Once there was a girl in a Dark Forest, running and hiding from her fears. She ran and she hid, until she was too tired to do so anymore. She was tired of running and tired of hiding, so she stopped and she turned to face her fears, come what may.
Come out! She called to the Fears, and they came out one-by-one to have their say. The first Fear slipped out from behind a tree and pointed a shaking finger at her. “You will fail!” A second Fear popped out from a nearby bush to croak, “People will ridicule you!” A third Fear jump down from a tree branch overhead, “You don’t have what it takes!”
Fear after fear came forward to have their say.
“This isn’t for you!”
“You can’t afford it!”
“It’s too hard.”
“No one will see or hear or care!”
“You can’t make a difference.”
“You will end up alone with 20 cats!”
Dozens of fears came forward, each with their dire warning. And then… they turned and started walking away.
Shock! “Wait! Where are you going?” She was incredulous! The fears looked at each other in confusion. The first Fear spoke up, “We did our job, we warned you. We’ve said our piece and now we’ll leave you.”
“But, but… what will I do without you?” She was truly befuddled, running from these fears was all she could remember. The fears rolled their eyes at each other. “I suppose,” said the second Fear, “You could hear out your Hopes.” And with that, the fears went their way.
She watched them until they were out of sight then sat on a stone, baffled. Slowly she began to notice that the forest was much lighter. She looked around and realized that in fact there was sunshine weaving through the tree branches. In fact, there was a little spring at her side, and a small trickle of water running down the slope, and some green plants growing at the edges. How had she not noticed any of these things before? Had the fears blocked her vision?
And as she watched, a field of wild flowers sprang up at her feet. And one-by-one, they spoke up, and named her Hopes. The first piped up, “You may succeed!” The second chimed in, “People may appreciate you!” A third eagerly added, “You’ve totally got this!”
Hope after hope came forward to have their say.
“This is so totally for you!”
“You can do it!”
“You’ll figure it out!”
“People will notice!”
“Your actions make an impact!”
“You are not alone!”
Dozens of hopes came forward, each with their inspired prophecy. And then… they turned their flower heads away from her.
“Why are you hiding your beautiful flowers from me,” she cried out! The first Hope looked back at her with wrinkled petal. “We aren’t looking away from you, we’re pointing out your direction!”
Indeed! She looked in the direction the Hopes had indicated and there was a path she hadn’t seen before. It was bright and the trees were not so dense and in the distance she thought she could make out a peaceful looking meadow.
“What do I do?!” She asked the vibrant flowers, and they waved their petals in encouragement. “Just take the first step,” they giggled! She stood up, and stepped to the path. She looked back at the grove of flowers. They danced, they waved, and they called out after her…
“And now take the next step!”
“And the next!”
“And the next!”
Katie Goode has some nice meditations on facing fears: http://katiegoode.com/
Thanks to Paula Velxir for introducing me to Katie!: http://www.expatpsi.com/