Warming Up to Fear

It’s getting colder outside, and I’ve put off covering my windows with those clear plastic 3M sheets that are meant to insulate my home and keep the chilly winter weather out. Instead I’ve put on my heaviest sweater and wondered what else I would like to keep out of my life.

Ah yes, fear! Fear can certainly chill me to the bone and just like cold winter drafts, it can easily keep me in bed, burrowed under my covers. Though I’ve been repeating affirmations about being fearless and brave and trusting for years, my fear still makes me shiver, and I need something more effective if I want to warm up.

I found a wonderful quote about embracing your fears with compassion and decided to give compassion a try.

The next time I was afraid, instead of responding with an affirmation, I simply listened to my fear. I let it scream and yell and rage. I did not turn away or try to silence it.

I told it I understood and invited it to sit with me. I told my fear it was loved, and it slowly began to quiet down and eventually curled up and rested against me almost like a small child who had felt lost and was coming home to be comforted.

I realize now that my fear is a companion, showing up now and then when it needs. When it appears we talk with each other, even giggle a bit, and reassure one another that all will be well.

Fear is no longer something to keep out of my life like a cold winter draft. It is a part of me that I have chosen to respect and embrace. When I do, we are both calmed and can find peace.

As for my windows, they are still a little drafty, but when I look through them and out into the world, I’m now able to see life a little more clearly.

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