Wednesday, May 12, 2010
What Are YOU Afraid Of?
But keep asking.
What am I afraid of? Being betrayed again.
What am I afraid of? Being forced to leave.
What am I afraid of? Losing 24/7 with my kids.
What am I afraid of? Not being able to pay the bills.
What am I afraid of? Living in a tiny apartment with peeling paint and rats.
Danielle LaPorte was recently featured in fear.less, an online magazine that guides readers toward a life of authenticity. LaPorte doesn't suggest we abandon fear, but that we transform it. By asking, repeatedly, what it is we're afraid of. "The very act of being clear on what you fear transforms it," she says. "It's not fear anymore, but knowledge."
Those words stopped me cold. Yes, I thought. That's it. Exactly. Once I could understand that my fear of being betrayed had less to do with the betrayal (been there, done that, survived...) than with my belief that another betrayal meant I had to DO something about it. Like leave. And I was terrified of leaving.
And once I examined what, exactly, I was afraid about leaving, I learned that it's the unknown. I conjured up images of poverty, loneliness, abandonment.
The reality, of course, is quite different. And armed with knowledge of my fears, I could address them. I could meet with a lawyer to find out what my entitlement would be should I leave the marriage. I could look at houses in my price range and begin to imagine that, though my life would change, it wouldn't be a life of squalor in a tenement, surrounded by drug-dealers and gangland shooting. My kids' school would be okay. They might not be social pariahs at their new school.
In fact, it wouldn't really be all that bad.
And, bizarrely, being able to imagine this life without my husband has made me far happier right now with him. Why? Because I no longer live in fear of another betrayal. If he does betray me again, well then, I know what I can and will do about it.
With fear transformed into knowledge. And into action.