Both Sides of Fear

Fear rushes in. So does love…when we allow it.

There are moments, distinct moments in my life when I can remember fear rushing in. The mixture of self-doubt, anxiety and despair has created a state of consciousness void of good sense many times. When fear decides to rear its highly unattractive head, I almost always have physical reactions.

My chest tightens.

My hands refuse to be still.

My stomach flips.

My mind races a million miles an hour.

There are also mental reactions. Those are often the worst. I easily forget everything else going on in my life. I forget the times where I’ve shown great resiliency despite the blockade between success and me. If you follow The Freedom Pages, you know that I’m from the South side of Chicago and grew up in streets that would be happy to have me back in shambles. Despite all of that, I have no iron shield guarding me from fear. When I express fear to some of the people who know me the best, it’s often met with shock. I often hear “Girl, you have nothing to worry about” or “You’re afraid of something, wait YOU? Huh?” Folks who know me in limited capacities respond in similar ways. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that I do some crazy stuff; things a lot of people are afraid of doing.

When I think about what creates fear in my life, a couple of things are constant.

1. Building love in intimate relationships.

2. Trainings/Presentations (Weird right? I do that for a living)

3.  Visiting my home city of Chicago. (Anxiety producing like a mug)

4. Driving (Too many bad experiences with cars, I’ll talk about those in my autobiography one day)

I’m still learning myself. While who I am and what I want in life are grounded in a set of values, how I apply them is often a struggle. As a young Black woman in living in 21st century America, I carry a peoples history and a mission with me. The place of fear in my experiences is one I am both uncomfortable with and struggling with right now. What do I go after and what do I leave alone? What decision is best for me, even though it’s not JUST about me?

I stepped out on good faith and hard work this year. I left a full-time job and decided I would work independently. My goal is to have my own for-profit business, training institute and political action committee one day. I’m taking baby steps now to see both of those come to light. Just as fear paralyzes, it can move you. I am deathly afraid of returning to the streets I walked as a child as a failure or as someone who has lost all hope and optimism. I am moved by what I see everyday on the streets of Washington, DC and what I saw growing up in Chicago. Not much has changed in the neighborhoods I grew up in. Those realities moves me to want to do something. The reality of this world moves me to be a catalyst for change. My pursuit of freedom, love and justice meets and will continue to meet both sides of fear. I have the power to choose which side I allow to be present. Where I say no to fear, I’m working on saying yes to love. Like most things in life, working on loving more and fearing less is a journey; not a single destination.

My question to you is, what moves YOU?

To share, drop a comment below. BUT only if you are moved to do so.

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One comment

  1. I’m afraid most every day of one thing or another. When it comes to work, it’s mostly a fear of not knowing enough, or of failing. However, that fear is actually part of what moves me: knowledge can be gained, and if you keep trying, in theory, you cannot fail. Other things that move me are the women whom I work with & for, a desire to see a world that is closer to my vision of what is just, & a sense that I owe folks something for all that I’ve been given.


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