In fact, often I am terrified. I know my writing can be big and feisty. Even in broken down or vulnerable moments, I still come around to a strong and centered place. But it occurred to me that it might be useful to admit just how effing terrified I am sometimes. About many things. About the state of the world. Politics. Climate change, clearly. About love, family, facing my own fears. About relationships and honesty. Trust. Communication. It's all terrifying. I think pretty much for everybody, all the time, if we're honest. Connecting to other humans and risking being hurt. Putting our work out there and risking utter rejection. Doing our work at all and admitting, in so doing, that we might want something greater than what we have, to be someone greater than we are. To admit, even in a whisper, that perhaps we may actually aspire to greatness. Because dear god what if we fail. What if our stuff isn't actually that good and we're actually just flawed humans who should have played it safe and stayed in bed?
And hilariously, I don't have answers to any of this stuff. Other than keep doing the work and keep loving. Which is about all anyone can do. And sometimes we'll fall down and faceplant. Other times, much less gloriously, we'll lose track and just play small for a while. Or forever. We'll hide in a relationship or hide in a job or hide in any situation that keeps our full light obscured from view.
A funny thing I've just discovered is that people can still see us. We just look like a person that's hiding. Ha! It's so cruel. What kind of sick joke is that? Often the people who come knocking on our door to tell us how great we are, are the ones we're most afraid of. Because we are actually afraid of being seen and heard and understood, even though we desperately want to be seen and heard and understood. Even those of us who are doing quite well are often goddamn motherfucking terrified to make it to the next level.
Because then we would have to keep owning it.
And keep going.
I can tell you one thing. My own work terrifies the shit out of me. I love it. I'm committed. I'm doing it. It makes me happy and feeds my fire and my life. It's joyous and fulfilling. And utterly life-affirming. And it truly terrifies the shit out of me every day. It's all those things.
I don't know. This post wasn't meant to be motivational. Fear costs us so much. It can cost us everything. And at the same time we are absolutely human and this is the process. The ego is a tricky, slippery motherfucker, and I'm pretty sure we are pretty much always grappling with our fears. One simple rule of thumb, I suppose, is that if we give in to our sheer terror of ourselves and our own light, we are guaranteed to create the exact thing we were terrified of in the first place. So we might as well at least try to lean directly into the fear and go against it. At least that way we have a shot. Easier said than done, but that's the point.