4 Ways to be Faithful and Fierce in the Face of Fear
WE ARE ALL AFRAID OF SOMETHING.
especially me, I am afraid of many things. Every day.
as a matter of fact, Three years ago, I wrote a "poem" called "Fears." FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I CAME CLEAN ABOUT every single thing I could think of that I was afraid of, and more importantly, that I was afraid to admit I was afraid of.
HERE IT IS:
irrelevance. failure. being disposable. unimpressionable, ineffective. coming up short.
health. loss. trust. expectations. life & death.
pride: too prideful or not proud enough?
apathy. moving on. growing up. responsibilities. accountability. obligation. regret. regret. regret.
pressure. potential. passion. politics.
materialism. capitalism. sexism. exoticism. racism. classism. american exceptionalism. islamOphobia. xenophobia.
time. place. phases. investments.
being a role model.
sometimes i drown in the depths of my heart. other times, I'd rather not get my feet wet in its shallow waters.
me, myself and i ... and especially my wandering mind.
I read this poem years later, and I am proud to say that, with fierce faithfulness, I have learned to face my fears. All of them. Head on.
4 WAYS TO FIERCELY & FAITHFULLY FACE YOUR FEARS:
1- CALL THEM OUT
there is no such thing as being fearless (IF YOU'RE HUMAN). To be human is to have fear. oftentimes, a lot of it. and we all know that we cannot begin to address anything if we don't first identify it. call out your fears. don't be embarrassed to have them; instead, call them out and boldly commit to facing them. write about them, talk to a LOVED ONE about them, sing about them, whatever works for you. be specific and make sure you confront even your deepest, most daunting fears. especially those ONES. by calling out our fears and recognizing that we will never be invincible, WE give OURSELVES permission to believe in something greater.
2- TALK TO GOD ABOUT THEM
i tried this the other day for the first time ever. after waking in tears from one of my bad/sad/overwhelming dreams, i sat up in my bed and immediately prayed to god. i prayed several times, except this time, i tried something different. in between tears, i spoke to god and i told him exactly where it hurt. i told him what i was feeling, what i needed, what i was afraid of. i didn't care how stupid i looked or sounded or felt. i allowed myself to be truly vulnerable in that moment, and it was so liberating to allow something else to intervene as i prepared to face my fears. I WOKE UP TO AMAZING NEWS THE NEXT MORNING, AND I KNOW THAT IS NO COINCIDENCE. talk to god, tell him where it hurts, just try it.
3- GIVE YOURSELF OPTIONS
in the face of your fears, you can be soft enough to give yourself the sympathy that you need. you can be strong enough to scare them away. you can be both. didn't you know that we had options? different fears call for different forms of fierceness. and faithfulness, and in order to best leverage your faith and fierceness, you need to give yourself permission to entertain other options. some days, i face my fears by spending time alone, crying and praying about them. some days, i face my fears by talking to a loved one about them. some days, i face my fears by tackling them head on, regardless how nervous or overwhelmed i feel. use your options.
this may seem like an obvious "lather-rinse-repeat" kind of step, but it's much more intuitive than shampooing your hair. this step requires the acceptance and understanding that you will always be afraid of something. facing your fears does not mean that they automatically go away. they may never go awAY. most of the time, it means that we just learn to deal with them, THAT WE learn to trust that what's meant to be will always be. i stress the "repeat" process because we will be forced to face new fears every day, and sometimes our old fears WILL RETURN IN new FORMS, so it is important that we recognize how continual this process will be in our lives.
i had four of my friends over the other day for what i called a "meet and eat" session. we walked in as potential business partners and walked out as sisters. as we broke bread, we went around a few times and each completed the sentence starter "if you really knew me, you would know..." each woman rose to the occasion and shared testimonials filled with fear, trauma, vulnerability, and lots of tears. it was so powerful and beautiful to be among such fierce and faithful women. this exchange serves as the inspiration behind tonight's post because it made me realize that we are all facing our fears every day.
(our "meet and eat" truly set a precedent. we want to inspire others to fiercely and faithfully face their fears to, so stay tuned for information on some revolutionary spaces near you.)
STAY FAITHFUL AND FIERCE AS YOU FACE YOUR FEARS.