But What If I’m Wrong
So here it was. For months I had been having this discussion with the Divine Universe (you might call this discussion prayer and the being on the other side God, but you get the idea). Knowing one of my current contracts was coming to a close, I had been occupied with how I was going to make up the financial security this agreement had provided. So, a few weeks ago I opened my email and there it was. Not just a potential option, but the option I had been imagining for months. You would think I would be elated, right? Nope. No elation. Not even a little. But there was foreboding. A flood of it.
I could have responded to this email the way I encourage the other people in my life to respond to such things - by exhaling a profound “thank you”. I might have been filled with gratitude that the very possibility I had been imagining seemingly dropped into my lap. I might even have been awed at the way the Universe said “yes” to this solution I had envisioned months before. But I wasn’t filled with gratitude or awe. I was filled with fear.
This fear is no stranger to me. It originates from a childhood narrative that has found a deep root in me over the years (that’s a story for another blog). And this fear is insidious. It doesn’t feel like fear at first, but more like thoughtful caution or careful discernment, or even rational deliberation. But it isn’t any of those things. Caution doesn’t immobilize. Deliberation isn’t accompanied by anxiety and dread. Discernment doesn’t usually bring one to tears. Fear does those things. Only fear does those things.
You might be asking, “why this fear response to such amazing news?” Good question. This was a GOOD email with GREAT potential for me and my business yet I was caught in a whirlwind of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. It is tempting at this point to do what I always do and get bogged down with details of the situation. It seems rational to dig around in it and see if I can find a reason for my response, hoping that will get me unstuck and able to avoid this same dance next time around. I already did that by the way. Nothing. I always end up in the same place, with the same question hiding under fear’s skirt.
“What if I get it wrong?”
If I was saying it out loud I’d be choking. This is a tough insecurity for me. My livelihood comes from helping people find their courage and connect to their own inner wisdom. Who wants a coach or a spiritual director who worries about getting it wrong? I bet Rachel Hollis never gets stuck on this question (well she may not, but I doubt she has all her shit together either). Part of my struggle to name what this fear is really about comes from my own unwillingness to own something so… ordinary. I have three master degrees, three bachelor degrees, a handful of certifications and an ordination under my belt.
What if I get it wrong? Really?
After a lot of struggle and journaling and talking (always lots of talking), what I’ve learned is that this question is not about the fear itself. Like I said, I’ve been dancing with this partner my entire life. I’m learning that If I don’t get caught up in it, the fear can actually release me. This question is like a warning beacon that I have fallen back into old, small ways of thinking about life. The question is an invitation to own the truth that my decisions don’t make or break me.
How I make them does.
If I am sitting with a discernment believing that the Divine Universe led me to this crossroads only to test and taunt, then the only response available to me is fear - and fear tends to make poor life choices. But when I trust that this Divine presence arrives at every decision with me and moves forward with me, regardless, then my choices come from trust and love and it doesn’t matter how it all turns out because the Universe and I are still conspiring together.
And when the Universe and I conspire together, there is no decision that fear dictates. There is only freedom and hope and radical possibility for the exact life I have right at this moment. And that’s the life I want to live. Today. Tomorrow. And always.