As I hopped into my car Friday afternoon to drive out of the city, I couldn’t help but feel a wave of nervousness wash over me. We were gearing up for a camping weekend- my younger sister and I- and I had not yet really settled into the fact that we would be alone in the dark. This would not be a problem for many, or even something they would consider, but I did- because I am afraid of the dark.
Being the older sister, I felt like I had to sort of “hide” my fear. I wanted to make my sister feel comfortable and safe. I am the older sister after all, although sometimes she makes me question that.
Looking at myself in the rearview mirror, I gave myself one of those pep talks.
Alright, you got this. Camping. People do it every weekend. There is nothing to be afraid of.
About 5 minutes into my, “Tony Robbins” pump you up motivational headwork, I had an ‘aha’ moment. The dark was not what I was truly afraid of. In fact, what scared me was that I didn’t know what lay behind the darkness. I was afraid of the unknown, of circumstances that might be. I was fearful of uncertainty.
But that is life. Everything is uncertain. In fact, the only thing that is certain is that NOTHING IS CERTAIN.
And so I switched my “self-talk” to embracing the unknown, to trusting that the universe will keep us safe, and to listening to my instinct if anything odd did arise. And from there a wave of calmness settled over me.
You see fear is like the little dark room where negatives (from a photo) are developed. And as we drag our fears out from the darkness of our mind and into the light of day through courageous self-inquiry, logical and grounded thinking, the fear begins to dissipate.
So ask yourself, what am I truly afraid of? And why? And is it reasonable? Or is it something I can’t control? Because if it is out of your control, then there is no sense in worrying about it.
And then it becomes you who get to decide.
How much your fear affects you?
Or is it time to move through it?
Is it time to expose your fear to the light of day and work in the process of growth?