This fear thing has me by the throat. It does not want me to breathe. It wants to twist and turn me until my eyes bulge and I can no longer see.
I have a meeting coming up soon that is causing this fear. It is a private matter so I cannot give you the details. Frankly, the details are not important. What is important is the effect of fear in my life.
I am not paralyzed. I am working hard to get done what needs to be done, but life is not the same. All of my other emotions are right below the surface. I am ready to cry at any time. Look at me in a funny way and I might bite your head off. What was funny yesterday has completely lost its humor.
Here I am in the middle of the peak of the fall foliage season and I cannot notice the color of the trees. My mind is elsewhere. Even when I think of the trees and force myself to look at them, I cannot sustain my focus. The present is gone for me. This is the biggest loss. I am living in the past and in the future and I am missing the glory of today.
I keep looking for a solution to the way I feel. I keep telling myself that I really am not that scared, that I can handle this. But that is a lie. I tried replacing the fear with the new obsession of painting the basement, but that just gave me a different excuse to feel lousy. Stuffing the fear does not work because it just keeps bubbling up anyway. Eating does not work - well, maybe for a few minutes - but I am quickly back to where I started.
So I am trying something different. I am sitting and going deeper into my fear. I am not looking for a solution, or the reasons for the fear. I am not looking for a way out but for a way in. Chogyan Trungpa Rinpoche said, “lean into the sharp points.” Fear is a big sharp point for me. When I lean into my fear, I end up in the present and I find my heart. I do not change how I feel, but I change how I am. I am no longer running. I am part of the present and I am me. Great joy exists in being my authentic self.