Sunday, February 28, 2010

FEAR

Journey to the Heart, Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul, by Melody Beattie, HarperSanFrancisco, 1996, page 15:

"Sometimes, we're so afraid we don't know how afraid we are. Sometimes, we carry so much fear that it interferes with our ability to enjoy life.

Feel and release your fears. See how needless they are? See how they keep you from enjoying life? Unclench your hands. Don't always look straight ahead. Experience. Adventure. Let yourself live."

Page 213:
"I never knew how afraid I was. Maybe I was even too afraid to look at my fears.

People speak of facing fear, of not being afraid of fear, of working through fear. How do we do that? . . . . . . . . ."

Melody Beattie has you make a written list of everything that you fear. She says that you don't have to do anything with the list. Just writing down your fears is enough. Write down as much as you can.

Page 214:
"We don't need to list everything we need to do about each fear. All we need to do is acknowledge, honestly, what we fear. Once we do, the way will become clear. Acknowledging our fears will give us power. Acknowledging our fears will set us free. Often, it moves us to the next place. It is the barrier we need to pass through.

Although some of our fears may be real, may be grounded in reality, facing them won't make us more afraid. Facing our fears won't cause us more pain. Facing fear will bring us peace and power. The truth isn't the enemy. Fear of the truth is our enemy.

Be gentle with yourself. Let yourself have your fears; and let yourself face them.

Having the wisdom to face the truth will bring us closer to peace."

Thank you, Melody Beattie for your wisdom. Your words have changed my life by helping me to see my fears.

This is the first article of a new series that I am going to write about fear. I invite you to join me on this journey through some of my fears. My hope is that it will also give you the courage to face some of your own fears. Fears shared are fears diminished. Fears are so consuming in the life of an incest survivor. You can let go of fear. You can replace that fear with joy, love, growth and adventure. Fear doesn't have to rule your time and take up so much of your time. Fear doesn't have to become the monster FEAR that you will be reading about in my next few articles. Life is so much more than our fears.
Patricia

23 comments:

katie said...

thank you, patricia. i've never sat down and listed my fears, that sounds like a good idea. i've certainly worked through a mental list over the years and have tried to face them. it is so hard! but you're so right, that facing them can bring us peace and help us feel empowered. that has been my experience. i look forward to your future posts on this. goodness knows i still have fears that need more facing...

best wishes to you on this journey~ you are not alone :)

Pete Madstone said...

Hi Patricia,

I have finally been able to devote some time to reading your message. I completely agree with you. It is so important that options are presented to those who are disatisfied with their current realities. None of us need to live in a debilitated state, sacrificing our lives and well-being, when transformation stands right before us.

Would you be interested in swapping links? Let me know...

http://madstone2000.wordpress.com/

Keep up the great work!

Pete

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, I haven't written a list of my own fears down in years. Maybe it is time for both of us to write them down, to give then a name, to acknowledge them. What you are aware of, you can let go of.

Here are a few of mine:
Fear of rejection
Fear of dying
Fear of having to depend upon others
Fear of being helpless
Fear of being out of control

I invite you to share part of your own list.

sarah said...

great post...fear was such a huge issue for me. Sometimes still is. Sarah

Patricia Singleton said...

Pete, thanks. I left a comment on your blog in question of the links.

Patricia Singleton said...

Sarah, thank you. Fear still is an for me sometimes as well.

katie said...

dear patricia~ thank you for your kind response. and for inviting me to share some of my own. my main ones are fear of rejection, fear of repeating the past, fear of being hurt, fear of anger, and i'm terrified of wasps. that last one might seem minor, but it's such an intense fear i feel like i have major panic about it. i'm so afraid of them it becomes hard for me to go outdoors in warm weather, which is a real difficulty. these past few years i've really endeavored more than ever before to fight these fears (ever since i became a parent). sometimes each day presents it's own opportunities to fight them.

i'm glad to see you working on this too. it helps me feel less alone today. which is something i was just now feeling.

perhaps i fear that too.

thank you~

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, you are welcome. Fear of being alone seems to be one for a lot of people. Our children do tend to help us become more aware in our efforts to protect them. Regretfully, I know that I have passed some of my fears on to my children.

Corinne Edwards said...

Dear Patricia -

Sometimes, when I feel this vague unspecified fear -

I sit down quitely and ask myself, "What are you fearing?"

I think Melody's idea of writing down all possibilites is excellent.

I have read all her books and am a real fan.

Understand she has a new one coming out soon in the spring. Can't wait.

Alene said...

Thanks Patricia, I'll look forward to reading your posts about fear. I, too love Melody Beattie for helping me become more aware of the things that lie beneath the surface, that impede my progress.

I'll be putting some effort into listing my own fears. Fear keeps us from living our lives to the fullest potential, and keeps us from connecting with others in meaningful and rewarding ways, because we protect ourselves so well that we forget that it can be safe to let down our guard.

Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, thanks. I am a big fan of Melody Beattie also. Her books have helped me so much.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alene, thanks. I agree with you. Fear can keep us from living life to the fullest.

Clueless said...

I too love Melody Beattie. Overcoming fear with an abusive background makes this so difficult. It is painful, but worth it so it doesn't rule your life...I am still in that process.

Patricia Singleton said...

Clueless, other than the book Courage to Change and the workbook, Melody Beattie's book have made the biggest difference in my life as a survivor. They told me how growing up in a dysfunctional family made me codependent and how to stop those harming behaviors.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I love this author and I love this meditations book. As a matter of fact, I just recently dug it out and returned it to my bedside table. It's amazing the synchronicity I find within its pages. I just seem to flip to a page and find exactly what I need for that day! Thanks for sharing some great passages.

Patricia Singleton said...

Marj, you are welcome. I too use my meditation books that way and also love the synchronicity of the messages. Melody Beattie is one of my favorites.

God Whispers In The Wind said...

Pat.....powerful post! Wo.... I have heard of Melody Beattie before. Powerful writer. Thanks for sharing this post. Certainly can learn from the info. Blessings to you dear one.

Patricia Singleton said...

God Whispers In The Wind, thank you. What a wonderful name you have for yourself. Blessings back to you. Have a glorious day.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen from Surviving By Grace has written an article called "Fears and Boundaries" in answer to my suggestion to share your fears. Here is the link to her article:
http://thethirdfloorwindow.blogspot.com/2010/03/fears-and-boundaries.html
Join me in reading and commenting on Colleen's blog.

Shen said...

I absolutely love Melody Beattie. I try to read her, every day and own four of her books.

Before I started therapy and CoDA, I didn't realize that fear was ruling me. My fears were running my entire life. Every choice I made and every step I took was guided by fear.

I am learning to let them go, a little at a time. I pull myself back to center and check in with my "most adult self" to see if there is a good reason to live in the current state of fear, or if I can let it go without consequence.

Almost always, the answer is, "I can let it go."
Sometimes, I can do that... although I do still fight it some.

When I can let it go, I feel better than at any other time.

Great post, Patricia. Thanks for sharing your reading with us.

Patricia Singleton said...

Shen, thank you. Melodie Beattie books have played a major role in my recovery program. Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency were very important in showing me where I was and what I needed to work on. I am glad that you are now a part of my recovery world.

katie said...

hi patricia~ i wrote a post today and linked back to this post of yours. thank you for your inspiration and sharing your healing with the world~ :)

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, thank you for the link. I am off to read your post.