“The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength.”
A Course in Miracles
In October of last year, something inside me died. Don’t get me wrong. It was a ‘good’ death. I’m not even sure what it was that died, but I knew it no longer served me, it needed to go and one day it did, and I was glad.
But it left a vacuum. A big, nebulous, mass of space within me and we all know nature abhors a vacuum. Yet, somehow nature didn’t step into this blankness. Even She sensed I needed this void, this emptiness and so both She and I left it there. I didn’t have a clue what was needed to fill this space; I even blogged about my ongoing confusion with it (‘Why not having an answer or knowing what to do is okay’) and then I continued on my bewildered way, all the while taking this big, empty nothingness inside of me everywhere I went.
Months on and I’m nowhere nearer to understanding my vacuum. No matter what personal growth, self-help, personal development avenue I turn to, nothing resonates and I’m swept into the heartbreak of my grandmother, who has suffered from dementia for over ten years, nearing the end of her journey and all I want is to be with her and my family as she makes her final passing. I’m humbled through all of this; my heart opens in ways I couldn’t imagine, closes when it feels it can’t bear the pain of her loss and then immediately opens as I dream of her. Younger, enigmatic, dressed the way she always did – wide-skirted dress, pants, cardigan, dupatta around her shoulders and a white scarf on her head – telling me she is fine, everything happened as it was meant to and I can relax and let go. She and those that have passed before her are all okay.
I awake from that dream, grateful and at peace, still grieving for my gran and knowing eventually, this too will pass, yet the space in me is bigger and a year on from whatever it was that died in me, I know I’ve reached a precipice. Something is calling me, but I’m not listening. I’ve always been stubborn; contrary even as my dad would say with a wry laugh, all the while shaking his head. The calling’s intensifying no matter which way I turn. It sounds like the buzzing of an annoying fly and I keep swatting it away. I’m lucky it hasn’t turned into a wasp and stung me, though I wouldn’t blame it if it did. I can be very hard work.
Finally, a situation in my life that’s been causing me intense fear brings me literally to my knees at my inability to manage it within me and I hear the words of Gabrielle Bernstein, whose Spirit Junkie Masterclass I have recently started (months after I signed up for it – that’s how uncertain I’ve been) say, ‘When we are in Fear, we are relying on our own strength.’ The line is from ‘A Course in Miracles’, a book I, like many thousands, have on our shelf, but unlikely have moved past the first few pages. Gabrielle’s course, which is the first thing that has resonated in me in a long time has made me realise my big space of nothingness is a sign I have been relying entirely on my own strength for longer than I have ever known and it’s time to stop. However, as I’ve come to realise in the past year, stopping does not necessarily mean anything new starting and this thought petrifies me, as I wonder how much longer this confusion and uncertainty will dwell within me. It’s deeply unsettling. I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof and have been for nearly twelve months, and all I want is clarity and certainty.
Yet one thing I have come to recognise throughout these months – whatever it is that’s calling me will not let me continue living in darkness, in untruth, relying only on myself, and it wants to show me all I dream of seeing, but I’m scared. I’ve got used to the darkness; I’m not sure I can live in light anymore. I’ve forgotten what it feels like; once again I fall, literally to my knees and ask for help.
Since the inspiration of the one line that shook me to my core came from Gabrielle and the Course, I fall into both in my ardent, obsessive way and come to the conclusion that my Ego is far stronger than I’ve ever imagined and with it, my sense of control, something I’d prided on, far more ingrained in every part of my life, often at deeply unconscious levels. I’m not who I think I am; controlled in my core. No, in truth, I am deeply controlling and my Ego, the master at the console, powering the way. Each time Gabrielle talks about letting go and surrendering, my mouth utters the words, but inside me, a battle is raging. My Ego’s not going to let go; it’s fought for me and the life I’ve lived, in which all I thought mattered to me, had felt like success to me now feels like sand in my mouth and I don’t want it anymore, but to my Ego, this is a matter of survival. It’s survival, not mine and that at least I recognise.
The words and sentences I read in the Course resonate, vibrate and reverberate in me at every level, even though I’m very far from understanding any of it, yet I’m clear that while I thought I had been surrendering at times throughout my life, I never have. I, through my Ego have held onto all of it for dear life; faith and trust, empty concepts I gave lip service to and now, face to face with this Truth that seems insurmountable, once more, I fall to my knees (my knees are getting a lot of TLC after all this falling) and ask for the kind of help I pray exists, because in my closedness, I’m not sure I’ve ever let it in.
As I write these words, I feel a new phase of my life starting and it started the day I told myself and to Whoever was listening, ‘I’m done with my Ego running the show of me,’ and while within my personal philosophy I know my ego has served me greatly – I have lived an amazing life – it can no longer take me where I choose to go.
My life has given me great success and abundance; I thought what I considered success was what I wanted, but in truth, much of my success has left me feeling deeply empty, tired of the grind of all the doing which came before the so-called success, and feeling if this was what success and abundance is, then I want no more of it and I want out. I’m recognising I’ve been closed to the Truth of Me for far too long – I have been relying on my own strength and I’ve reached the end of that line. I don’t know where to go, and so now, I surrender. I really do and it terrifies me.
I’ve come to realise my Ego is a tool of Fear and my Soul a tool of Love. I’m choosing to be and do whatever it will take to open myself up completely to that which I’ve always felt was around me, but to which I’ve felt utterly disconnected. It’s as if this power, this energy of the Universe, Love, God, whatever words work has always been there, but I was in a bubble, floating in it, but unable to access it. Time to step out of the bubble and dive in! Cripes!
It’s very early days. I’ve been having some incredible inner experiences, translating into signs, miracles and revelations (as the Course talks about) in my day to day life, many I am oblivious to until I metaphorically get hit in the head with, and inevitably, some serious bouts of fear and doubt show up, as my Ego comes at me with all it’s got.
I’m learning to understand that in opening myself up to Love, in order to live in this energy, the biggest part of my journey is in finding ways to heal all the Fears I have accumulated over lifetimes, and to always, all ways seek to look at myself and everything in my life through the eyes of Love. This is no mean feat when we are surrounded by eons of fear-based beliefs, thoughts, emotions and behaviours embedded in us, and so very apparent in the world around us. It’s almost as if each time I look at something, either in my life or in the world and if the energy of it is palpable Fear, I have to find a way to see it as Love, and as I said, already I see the HUGENESS of this with my own s**t; it’s as if the Fear increases when I look at it. I see now this is exactly how Fear works, ‘but it’s also how Love works,’ I hear a Voice whisper to me. ‘What you choose to look at grows. You’ve simply not been looking clearly.’
If at this point, you’re wondering what I’m blathering on about and why any of this should be of any value to you (it may not be), it’s this. I can coach and mentor in the work I have been doing for the rest of my life and love it at the level I have been doing it, but in order to be the true Service I came to be, and live the highest life I came to live, Fear and my Ego cannot be the ones running the show and they have been.
Releasing our fears, owning our worth, asking for what we want is about showing up and living the truth of who we really are; this is the crux of the matter. Nothing else. It’s the difference between rock-solid soul confidence and faith and trust in the essence of Us, which leaves no room for doubt or fear and yet when they do show up (for they inevitably do), its understanding who Fear is, taking it by the hand, saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and with a gentle smile, showing it the door.
Delving into the breadth and depth of this exploration asks of us to get into everything that’s getting in our way and healing it (the only path for real freedom and owning your worth to the point where you never question it again), being clear about why we are choosing what we are (are you really choosing it or are your fears choosing it?) and who are we asking it all of anyway?
In order to know what I truly desire and live it, I have lived a life creating and manifesting what I don’t want and not receiving what I really wanted, and when I became exhausted with all of this, I said no more and fell apart. The part of me that died last year was the part that said, ‘no more, I’m done living this way’, but I’d not found the path I wanted to be on; it was still closed to me and only opened when I stopped thinking I knew who I was and what I was about. I stopped telling Love my truth and dared to listen to Hers.
This is why I am committing now to this path; this unknown, uncertain, yet compelling path and I AM committing to it for the rest of my life, for I’ve tried the path of my success (my Ego’s really) and if I’m truly honest, it’s not been fulfilling to me at any level. The abundance I’ve received many, many times has slipped through my fingers; never once did I truly feel the truth of how bountiful I’ve been and many a time I’ve found myself sobbing, ‘What am I missing? What am I not getting? Why doesn’t any of this actually feel good to me?’
I’ve been living a very one-dimensional life. I’ve felt it, but not known or understood the truth of it, and even now as I step out into my life feeling like a new-born, petrified at times of letting go of the reins of all of the things I thought I was meant to be doing (putting Being far, far into the background when it ought to have been my foundation), I get scared thinking I could be making the biggest mistake of my life. But in all of this, one thing has become very clear.
I’m starting (very, very slowly) to be able to tell the difference between the voice of my Ego and the Voice of Love. When I hear myself being told I am making a BIG mistake, the words dripping with Fear, I know I can look at them, see them for what they are and ask Love to help me see my myself and my life through Her eyes. And while I have no idea what this new way of Being and living means for me, one thing I am sure of, even when I’m not.
Love really does have my back. In this, I trust and place all my faith. For right now, it’s all I’ve got.
Something for You:
- Where in your whole life are you relying on your own strength, and what does it mean to and for you?
“I surrender to a Power greater than me.”