Inside Control, Fear Runs the Show
About to start her own business after years of experience in a related field, she hears her father’s voice in her head chiding her, “It’s a lousy economy, why would you leave such a great job? What about your family?”
He knows it’s time to move but instead spends months packing and unpacking and packing again, worrying his metaphorical crap will just come with him, and really, life won’t get better anyway.
When her gentle boyfriend reaches out to touch her, she automatically jerks and then stiffens, still haunted by another man’s viciousness from 15 years ago as a voice chants inside, “you’re disgusting and unlovable, disgusting and unlovable, disgusting and unlovable….”
It’s no wonder we want to silence fear and push it away. Fear seems to enjoy scaring us into staying small, and it knows all our secrets. In our dualistic either/or world, we’ve made fear into something evil, bad and wrong. And somehow, we’ve convinced ourselves that if we can just establish enough control in our lives, then fear will disappear. Control will help us kill fear. The challenge is that ultimately, our need for control ends up controlling us. And inside control, fear isn’t dead at all, but really running the show.
If control doesn’t really work and there’s no escaping fear, as a practical woman, I’d rather just cut the crap and sit down for a clarifying conversation. In an AND world, we can learn to listen to our fears without giving away our power. Fears comes in so many shapes and sizes, as we get to know the different flavors and textures, we can begin to sort through them. Fear can be silly and cruel and flamboyant and misguided. Fear can also be sensitive and tender and wise. We’ve demonized fear instead of holding it in our arms and allowing it to cry, shout, grieve…and heal.
I’m not suggesting blind trust as fear can be very tricky and requires stealth. But that’s kind of the point. By identifying the individual cast of characters our fears represent, we can learn when to listen closely, when to gently shush and when stand our ground. In relationship with fear, the desire for control transforms into the possibility of navigation. Through fear, we can develop awareness.
How do fears regularly appear in your life? What are they whispering in your ear? And what do they need to feel heard?