Monday, November 29, 2010

Admitting Fear in the Land of the Brave

Several years ago I met a woman who is amazing… the type of woman you hear Oprah describe as fearless.  The type that you stand back in awe and wonder, “How does she do it?”  The type of woman you admire.  The type of woman you may want to be.  Not just Wonder Woman, but Wonder Mom!  A breast-feeding-run–my-own-business-with-one-hand-tied-behind-my-back-mom.  Nicchi’s is a natural parenting expert, an advocate, a coach for healthy lifestyles and (drum roll please) she admits to being scared.    What?  Gasp!  Scared?
What is it about our society that admitting we are frightened is just not okay?  We can scream at our kids, slam down the receiver on a telemarketer, drive like a maniac and act crazy, angry at our spouse for minor infractions of our self-imposed rules.  Admit we are ever scared?  No way!
What’s there to be scared of?  Global warming?  Thankfully--not happening here today in 30 degree Minnesota.  Cyber bullying?  Only if your child has access to a phone, computer or iTouch.  Oops, maybe no problem.  Terrorism?  No job?  Crime?  ARGH!!!!  Maybe we have something to fear, but is it fear itself?  Author and therapist, John Friel, PhD has said that beneath the surface of all that communal and personal anger is much more: shame, guilt, hurt and yes, fear. 
As parents, I’m convinced we are given an extra helping of child-related fear.  Am I really that mad the sixteen year old hasn’t cleaned her room?  Perhaps underneath the annoyance is the hurt that they didn’t listen (insert: appreciate our efforts), and FEAR that we have given birth to the next star  of Hoarders.  Do I really care that they hate my vegan, organic basil cookies, or do I fear that my secret Milk Duds and PopTart addiction will soon be found out by my every-so-healthy friends?  Is the anger really about the college kid driving my car on icy roads at all hours?  Do I care about a dented fender, or do I fear a dented offspring?  Am I afraid I am going to come up short as a parent/ daughter/ friend/ worker/ wife, or am I just in a monthly bad mood?
I’m supposed to be the optimistic one.  Looking on the bright side has its benefit, but you can get burned from too much sunshine without a cloud of realism.  Sometimes, it’s OK to be afraid.  There are scary things out in the big, bad world and we fear for the child in ourselves and those we have birthed.  So, I look to Nicchi’s blog and reflect that yes, I can look fear in the eye, acknowledge it and leave my “crabby” on the shelf.  Wow!  I do feel better!
  what i did this week that  scared  me...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By Nicchi Hirsch
1-was more generous than usual
3-asked for help
4-trusted my Faith
5-showed up
6-followed through
7-asked for humility
8-stepped in
9-faced it
10-and as a result, felt So.  Much.  Better.

And you?  What did you do this week that scared you?

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