Updated: Oct 9
August 21, 2017, I was on the phone with my ex-husband and we were watching the solar eclipse together; me from our home in Dallas, and him from his parents’ house in Memphis. He was there on a brief trip to bid adieu to his family before we were to set sail on a new adventure overseas. Little did I know that the real adventure was the emotional journey that I’d take a few days later when I received a “Dear Jane” text from him.
I’m not going to talk about him. I believe we all make decisions and the consequences and karma are ours to deal with later. I’m going to talk about how I let fear corner me into a situation that caused more hurt than if I’d listened to my intuition. At the point of my initial separation, I was over 9 years in and generally unfulfilled. I had lost my job during the height of the recession and finding another one was like trying to find the Hope Diamond. It was decided that I’d take care of the house while my husband worked. That was fine for the first few years. Having worked since I was 14, I welcomed the break. But, eventually, that arrangement, for several reasons, was no longer emotionally feasible for me.
Being a generally anxious person since childhood, and a Capricorn, I couldn’t fathom leaving without a job, a place to stay, and a concrete plan of how I was going to make it. Despite my intuition telling me every day to take that leap of faith, I sat; and as I sat, I worried. As I worried, I sank deeper and deeper into a mire that I could not dig myself out of - or so I believed. The fear didn’t leave, it transmuted. It became despair and hopelessness. Eventually, the voice inside pushing me to go stopped speaking. I cried every other day because I felt trapped. The doors I knocked on either didn’t open or opened for a minute, only to close in my face. I couldn’t even write. Once smart, forward-thinking, and creative, I became a zombie.
So the universe, in its love and mercy, did what I was too afraid to do. Almost immediately, I felt my spirit stand up. Shortly thereafter, the doors that I wished would have opened for almost a decade, started opening. And I received the message that the fear that I felt; the fear that paralyzed me for so many years, was constructed from a bunch of lies that I believed about myself. I was still the same smart, articulate, creative person that I had always been. I did have what it takes to make it. Everything I need would come to me completely and on time. I rediscovered who I really was and what I was really meant to do. I started to become free.
Fear is an emotion. Contrary to what many a social media meme would have us believe, it’s not inherently bad to experience fear. Fear is what keeps us from running into the middle of the expressway. But under that, I found that fear also taught me that I needed to adjust my self-perception. My fear was an amalgam of negative messages about myself that I had picked up over the course of my life. We are symphonies but every now and then, errant notes are blended into our melody. Unfortunately, when I needed it the most, those parts that were too flat or too sharp became the most prominent notes. They were all I could hear. I was an aria but was convinced I was a dirge.
This hasn’t been an easy journey and two years later, I still find myself having to face my fears. That’s what journeys are about. But, if I had to give another woman advice who may be experiencing the same thing it would be this: listen to what that fear is trying to teach you and learn from it. While you are learning, move. Begin to walk into that place that your intuition is instructing you to go because your intuition will always be stronger than fear. And as you walk, even afraid, you’ll start to see how capable you are and how everything you need will be there as you need it. Keep going and eventually, you’ll be free.