Mark Twain once said “Courage is either the resistance or mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Fast forward to 2020, the life we knew in 2019 is now a long forgotten pipe dream. A pandemic has been affecting any and all in its wake. Death seems to be lingering on every street corner. In addition, riots have broken out due to a smoldering societal fire of injustice, which has been scolding for decades. To say the least, this year has been intense. Families are divided due to politics or difference of opinion and we talk to computer screens for a large fraction of a “normal” day. However, the key to understanding this lies in our processing of fear within our own environment.
Though many are aware of change being the only constant in life, we humans, I hate to say are creatures of habit. Specifically, if I do not obtain coffee by 8 am the latest every morning, you do not want to speak to me. With that being said, we despise change but become aware of change being the only path to freedom in 2020 and beyond. With the onset of change, comes fear. If you take nothing else from this tidbit, hear this, it is OK to feel fear.
After embracing my own journey, on comedy stages, in the world of mental health, as private practitioner and more importantly as an endurance athlete, here is what I have found: FEAR is our most basic form of self love. Join me on this magic carpet ride, if you will….
If we break it down, our fear response is already identifying something in our immediate environment that it deems is harmful so thus, sweaty palms, shallow breathing, internal shuttering and obsessive thinking occur. Now the biggest lesson of 2020 is not FEAR as False Evidence Appearing Real like much of the fear response was in the past. Covid -19 and the political climate of these Great United States of America can be seen as real evidence. We become unsettled with it because we have no choice but to face it, and that ladies and gentleman, is why we are hyper vigilant on the daily. My challenge to any and all is instead of running or repressing this fear as our ego tells us to, I ask you embrace it from a perspective of how is this fear apart of my self preservation? It is like the overbearing distant relative that has entirely too much to say and never goes away, but our maturity eventually leads us to believe that she’s “our over bearing relative” and I am cool with that.
In closing, I urge you all to explore the mental rigidity that we continue to regress to in times of peril and explore the concept that fear energy is a passing wave trying to make sense of a turbulent environment. True freedom is found when we start to realize that not every action calls for a reaction. Sit with the fear, embrace the suck and realize what you have overcome in the past to create the future on your own terms. Flip the script from “False Evidence Appearing Real” to “Face Everything And Rise.” Remember everyday that you are the author of the story and you develop your characters as well as the quests you undertake. In a time where disconnection from humanity is the root plague, we have a duty to connect with ourselves. The first step to that is accepting and loving the fear that arises from within.
Stay the course.