Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what you’re feeling? Not how you’re feeling, but what you’re feeling?
If you’re like me, you probably never stopped, as an adult, to question the labels you gave certain feelings as a child. Tonight, I had a major realization, that somehow, as a child, I mislabeled the combination of desire and anxiety as FEAR, then I cleverly disguised fear as ‘aversion’, or the opposite of desire!
I spent my entire life believing that there wasn’t anything I wanted to do! I thought I lacked desire, but the truth is, I didn’t understand that the feelings I was having… THAT’S WHAT MEANINGFUL DESIRE FEELS LIKE! The meaningful desires, the important desires, they’re SUPPOSED to be a little scary, a little challenging… they’re supposed to make you GROW!
If you haven’t done it yet, pick a few things you’ve said ‘I wish I could do that’ about, and really examine why you haven’t done it already. Mine was dancing. I’ve always looked with longing at dancers. Envious of their grace and beauty, I never tried, because I held a deep-rooted belief that I wasn’t graceful and I wasn’t beautiful, and I was afraid to fail. I was insecure, and that insecurity blinded me to the fact that there was true desire beneath the fear.
I’ve told the Universe that I’m ready. I’m ready to feel the fear, and do it anyway, and the Universe is taking me at my word. It’s letting me know all the things I desire, and letting me see that Fear + Excitement = Desire, and Fear + Dread = Aversion, and I should chase desire, and work on my aversions.
I realized what true love actually FEELS like… and it feels like coming home, but better. It feels like complete acceptance. All my life, I’d been searching for love, but I had no idea what I was trying to find, because I’d never felt it before. There were several times in my life that I was loved, truly loved, but because I didn’t know what I was looking for, I didn’t recognize it and appreciate it when I found it.
Check in with your feelings, friends… your brain is a highly skilled manipulator, and it knows you better than you know yourself, and it will lie to you in a heartbeat if it thinks it is for your own good… and it’s not always interpreting the circumstances correctly. Examine your emotions, double-check the definitions of your feelings… is it really anger, or is it fear? Is it really fear, or is it excitement?
Think of one thing that you want to do that you never tried, and really ask yourself why you never even gave it a chance? Dancing? Irish Folk Dancing? Horseback riding? If you felt afraid, what’s stopped you from facing your fears? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if facing the fear is worth having the experience? Somewhere along the line, some of us were taught that fear was a stop sign, instead of what it really is- an alert system. It alerts us to things we should pay attention to. Not just the bad things, but the things that will challenge us, the things that will delight us, the things that will make us feel ALIVE… ‘fear’ is nothing more than intensely focused desire. If you’re getting attacked, you have a very intense desire for safety, or to be away, or to survive. If you’re about to perform, it’s simply an intense desire to perform well. Fear is simply the label we’ve all put on the intense desire to feel safe… but some of us have umbrella’d all intense desire under the ‘fear’ label, and have no idea that they’re misinterpreting intense desire (to do, have or be something), intense excitement, even intense sexual desire, as fear. Or the emotion (desire, excitement, lust) is so strong it triggers a fear response within them.
Is there anything you’ve encountered in your life that you didn’t do out of fear (shyness, insecurity, fear of failure, fear of success) that you may possibly have mistaken the feeling of intense desire or intense excitement as ‘fear’, and allowed that to stop you from ever trying it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!