How fear holds me back

This morning I was talking with a friend about fear and the things we have't done because of it. We are both creative folks- I talked about all the art projects I've started and haven't finished. The writings that sit in journals or on my computer. All unfinished/unpublished because of fear. Fear of being shunned, rejected, abandoned, excommunicated from the tribe. Deep Fear. Big Fear. A lot around emotions/self expression. She realized the first time she started a project and didn't finish it was in the 8th grade- 23 years ago. So she is committing to a 23 page art project to honor those years of unfinished projects, for her. Because why let fear win?

I realized the first time I remember clamping down my self expression was when I was 3 or so. When I started intuiting energy and emotions and changing mine to accommodate/manage. When I stayed silent when the abuse started. All the times my words and emotions stayed stuck in my body. So I am committing to 39 FB/blog posts that drip with truth. Human moments.

Like: When I was a teenager I wrote Kirk Cameron a letter telling him about how I was heavy, how alone I felt, how I was being bullied/abused and could he help me. Apparently I felt safe writing this letter to the guy from Growing Pains...but I didn't send it. I found it a few years ago and recycled it. Oh, if I still had it I could send it now. or share it now.

Like: how I had a subscription to Soap Opera Digest all through high school. And have watched General Hospital Liaison (the nick name of my favorite couple Liz and Jason) videos on Youtube as recently as this summer when I needed some romance!

So there is some truth- these things I had fear around in the moment or people knowing about me. Fear that if people knew this I would lose LOVE. Isn't that this holding back is really about? That I will be less loved if I show up in my messy human truth.

A dear friend sent this to me today:

I was going to die, sooner or later,
whether or not I had even spoken myself.

My silences had not protected me.
Your silences will not protect you….
What are the words you do not yet have?

What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day
and attempt to make your own,
until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?

We have been socialized to respect fear
more than our own need for language.
Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen?
Then push yourself a little further than you dare.

Once you start to speak, people will yell at you.
They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal.
And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier.
And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision,
which you may never have realized you had.
And you will lose some friends and lovers,
and realize you don’t miss them.

And new ones will find you and cherish you.
And you will still flirt and paint your nails,
dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said,
“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty
that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth.
And that is not speaking.

~ Audre Lorde

So speak my friends, speak it, dance, own it, celebrate, cherish it and know you are LOVED.