Also we’re having more spontaneous and interesting discussions. Today we spoke about our fears. My son nearly trampled upon a sea snake (harmless) and it kicked off the conversation.
We all shared what our deepest fears are. It struck me that it varied from person to person but it also varied according to age. The two older kids were afraid of being alone, burglars and snakes.
Then my five-year-old girl declared with a certainty that only a five-year-old can do: “I’m not afraid of anything!”, and I realized it was not to impress the older siblings or even out of ignorance. It is simply the way it is at the beginning of live. We fear nothing.
As the question went around the table my turn came up. I had to think for a while. Yes I fear snakes, burglars, wars, child trafficking and being broke. My biggest fear, as any parent, is that something will happen to my kids. But at the same time, I realized – I fear nothing.
The insight was quite a revelation.
My whole life I’ve spent worrying about different things. Some days it’s only been a light notion in my head. Other days my fears have held me back from trying, wanting or daring. Sometimes my fears have held me in a very dark place where I’ve almost been afraid to breathe.
Today I realized that something has changed.
Years of experience, years of trying and failing, years of hitting disappointment after disappointment, years of jumping and falling, years of living close to death and birth, I have landed in a place of harmony. All these experiences have put me in a place where I know I can take on almost any challenge.
The difference today is perhaps not lack of fear, but instead: I don’t let me fears keep hold of me. I don’t let my fears keep me from doing what I want.
At the same time, sometimes I don’t do what I want to do, but then it is ok. I don’t have to do things at once all the time. Waiting to take a leap is not a setback. It is a choice based on experience and wanting to live according to my own rhythm.
Yes it’s a harsh world out there full of burglars and snakes. But I don’t let my fears steer me.
And once in a blue moon when I do get close to that darkest-of-fear-places again. I stop and breathe until the fear passes.
Fearless is a wonderful life.