This morning, I’m off on a jet plane to San Francisco for a last-minute pitch with my friend and colleague, Merredith. As I zipped over to drop the dogs off for a day of doggie fun and a night of boarding, I poured my car into the glowing pink horizon and…started to cry.
I finally realized something I’ve been afraid of (and no – I’m not sharing…some things are mine). As I hurriedly wiped the tears away in anticipation of arriving at what we call The Puppy Place (aka Barkly Manor), the sting from my psyche’s little Bitch Slap remained.
What scares the everloving daylights out of you?
Fear’s a huge motivator, whether we realize it or not. Sometimes it propels us into action. Others (MOST others), it paralyzes us. Maybe it’s disguising itself in your life, because it’s a clever bastard designed for survival. A shape-changer of X-Men proportions and chameleons ain’t got nutin’ on its ability to morph and blend in with your life’s canvas.
Is it anger? You’re pissed about your job. The way a friend or lover treated you.
Is it depression? Doing nothing is easier than doing anything. With anyone. Ever.
Is it money? Not having enough, spending too much, afraid of what your friends/colleagues/kids will think about the gift you can afford versus the one you want to give.
Is it love? Yes, love can cause fear. Fear of disappointing or hurting someone you love. Pervasive. Powerful.
Is it loss? Tired of losing. The hurt. Pain. When will you stop crying? You never want to feel this way again.
It it Analysis Paralysis? You’re not done thinking because you’re afraid to make the wrong decision. Maybe there’s something you haven’t thought about! YES! There must be something!
Fear is a symptom. How dedicated are you to uncovering the cause?
Truth creeps in and as humans, we’re pretty fucking efficient at burying the truth when we catch a whiff of it. Don’t believe me? Ask your gut.
Your gut is as honest as it gets. It never tells you what you want to hear. It tells the truth – what you need to hear. The bitch of it is, we’re not great listeners and would rather tune into MEFM (that’s ME, a very popular FM radio station, owned by the same broadcast conglomerate as WIIFM, What’s In It For Me FM).
We do it (myself included) all day long. We even tell ourselves out loud what we SHOULD be doing:
I should end things. This doesn’t feel good.
I should find a new job.
I should tell him I love him.
I shouldn’t buy this.
I should save money.
I should get my taxes done.
The minute we put “should” into the mix, we’re already treating ourselves like assholes. Because that means you’re not going to do it. Period. We’re experts at seeing the truth long before we ever do anything about it. Our guts are as old as we are, yet we treat them like a petulant six-year-old and think they couldn’t possibly know anything about Being An Adult.
That’s bullshit and you need to stop it right now (and yes, I’ll be in line with you for the slapping).
The fear revealed in my car ride this morning…I don’t quite know what to do with it yet. Seeing it for what it is, though, out from under the mask of love and anger its been wearing – well, that’s a step. It’s the time of year where fear is pervasive. What are you going to do? While a certain dose of fear is healthy, isn’t it time to give yourself a gift this holiday season and stop using it (albeit, unwittingly) as an excuse? It’s a symptom. You owe it to yourself to discover the cause. Doctors all to frequently treat symptoms and leave people living with the cause for years. You have the option, and I’m not saying it’s easy. But the cause of your fear is ready and waiting, and a Bitch Slap all by itself.
Brace for impact. You’ve been slapped.