“I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”
― Georgia O'Keefe
This quote from Georgia has appeared to me in as many ways it can every day for the past couple of months. I think a message so adamant would awaken even those in the deepest sleep. I have not always done what I wanted to do, and this is a reason she is one of the strongest muses for me. She pushes me to work: One day I will get there. I’ve walked through a lot of fear since these words of hers have been coming, and many different kinds. As the quote shows up again and again, I have resisted in a way that propels. I have not let fear keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
I found a path to the life that I have dreamt so I began walking it. While doing so, I realized it was not the right time, or place, or situation. It was close, and my excitement overweighed my intuition. Sometimes “close enough” will wrap you oh so tight around its finger, and I became afraid to abandon it, but I did. I packed up everything I had and drove over 1500 miles in two days. I had to be quick before that particular fear took over me, an oldie but goodie I know intimately.
At the same time, I stopped working in a field that has supported me very well, but on the other side I felt an extreme emptiness in it (towards the tech industry itself, not the people I worked with nor design—both of which I love). It provided what I considered over the years as freedom. I was afraid to abandon this too, and I sat with that one for over ten years!
Next on the list: I have always been afraid of being alone, in many senses, of being different, roots that gnarl back into my furthest memories. In a heroic effort to not be alone, I’ve followed life into places that were not fully me. Our path is our path, I don’t think it is ever wrong how we walk it, we learn from each event and relationship, but the waves of how we do and do not connect with ourselves in an honest way are real. It has taken all of my thirty-five years to work on peace with this fear, and in the past few years it has been necessary to do it alone. I still work on it from time to time, I don’t think it will ever leave, but it no longer drives me. Next to this fear there is a light, and it becomes brighter the more I listen—I know a cure for this is there, somewhere, in some time. There has always been a silent voice, the truest one of all, that says “Wait for me, worry not, I will be there and I am here”. I have learned to put my faith in this mystery I cannot see. It’s all I can do, really, because when I worry and move away from it, things get totally wrecked in myriad ways!
I have been afraid of things I see and feel, things that most others seem to not. I didn’t want to be thought of as weird or a freak (I don’t care now, thank goodness). It was impossible not to wrap it away and throw it, far, so it sank into the sea—things that can be horrifying, heartbreaking, bewildering, threatening, endangering. That brings another layer of avoidance that has caused me to work to make it go away. There is a voice I am learning to listen to here as well, it says “But this is your gift”.
So in this October, this season when the veil is undoubtedly thin, I am not letting these fears I battle with most, those that run deepest, the ones who are oldest, keep me from doing what I want to do. Damn them and love them at the same time, I say. This is causing what has held me back to fall away, and while this process of liberation is not always beautiful and is quite ugly sometimes, it is necessary. My mission is to be true, loving, and of service, and while I have always worked toward this as best as I could at the time, I have finally begun to see how my deepest fears, the ones I wanted to avoid and keep hidden, prevent me from doing just that. I do not find it coincidental that these particular words of Georgia’s spring up so frequently while I am in this burning time, for this is the way of Spirit, the only way I know.
What are you so afraid of?
What will you do to know and release your ghosts?
What will you do when you are free?
Tarot cards belong to the lovely Pagan Otherworlds deck released by Uusi.