photo by Pia Venegas at The Island House, Nassau
and I see this with everyone I work with — their fears are actually rites of passage to solving a particular problem and subsequently living in their greatest purpose. we can not live in our greatest purpose until we transcend our fears. it just doesn’t work any other way. and, we have to actually uncover WHAT our greatest fears are — some of us refuse to go there, and so then we feel “stuck”. but back to the fears, and I’ll use myself as an example…
since I was very young, I had a very push-pull relationship with wanting to impart inspiration, magic and possibility to others, and simultaneously wanting to HIDE aka not be seen. part of my not wanting to be seen was a direct result of early life experiences where being seen or even speaking at all was NOT SAFE. I became a bit of a sullen, mute-ish kid in many circumstances. my natural nature, to go out and express, was stifled. little did I know at that time, though, that my nature was being demolished so that I could rise up and OWN it without it being handed to me. little did I know that this struggle and subsequent transcendence would be the very reason I COULD help others.
when I was old enough to write, I found that my greatest joy was delivering anonymous gifts and letters of love to the entire neighborhood — especially the older widowed men and women. I just wanted to bring joy to them, but I never wanted them to know it came from me. I wanted to hide, while getting to experience their joy. so, I would sign “love Santa” or “love The Tooth Fairy” or “love The Easter Bunny” or “love Your Angels”. I would create a gift (usually handwritten cards with glitter, heart stamps and a note of love), go to their doorstep, ring the doorbell, leave the gift, and run into the bushes just to watch their facial expression when they saw the gift. it gave me the greatest rush, the greatest feeling in my own heart which perhaps I had no other means of receiving — so the experience of experiencing others receive that was as close as I could get.
when I got a little bit older and began winning sporting competitions etc, I remember feeling embarrassed and even ashamed at times when I won. there, again, was this push-pull: wanting to compete, wanting to achieve something, but also wanting to hide from it all. in my early teens, I had a great desire to be on stage and share my energy with other actors. I wanted to be part of making people FEEL. I also felt so much shame and guilt for expressing myself that I ran from it. as I got into my late teens and 20s, I recognized this huge dissonance and it was crippling. despite dealing with a MAJOR ugly-ducking syndrome until I was about 16, I then felt guilty for being attractive (and p.s. the ugly duckling thing never really dies anyway!), and I even felt guilty for being white — and the last thing I wanted to do was let the world in on all that. I also knew that my purpose was within the public arena, and I wanted so badly to deny that purpose due to my fear of being seen…but I couldn’t deny it. so there I was, with huge passion and a huge fear matching it. eventually, the passion, aka life’s purpose (that the Universe was NOT letting me get out of), won and I was forced to “put myself out there”.
the first time I went on live TV my knees went numb, I was certain I would pass out on the spot, and I prayed to stay conscious. it was an out-of-body experience for sure. dissociating from my body when being “seen” was clearly safest. and, at the same time, I knew that this was a fear I simply HAD to face. the first time I put my photograph online in association with that work or THIS healing work, I had a mini-heart attack. I was truly being “seen”. when I first began this healing work publicly, after years of hiding it, I thought I could stay anonymous with no photo, no nothing. the “problem” was, that my work starting going “too well” — and there was no chance at all of ever hiding.
the irony of all of this is that there is most certainly a part of me that is very comfortable with the idea of being seen — but my past experiences, aka fight or flight ego adrenaline training, and byproduct grave FEAR always creep up to test me. it is an ambiguous fear and sometimes I have to dig for the many spores of it’s origin (lost in amnesia). and here is the gold: every time I work through one of the skillion spores attached to the fear, my outer world happily EXPANDS. the guilt I felt for being “seen”, for possibly being judged, i.e. “who does she think she is!!!!!” – “why is she wearing that!!!!!” – “she has an easy life! must be nice!!!!!” etc, starts to take a back seat to my purpose. because I didn’t choose my purpose – but my higher self sure did. my higher self also chose the circumstances I would enter into this life being opposed with, only so that I could transcend difficulty and take my rightful place in this world.
we will always be afraid of our deepest purpose in some way – that is why not everyone “makes it”. “making it” simply means someone living in their full purpose. those who “make it” are able to see their fears, admit them, and move forward. they allow themselves to FEEL their fears and move along anyhow. our greatest desires will always be tested, even veiled by our deepest fears, and the winner of that battle is up to how much we are willing to feel along the way. do you want to know your purpose? look at your fears first. our greatest fears equal our greatest purpose.