What?!!! How on earth can fear be a gift?
Fear is present in our lives, sometimes, to give us a much-needed warning. When we listen to it, from that perspective, it can protect us and keep us safe. That is a gift.
Other times, fear is scary and can cause us to respond in ways that perhaps we’d like to change. For example, you might be fearful about having a conversation with your boss or colleague. Maybe you’re fearful about making a suggestion. Perhaps you are fear-full about exploring a darker part of yourself. How can this kind of fear be a gift?
Oh, dare I stick my toe in that water? What if, when we feel fear, instead of running away from it, we first simply acknowledge it? “Thank you, fear, for being here with me. What is it you want for me? What is your intent?”
Once you acknowledge fear, and it realizes you’re willing to explore it, perhaps it can show you what it wants for you. Let’s say you’re fearful about asking your spouse to be kinder to you in some specific circumstance. The fear could be there because it wants to protect you from a lashing out or potential defensive reaction. What if the feared response created a venue for your spouse to hear what you’re saying, even though the reactive response seems harsh or unkind? Is it okay for them to respond that way, even though you’d like for them to respond differently? Is dipping your toe in the water worth it, even a little?
Only you can determine if the risk is worth it. But, in that scenario, you’ve recognized and accepted your fear. Perhaps you’ve opened a door. Accepting or rejecting the open door is up to the other person, and there is grace and information to be gained, however, it might unfold.
It seems incongruent to think of fear as a gift. It seems, though, that considering fear is a gift could open a door to something delicious. Giving fear a specific voice can open new venues for us to explore it.
Okay, so it’s a lot to think about. I send you love, for being willing to consider the option that fear just might be a gift.
Image by digital designer from Pixabay