Make Sure Your Faith is Bigger than Your Fear


Have a little faith…

The last few weeks/months have been, let’s say, challenging.

Work is pretty much a war zone. I visited the doctor seven times in the past four weeks trying to ascertain what was off with me. (Still awaiting test results for the irregular heartbeat and sleep disturbances; although I am relatively certain most of the issue has to do with my feelings of deep disappointment and heartbreak over some major areas of my life that are in the midst of changing.) My house looks like gremlins have taken us hostage. And every time I think about all the things I have to do, my blood pressure goes through the roof.

It is as though wild horses have grabbed me by the hair and galloped away, lightening fast, dragging me behind them like an afterthought.

Finding my way back to myself.

Through all this, I lost myself for a while. My mom arrived and life went topsy-turvy. Everyone needed something from me; however, my needs got shoved to the back of the line while I dealt with a grieving mother, new students, friends falling ill, a cadre of pets, and other obligations like buying groceries, writing curriculum, and grading papers to the point of exhaustion. (Believe me, I know that I am lucky to have a decent job, but working seven days a week is getting old.)

And to compound my problems, I stopped making time to write. (Big mistake.)

I did invest in joining an online writers group and I did find a ‘writing buddy’ through that site (which has been a lifesaver; thank you, Marie); so all was not completely back-burnered and off-kilter.

Still, in lots of direct ways, I lost my way. I lost myself in a blinding, white-out of a snowstorm called ‘life.’ Part of the loss made me want to collapse right where I stood. It made me want to wave the white flag of surrender, which is the last thing you should do, when facing difficulties.

Not if you want to keep moving forward.

Forgive yourself. Let yourself off the hook.

On Friday night, I did a consciousness cleansing — a gift from a friend of my mother’s — to help me write my way out of anger, hurt, resentment, guilt, shame and embarrassment. The session reminded me of a mock funeral ceremony I held, mystically, on the winter solstice in 2002. In it, I let my high school sweetheart go. I buried everything I’d dreamed of and planned in relation to my ‘life’ with him. Energetically, I cut those beautiful silver cords between us.

Within eight weeks of the ritual, that long relationship severed itself, permanently.

The consciousness clearing ceremony on Friday allowed me to vomit up those feelings we all pretend we don’t have, because we’re ‘nice’ people,  right? Of course we don’t want to rake our nails across someone’s face or take said person out behind the woodshed and shave a few layers off their big fat ego.

In fact, we’re happy to be used and dicked over and shamed. Right?

Not exactly.

We want to be good and faithful and right with the world. We want to forgive and forget. But sometimes that’s a tall order if we feel screwed, blued, and tattooed by life’s practical joker: “Oops, did I hurt your widdle feelings?”

So, on paper, I let it rip.

I covered those pages with stream of consciousness yuck, guck, and suck. I knew there was a connection between all those toxic feelings and my current state of health.

As soon as I finished them, I took those puppies and — lady’s choice — shredded them, bagged them, and took them straight out to the trash. Good riddance. (Other options included burning, tearing them up, or flushing them down the john so they could go live with the fishies.)

I blessed my heartache and sorrow and rage and sent it packing. I did it to let myself off the hook.

Lighten up.

 “Nothing happens and nothing happens and then everything happens.” ~ Faye Weldon

I finished the semester a week ago. For a couple of days, I binge-watched television and ate salty and sweet things. I daydreamed about Damian Lewis and Colin Firth. I wondered if I should start a consulting business or raise alpacas.

I worried: what’s next for me?

Yesterday, on the heels of my cleanse, I felt a sense of purpose returning.

On Friday, just before the cleanse, I worked via Skype with my writing bud to set writing and teaching goals for the coming year. She encouraged me to think about what sort of life I want to build moving forward. What do I want to see and feel — no matter how impossible that might seem — looking at it from the vantage point of where I am standing now. What would life look like if anything was possible?

Writing workshops overseas. A new book on writing. A memoir. A revamped and re-envisioned website. Writing workshops online. Creativity coaching. Travel. Cooking.

In other words, following my own particular brand of bliss.

And I felt excited and renewed and full of wonder after we talked about it. I remembered how it felt to be jazzed and in a state of joy. I don’t want to live anywhere else, moving forward.

Love is greater than fear.

Now, I’m compiling my bucket list and mapping out my desires and feeling my way into the life I want.

I am going to forgive anyone who’s ever screwed me over.

Not for them. They don’t deserve it. I am doing it for me. For me. I no longer need to drag their corpses through my life.

I no longer need to be right to be happy.

I choose peace. I choose love. I choose to forgive even myself for taking so god damn long to get this life lesson. (I am pretty dense sometimes.)

I bless the rains…

Soon, I’m going to go see the elephants in Kenya. I’m going to teach in London and Paris and Barcelona and Sydney. I am.

I will stop believing the lie that says I have to know how something will happen, in order for it to happen. That’s not my job. My job is to envision the life I want and make cause to build it, every day.

The rest is up to the universe. It’s always been up to the universe. The universe which is benevolent and loving and kind. The universe that has had my back for as long as I have taken breath.

There’s nothing to fear.

I know when I leap, the net will appear.

© 2014  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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