Who among us has never been afraid? Typically, we fear the unknown and what we don't understand. We fear being judged and misunderstood. We fear pain in all its forms, homelessness and loneliness, illness, humiliation, rejection, loss and regret.
Be not afraid, we repeatedly hear. But how does one become less afraid? How does one truly become brave, fearless and free?
Keep in mind that fearlessness is not the complete absence of fear, but rather the ability to take action in spite of all that makes us afraid. Freedom from fear is not won in a battle, for whatever we fight only grows stronger. True freedom comes when we decide to explore our limiting beliefs, face our fears and respond with a single act of bravery and then another, and then another.
We often think of fear as an alert to danger or a response to self-doubt. But what if there is something else? What if fear is truly meant to get our attention and awaken something greater within us?
Fear doesn't have to "shut" us down. It can propel us into action. Once we take action, fear begins to loosen its firm hold. We gain greater strength, confidence and wisdom whenever we're able to move beyond something once feared. We gain a sense of connection and greater support when overwhelming fear prompts us to ask for and accept help. With every step forward, we become a little less fearful and a bit more free.
Unfortunately, some of us fear even our successes. "...It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us," says Marianne Williamson.
Why would anyone be afraid of their "light" and inherent greatness? I suspect that we fear anything that makes us different. Even though we each possess something great, it is expressed through each person differently. Different isn't always met with approval. Different isn't always accepted. Yet, it is our differences, that makes this human experience so amazing.
There is no greater act of courage or greater freedom than the decision to embrace all that makes you uniquely yourself, while choosing to accept others as they are. And that's what we all want. We all want and deserve to be free.
Love and blessings,
Kathleen O'Malley, Author