I don’t remember how old I was when I first read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, but I do remember sitting in my living room, cradled by a chair, fingers scanning the words in silence for hours.
I remember the climax.
I remember my eleven-year-old self crying and lunging into sobbing. “I love you!” Meg cried out to save her brother. “I love you, Charles, I love you!” The characters in the story were sobbing, I was sobbing.
I remembered this when I saw the book for sale for a quarter at a library sale this April. Twenty-five cents.
I bought it, figuring it was time for a re-read.
When I started reading, I realized the fifty-three year old me didn’t connect to the story as well as the eleven-year-old me.
The writing was still good, I supposed, but not nearly as riveting as my recollection of it. I kept picking the book up, reading a section and putting it down. I waited a day or two.
Ipicked it up, I put it down. I wondered how long it would take to get to the part I remembered. I didn't want to cheat and look ahead. I would not could not look ahead.
I would recognize it, I told myself.
"Keep reading," I told myself.
I ate my Special K and read bits of chapters one morning after I wrote my morning pages and drank my coffee.
Finally, nearing the end, I wanted to continue without stopping. The problem was I didn’t have much time.
This morning I discovered why I must’ve been so compelled to pick it up for a re-read. This morning I discovered why it was so important to continue, even when it felt like drudgery.
The quote, “Don’t be afraid to be afraid,” was eight syllables of dynamite, ready to rip through my world.
It wasn’t just, “Don’t be afraid,” which is licked with shame.
It wasn’t “Be strong” or “Be bold” or “Be - insert what feels like an impossible directive here.”
Instead it states what we all need to hear the most.
We will be afraid. Being afraid is a part of being alive. It is a reminder we are alive and growing. We are inhaling and exhaling.
When we stop allowing ourselves the room for fear - and the positive response to fear - we lose the ability to grow exponentially. We stay mired in habitual comfort zones and old experiences rather than new.
When we stop allowing ourselves to be afraid, we stay smooshed into that tiny box of what other people tell us is “the right way” instead of activating our unique genius. We give our power to the small-thinkers and the arrogance of those micro-managers whose self-interest is all pervasive. They don’t want us to stretch and grow and perhaps surpass them, they want to keep us in the zone of their ideas of appropriate or comfortable or “it’s the way we’ve always…”
I have often said to coaching clients, students and other people the best thing to do when fear strikes is to stand with it, to learn from it and then to act from what you learn. Too often I hear stories or witness people becoming afraid and turning and running from it, arms flailing, thinking it is a divine sign of “Danger, Danger!” which in fact sometimes it is.
More often, though, it is a time for pause and consideration, an affirmation you are growing into who you were always meant to be.
It is a space for holy acclimation and sacred celebration.
Do you hear what I am saying?
Don’t be afraid to be afraid! Allow love to work with you in this feeling of afraid, allow love to show you the way into and through it. Don’t allow the darkness that perpetuates fear to stop you. That defeats the purpose of love completely.
Hear what I am saying, please.
Step into it.
Walk around in it.
Come out the other side consciously.
What would happen if you decided to love fear?
In what ways would your life be different?
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in September 2015 and beyond.
To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.
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