An Open Letter on Facing Your Fears

Yesterday morning I woke up at my usual time (rather early) and lingered in the edges of that ‘dream/not quite dream’ space.

I don’t dream that often. Rather, I don’t remember my dreams that often. There are certain times of my cycle when I am more likely to remember them, so it must have to do with hormones, in part. But, anyway…

As I lingered in the ‘not quite awake’ space, I felt someone, sensed them. For me, my intuition seems like a dream mentally, but I can usually feel things physically.

This is not entirely weird for intuitive people. Some intuitives see actual events, some see auras or energies, some feel things in their own bodies, others hear messages or talk to energies in other planes of existence. There are lots of ways to receive ‘other’ information.

(I know, some of this gets too woo-woo for me, too, but still…I believe there is so much we don’t know, it would be dumb to dismiss what we don’t know just because we don’t know. I accept the woo because I have experienced its strange, unexplainable power in my own life.)

My intuition is typically in seeing things. I see colors when I do meditative dance. I see symbols and pictures when I talk to clients – often those symbols and pictures mean something to the client, or take them to a new idea or deeper experience when I share them.

So, when I see things, I pay attention.
Especially in that dream/non-dream space of early morning sleepiness.
That space is a special place between worlds. 

This morning I felt someone- someone I have felt before.
A friend from long ago, I think.

As I lay there, I put my attention, my energy, into his space. 
And two things happened.
One: I sensed that he felt very scared and frustrated.
Two: I saw something out in front of him; a symbol of his fear.


adult man holding his hands in front of his face, as if fearful


Because I care for this person, I opened my heart and sent him the energy of calm. If the phrase, “It’s going to be okay,” had a feeling, that is what I sent to him. It emerged from my heart almost like a hand calmly petting his head.

Then I went and looked at the symbol. It was a fire, on the edges of his life, or awareness, or consciousness. It was a fire like you see on an oil rig- blowing out the top of a huge smokestack. Fearsome and hot, but contained. Although, if the fire wasn’t contained, it would take the whole rig down. I sensed that this fire could destroy his family and he was frightened.

[I also clearly know and understand that these images may be from my own psyche. They might be figments of my own imagination. They could be anything but intuitive info. I know that. But I also know I have to trust myself and my own experience. So, here we are.]

As I have gone through the day, I have thought about what I would say to him, were he available to chat. Because, when something frightens you that much, when it is that loaded with fuel to hurt what you care about, what do you do?

This is what I would say to him.

Whatever it is you fear, that fire on the edge of your life, it will hurt you (and what you love) if you don’t go look at it. 

It will hurt you because unexamined fear has permission to grow. Fear multiplies all on its own. One of my Social Work professors called this The Ladder of Anticipation. Whatever we fear will drag us around, deplete our energy, and keep us worried and dying if we get dragged around by it.

Fear will rule your life if you let it.

The only way to not let it rule your life is to go look at it. 

The Ladder of Anticipation exists because we imagine what might be.
Rung by rung we climb up our imaginative fears and tremble and scream and gradually cease moving.
Fear has us by the short hairs, then.
By facing our fear, we see what is.

It is true, What Is might be fucking scary. But at least What Is has boundaries. It has edges and it can be known. Only our fear about the What Is is unbounded.

So, go. Look. See what it is exactly you fear.

When I was afraid of my own desire, I was fucking scared of it. I was afraid that looking at it, giving into it, would mean losing my marriage, my family, my idea of myself.

I climbed up the Ladder of Anticipation, over and over again. And it wrecked me. Only when I honestly sat and looked at that fear, felt the entirety of my desire, did I understand what it could and could not do.

How do you look at your fear?
A quiet place helps.
A good chunk of time.

And, in my own case, it was incredibly helpful to tell my heart and mind that I was just exploring.
Nothing had to be done.
No decisions had to be made or actions taken.
I was just looking around at this thing in my life that felt huge and scared me to death.

Because if you’re just looking around, you can pack it in later and no one is the wiser.
Your psyche won’t bolt.
Your heart can have its say.
Your mind can be calm.

Take your mind and heart to a calm place, long-ago friend, and let the thing you fear come close to you.
Get a good, long look at it.
Go to the edges of it. The depth of it.
Let it drown you.  If only for a moment.

And once you do this, you will be free from the fear.

Because once you know the fear- where it goes, what it feels like, how big it seems – you cannot be ruled by it anymore.

You will know, for sure, what to do with the thing you fear once you go look at it.
Whether and how it can be changed.
What part of you it exists in, what part of you needs to be healed or explored.

You will know if the fear is true or not.
And whether it can actually destroy what you care about most.

Looking at your fear is worth the time and effort because it will bring clarity, and thereby, release.
You will know what to do.
Which part of yourself to listen to.
And then you can begin to take action instead of sitting and waiting, in the dark morning hours, afraid.

If you (reader, or…anyone) need help, I’m here.
Helping you look at fears or sort stuff out is what I do.

Take care, long-ago friend.
I wish you well.

Eleanor Roosevelt quote about fear - you must do that which you think you cannot do



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