I recently started reading the book “May Cause Miracles” by Gabrielle Bernstein, and early on in the book it coaches you to become a witness to your fears. I thought that was a bit odd to simply take the time and energy to observe one’s fears. I mean, after all, wouldn’t that just cause more fear? I generally try to ignore my fears and pretend they don’t exist. There was a time when I might have closed the book and thought that kind of hippy mumbo jumbo wasn’t for me, but sticking with my new year’s resolution and my commitment to growth, I decided to stick with it.
What happened? After the first day of acknowledging each fear that popped into my head…my head was throbbing by noon, my back ached by 3 p.m. while I put the boys to bed my jaw was all but locked shut, and at 9 p.m. – while I layed in a hot bath sobbing as every muscle hurt – I thought, “I should burn that book.”
What did I realize? I have been living in fear. I saw that I entertain several fearful thoughts each minute. It occurred to me that if I had a friend who followed me around saying the things I was thinking “You’re gonna be late”; “She thinks you’re a bad mom”; “You are a bad mom”; “He’s gonna fall”; “You’re gonna die”; “You will never stick to this diet”; “You suck at keeping up on your house”; “Your kids will not be successful because you forgot their vitamins today”; “Your husband is not answering your text because he crashed his car and is bleeding on the side of the road as he writes his goodbye message to you in blood”! Well, I don’t think it would take me very long to tell that friend to get the hell out of my house.
Likewise, it is long past time that I break up with fear – kick it out of my house – and learn to live with different thoughts. In “May Cause Miracles” it encourages you to say the phrase, “I choose love instead of this” when one of those nasty fears creeps into your mind.
My first reaction to that was that I am fearful because I love. It is my love for my children that makes me fear doing them wrong. It is my love for my husband that makes me fear losing him. It is my love for myself that makes me want to do better, be better, strive harder. Oh, how wrong I was. It was my lack of faith in love that was causing my fear. My inability to trust that love could guide me. When we are guided by love and we trust that guide, we accept that through struggles, uncertainties, and despair we are right where we are meant to be doing exactly what we are meant to be doing.
This is not just going to happen overnight. I think Jerry Seinfeld explained it best when he said “Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can’t do it in one push. You gotta rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over.” But I have already seen that as I am breaking up with fear my mind is free to entertain other thoughts. They are beautiful thoughts. I have truly seen miracles happening in my life. The truth is, they have been happening all along, but my mind was so busy entertaining my fears that I have not had time to see the wonderful things happening around me. I realized that when I live in fear of losing something, I am giving away the joy I receive from that thing. I become my fears because every moment spent fearful is a moment lost.
First of all, you should know that I’m cheating on you. I’m seeing someone else, and He is amazing. His name is Love and He never talks down to me, makes me feel inadequate or tells me I’m not good enough. He’s kinda jealous though, and He really doesn’t want me hanging out with you anymore. He says I’m too good for you and you only bring me down. For years now I have stood idly by as you have stolen my joy and peace and offered me nothing in return. Love wants to give me miracles and blessings and He only asks that I leave you behind, so I’m breaking up with you. Oh, and by the way…it’s not me..it’s you!
Go jump in a river,
Janaiah von Hassel