The webs of fear that we weave…
That prevent us from doing, being, feeling our best.
Yet again I am writing about “Fear” with a capital “F”…for there is so much to write about that comes to mind…an endless stream…
So many webs...so far reaching at times…so deeply connected to all that we think we are, might be, could be…
Then there are the threads. The threads are invisible streams of energy connecting all things…they are the ever present light filling the universe, the love, the beauty, the possibility…the Truth. They flow between the webs and yet a lot of the time we don’t even see them.
Someone once told me that every emotion we experience is ultimately love or fear based.
I was intensely faced with fear again 4 days ago. Noakai awoke with a temperature of 102 on Friday morning and was just lifeless and weak and pale and vomiting. I had to hold him wherever I went as the minute I tried to sit him down he would desperately scream: “Mama, Mama…I want Mama!” as if his life depended on it. I couldn’t bear to put him down. A few hours later and I was heading to the ER. His temperature had risen to 103.3. I was worried sick….so afraid that he would have a seizure, or that his x-rays would come back showing something awful was wrong….with his lungs, or his heart, or something….The web of my fear was affecting my whole body and mind…I was expecting the worst to happen at any given moment.
Hi x-rays came back just fine….he “just” had an ear infection. I was still afraid though and would watch him at night breathing…his chest rise and fall…checking his temperature every 15 mins at one point just to make sure he was ok.
Having a vivid imagination is great when you are an artist…not so great when it runs wild with all the possible outcomes of things that could go wrong…at any given moment, minute, second. I had my bag packed and ready to go by the door just in case I had to rush to the ER again. I would have spent the whole night in a chair at the ER holding him if I could…just to be safe.
When Noakai was 5 months old he woke up in the middle of the night, threw up and then went lifeless on my shoulder. The ambulance took 13 minutes….yes 13 minutes to get to my house which felt like an eternity. He spent 3 days in hospital, where they did a number of tests and found nothing wrong. A week later I discovered the homeopathic teething tablets that he had been taking had been recalled for causing seizures and vomiting. It was all such a traumatic experience…and it intensified my fear.
When I started introducing solids to Noakai – and the foods that could potentially cause an allergic reaction, like nuts and egg whites and strawberries etc. – I would either give them to him in front of his doctor, close to a hospital or even at Wholefoods. I figured the ambulance would get to Wholefoods more quickly than my house. 13 minutes?!…will forever haunt my mind I think…rattle around like an old rusty screw.
It had accompanied me on many a journey throughout my life. Years ago as I student I lived in Madrid for a few months at the height of my eating disorder, bulimia. I remember being terrified of getting on the underground (subway). As it began to move and gain speed I would hold on and try to focus on my breath.
What if it didn’t stop?? No really…what if it didn’t stop? What if the tracks weren’t positioned correctly today and we crashed into an oncoming train?? I could see it, feel it, hear it…
I would stare at other people on the train to see if they looked worried or nervous…but no-one ever did. They looked as if they didn’t have a care in the world.
Also this one image would come to me randomly…and it would cause me such unbelievable panic and fear I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I saw an image of the world. I was in space looking at our world…..and suddenly…..suddenly it would just fall…..FALL! My heart pounding in my chest I would repeat: “It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok…” over and over and over again until it subsided. Thank GOD it subsided…otherwise I was sure I would have died. My heart would have just exploded. Now imagining the image in my mind…I feel no fear at all….it evokes nothing. Thank God for that.
I would obsess about the food I could eat or not eat that day….and it occupied the majority of my waking life. I would chew packets of gum endlessly to stop myself from eating…or drink diet coke. That only worked for a short period of time though…before I craved food…lots of it. Then I would have to throw it all up…my stomach would hurt and feel so sore, but this was something I had to do, and I would feel such relief after….the fear of facing what was really going on was so much greater than the stress of this illness. The discomfort of it all felt comfortable and safe. And so the cycle would continue on and on and on.
The number of times, whilst living in Madrid I said “no” to wonderful invitations to go salsa dancing, go traveling for the weekend with my Spanish roommates, go to a party, were many. My fear kept me small and hidden in my shell, my cave where the invitation to shine and be more of who I truly was, and to enjoy life…truly enjoy life was squashed and suffocated.
My eating disorder was finally and truly healed over 10 years ago. Thank God for that.
Such a powerful force….to transform or destroy. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you you need to stop, or to get help…it is not until you decide that you have had enough of this way of being and living….of hurting yourself….that you deserve to be happy, truly happy, to embrace yourself, who you are…and that the feeling of never being enough can be felt and talked about and let go of, and little by little the feeling of being good enough will become stronger and stronger. It is possible. It may take a lifetime…many lifetimes…but at least when you are on that path of light…shield and sword in hand you are able to fight it, to ask for help and keep moving forward whatever.
When my brother and I were kids we used to go “Laternelaufen” in our garden with our mother. It was a German tradition on November 11th, St. Martins Day to do this. We would walk around our garden each holding a “Laterne”…a colorful lantern, singing German songs. It was a bit scary to do this…as we had a big garden back then with woods all around. When we were ready to come back in, I would dare myself to walk all around by myself with my “Laterne”. I was sooo afraid to do this in the dark alone that I just had to do it! The fear of not wanting to do it bothered me too much. I remember running with my Laterne through the woods, with images of scary monsters hiding behind trees ready to grab me. I ran back inside the house so quickly, panting heavily, heart pounding…but with a strong sense of accomplishment…“I did it!!”
Some fears are easier to confront and overcome than others….some take just a few minutes…others can take a lifetime….and the rest somewhere in between.
Of ending a relationship. The knowing that it is not right, not the best thing, is clouded in the fear of losing this person…of having to try and make things right somehow.
But sometimes they will never be right, feel right, work right…and whatever you do to try and make it better, will never work. It will just never work.
And that’s ok….not every relationship with every person – lover or friend – will work out or stay nicely wrapped in a little box with hearts and a pink ribbon on it forever and ever. It just won’t.
I recently let go of someone I was in an on and off relationship with for 8 years…very off and on. I never believed I could truly do it…truly let go on every level. I was always holding on, in some way.
And it felt like this person was in my blood…somehow so inexplicably there….intensely everywhere…But, sometimes enough is really enough…and you get to a point where you are not willing to ever be hurt again or to hurt them again…and it gets to that point where you just take a deep breath and say:
“I simply let you go…”
And that’s it.
Layers and layers of dusty old stories, and excuses, and justifications, and thoughts, and beliefs….lurking in the corners of our mind…all so complicated…
Yet the ever present threads are there…always there…
Illuminating the darkness,
Illuminating our hearts,
Illuminating the webs…