Fear is SO super hard.
Fear just doesn’t go away until it is truly heard.
And sometimes, even heard, fear sticks around
and becomes louder and louder and louder
until it isn’t.
psst… that is OKAY.
We exist in this strange culture and time which insists that anything below the measurement of “happiness,” or the pursuit thereof, is an anomaly to be feared/hated/shunned etc.
I doubt that at any other time in human history we humans have so uncompromisingly insisted that anything less than “happy,” somehow defines us as being wrong or flawed.
The truth is that life itself is a series of glorious, tedious, horrific, devastating, lovely, heartbreaking moments.
And that is OKAY.
Yucky messy stuff happens.
Mental illness obliterates a family, people lose all of their life savings in an investment gone awry, fires destroy lives, girls and boys are raped, drunk drivers kill people, MRSA takes over a body, cancer is diagnosed… and there are many, many other fearful awful things that happen in our communities everyday.
There are also heaps of wonderful things that happen to us and in our communities everyday! Those should be celebrated in your way. Birthday parties, a nice glass of wine, a pat on the back, filling a gratitude jar, taking that vacation, etc.
Consider this – sometimes we spend so much effort squelching the very real fears that we all experience and have, all in the name of “happy,” because, “happy” = “successful,” and we are desperate to be successful.
Which is true. You do feel successful when you feel happy.
However, success is not dependent on being happy.
Don’t make your definition of self success and acceptance, dependent on you being happy. This is where I think we get twisted and mess up. We equate having fears, doubts, bad experiences, horrific experiences, with personal failure.
I see you, community, doing hard things everyday, being successful at them, and going unrecognized for it. These are not “happy” things you are all doing.
You are sitting with your Grandmother and holding her hand while she dies.
You are going to the courthouse with your friend to support her facing her abuser.
You are getting up every day and feeding your family with meager foodstamp purchases.
You are taking your niece for a molestation exam at the pediatrician.
You are calling the Sheriff’s office, again, to turn in new evidence that might be the key to keeping you alive.
You are showing up on time to your oncologist appointment for biopsy/scan information.
You are giving your children skills and confidence to not fall prey to another bully.
You are taking your fatherless child to a Father’s Day activity, because he is desperate to participate, but where you know he will be ignored because all of those other Daddys are (rightly) taking care of their own children.
(I do not wish for anyone to experience awfulness)
While all of these things make you a successful person, none of them are “happy” or in the pursuit of happy. You are afraid to do these things. They may trigger your own serious anxieties because of your experiences. Yet, you do them all because they are important and necessary to do.
Let’s not shun our fear, or pretend like life’s messinesses are anomalies. Let’s embrace and support each other on how to show up, with solid resources, despite our fears.
Without the hard stuff, the messy stuff, the deepest darkest fears, we never will be able to embrace the tiny miracles happening around us everyday, and truly find our moments of happy.
It is okay to be afraid.
Being afraid is normal.
It’s okay to suffer difficulties.
Difficulties are normal.
It’s okay to experiences successes.
I will cheer you on.
“Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid”
You are courageous, especially when afraid. You are loved.
Love, Ms Herisme xoxo