When you live and work with the same people day in and day out, of course it’s going to be difficult. But it also feels deeper than that. It’s not quite all ok yet but it feels like there is some gentleness with it. Maybe both of us are softer and more willing to trust our deep connection and give space for it to be worked out rather than push for it to be resolved immediately. That push or desire for everything to be fixed and perfect seems to come from a fear that the relationship is broken and all is lost. But maybe we don’t need to be scared of that. Maybe there’s a reason for the tension that needs to have its time and patience to be explored and understood. It has been awful to realise how much I can push people away and be aggressive in my rejection. I think it’s easy to see how other people hurt you but when you look at how you hurt others it’s a confronting blow to the ego to say the least.
The other day my lovely, longest-standing yoga student gave me the greatest gift. She told me she saw / felt the presence of my grandfather at my feet during yoga class. After feeling so scared and anxious for what seems like ages now, I felt incredibly calmed by this connection. In our fear and panic it’s easy to start believing we are alone and unsupported and lost, off track and all that. But knowing that my poppa’s presence is around makes me feel more protected and more ok. Then someone wise, a druid type person, full of love, reminded me that the fear I feel is a default. If it’s a default habit rather than a fixed truth, it becomes almost like a choice. And there’s freedom in that because it means we can choose differently.
It’s so easy to close off to everything around you and shut down when you feel low. And I think that’s not something to be angry at yourself for but a really natural response. There’s not much you can do or achieve from fear and it seems to confuse and muddy clarity around what you really want and who you really are. But what does it mean to step out of fear?
I think a connection with yourself is a good starting point. Right now, in this moment, underneath my fear is sadness. I can feel that when I am still, when I breathe, when I quiet things down. It takes me some practice but if I give myself time and space I can feel it. When you take out all the self-judgement and ideas around it being lame or pathetic, the sadness you feel can actually be really nice, soft and calm. Sad songs, movies or books feel so satisfying. You feel closer to knowing what you need in a moment and are more willing and able to look after and care for yourself.
Then a connection with others helps you realise you aren’t alone and what you’re feeling isn’t some problem or fault with you. When you connect with someone else you realise how similar you are, how much you share, how everyone’s lives are scary and challenging and joyful and sad and frustrating. Maybe it’s about really and intentionally listening to the people around you, or your guides. Because everyone has wisdom to share and guidance and love to offer.
Sometimes it can be hard to feel like connections are safe. We can be worried about what it might mean, what we might lose or give away by forming a bind. Maybe even worried about getting hurt down the track and having to go through pain which seemingly could have been avoided by just not going there. Then this week I heard from an old friend who I’ve known since I was eleven or twelve, asking about me and telling me about what was going on for her. And it was easy and light and caring and supportive. And made me realise, there are always connections to be made. Support offered. From down here and from up above.
I don’t think we’re meant to be scared. I don’t think Poppa would want it for me from the place where he is. I don’t want it for me, or for any of you. There is a supportive world out there that has a place for you. It is safe to trust and to let go and believe and have faith. There is always time and the opportunity to breathe. And there is your heart, unique to you, and a calm gentle place for you to be.