the f word

The fear body is a wonder. The shaking. The tense and taught muscles. The loss of appetite. A belly that is knotted. A head that is swirling. A weariness from the lack of sleep. The nervous anticipation of dread. If you stand back and appreciate all the moving parts, it is truly fascinating. Events and decisions in life can chuck us into this wondrous state, without a moments hesitation. It is a marvel.

But it feels bad. It is not a pleasant nor an ideal state. Frankly, it sucks.

You see, I'm trying to befriend this part of myself. I don't like discomfort and this certainly is uncomfortable. All I want to do is hide, scrunch into a tiny ball, and wish the discomfort away. I "shouldn't" feel like this. I shouldn't be shaking. I shouldn't be sad. I should hide away until I get some comfort. Perhaps this bag of potato chips will give me the comfort I seek? Or a nice big glass of wine? Nope. I need to feel this. I'm befriending and giving compassion to this part of myself that feels things so freaking deeply.

My aim is to build my resiliency muscles. If I stay, feel, and welcome "the run away" or shut down response (aka fight, flight, or freeze) but refuse to be taken along with it blindly, perhaps I will be stronger for the next battle. But then again, maybe this is how I was made, to feel deeply. I am an artist and sensitive person; two amazing things to be. Nevertheless, I'm going to stay, recognize and allow this discomfort. It's ok to feel uncomfortable, so I've been told.

So here's my plight: I was blindsided by disappointment, and the blow landed me on the ground. I've gotten up. Slowly. Bruised, battered, and bloody. I'm looking for the next whammy. Any noise, sound, or flicker makes me flinch. But I am up. I will not run away, hide, nor pretend this isn't happening. I am here. I don't feel particularly powerful, but I am hoping there is some power in the standing and the staying.

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