Life’s Best Kept Secret
Somewhere between turning 40, somewhere between motherhood, breast cancer and some whopping dollops of second chances. Somewhere between falling down and getting up again on quivering knees, I stumbled upon one of life’s best kept secrets.
At least it was a well-kept secret to me. I’m slow that way.
But now that I know it, I want to shout it out from the rooftops. I want to whisper it into every listening ear. I want to infuse it into the soul of every broken-winged bird. I want to nurture it into the heart of every bewildered child.
This is the secret.
Be afraid of no one.
For your fear is sacred. It is not to be made into a plaything for the foolish or to be celebrated by the conquering appetites of the tyrant. Fear, this holy fear is reserved solely in the face of the Divine. And nobody else has a rightful claim to your fear.
We sometimes stumble upon such moments of clarity when truth seizes us from within. And blessed grace happens. My moment of revelation came when I was lying on the examination bed at the hospital several weeks ago waiting for yet another ultrasound check-up.
I was alone waiting in a darkened room surrounded by the gentle humming of machines hooked up around me. Shivering slightly from the air-conditioning blasting through the air vent above. Waiting. Knowing that in a few minutes, I would know if I would be given a clean bill of health or not.
And that was the spot when some sort of inner alchemy took place.
For what was the whole point of wanting so desperately to live, if living is to be under the fear and shadow of another human being?
So, funnily enough, my transformation took place because I had just simply lost my appetite for being afraid. Truth be told, I had become utterly weary of being afraid.
Some of us get to sacred places of light simply because we cannot tolerate the terrible darkness any longer. We cannot stand this crushing weight of being afraid anymore. We finally relinquish the conditioning and the poor habit of being afraid.
I believe miracles happen in moments like these. Moments when our souls cry out and say “No more!” “Not for one second longer!” Moments when we rave like lunatics at heaven’s door, pounding it so hard that all the Concourse on High cannot surely ignore you any longer.
So, what does it mean to be afraid of no one?
For me it means to no longer operate from a position of wobbly helplessness at the precarious mercy of another. Or try to pry acceptance from a tightly closed fist. It is to stop waiting. To stop holding your breath waiting for a change of heart or a change of behaviour.
It is to no longer allow the all-consuming fear of someone else’s reaction or disapproval determine the choices we make in life. It means that we no longer allow fear to be the number one factor behind what we do or what we avoid doing.
To be afraid of no one is first and foremost a lesson in detachment. It is to become detached to judgement, hate and even love. It is to be cut off from our reputations. Unconcerned to the thoughts of others. It is to start living independently.
This here is freedom. This here is the stone to vanquish the massive Goliath. This here is knowing that nothing can ever truly hurt us. Nothing can ever diminish our light.
And if we ever feel the rising of this sacred fear, then let it be for those moments when we are unkind. Let it grip our conscience when we ignore justice and fairness to those who cross our path. Let it nudge us to nobility when we abase the value of personal integrity. Let it guide us back when apathy crowds out our passion for seeking truth.
I want to make room in my heart to contain this truth until it drives out every last trace of wrongful fear.
I’m not going to say it’s an easy road. But hopefully, somewhere between the ages of 40, somewhere between motherhood and whopping dollops of second chances, somewhere between falling down and getting up again on quivering knees, I hope you too will stumble upon this powerful little secret.
And when you do, please, I beg of you, don’t you dare walk away empty-handed. OWN IT.
p.s. And oh yes, I was given a clean bill of health. Five years!
Wonderful! I remember now how I have become a fan of your writing …
Facing death or deep sorrow is facing our fears indeed.
Enjoy life and goodness!
If I can help one person be less afraid with my own story of fear, then it would have been worth going through it all. Thank you Camilla for your kind support and well wishes. I appreciate it very much. Sharon
Hooray for your clean bill of health! As for fear; it really needs to be put in its place.
Dear G, we had the biggest celebration of our lives and my husband wept when he heard the good news. As for fear, I absolutely agree with you on that one! Thank you, it means so much to me. Sharon
It’s true, Sharon. Fear can be nothing more than a nasty habit and one that does not serve, except for the kind that serves a higher purpose. (I knew you’d get that clean bill of health!)
Dear Cathy, your words are good for my soul! Hugs, Sharon
Congrats Sharon on your health and your letting go of fear. I appreciate the honesty and poignancy of your writing. I’ve let fear take too much of my life and energy. Slowly, I’m reclaiming my power, courage and willingness to let go. blessings, Brad
Where there is unwavering honesty and self-reflection, there lies courage. You have that in abundance and I know you are walking the path of the brave. Blessings upon blessings to you Brad! Sharon
Thanks Sharon, but I feel stuck in my life, not knowing what to do for work and money. I appreciate your encouragement.
What joyful messages; first, the clean bill of health, and second, the recognition, naming, and “re-channeling” of fear energy. What an important insight, Sharon…it’s one I continue to encounter and practice. Fear is so deeply ingrained and reinforced by our “civilized” cultures, isn’t it. Even most advertising manipulates our feelings of surviving, being good enough, measuring up…thank you for this tremendous spirit boost and beautifully written essay; as always, it feels drenched in your love.
You bless me with your kindness Kitty. To take the plunge and put my heart and words out there and have good folks like you catch me. I’m overwhelmed. Thanks for giving this novice warrior strength! Hugs, Sharon
First off, it is so wonderful to have your voice back; I’ve missed it.
Secondly, to have your voice back, and so strong to boot. That is great.
Finally, to learn of your new found strength, and your being able to share its inspirational message with us. My experience is that (as I recall all those years ago) passing the milestone of 40 years is also a real awakening for those with open eyes. A time of reevaluation of past values, and what’s important. A time to let go of what’s not significant in our lives.
And congrats on the 5 years. A time of passage into the realm of the free. I’m so lucky to be speaking from a 30+ year perspective. It can be done!
Thanks for sharing your inspirational story!
My dear Barney, I am truly touched and inspired by your life and gentle wisdom. And that you come alongside me at my big milestones in life to cheer me on means more than you will know. I am so fortunate that I do not walk alone. Thank you so much. And heartiest congratulations for the 30+ years of abundant life and health! To another 30! Bless, Sharon
A very good secret for sure! If i may, i understand u’r point and this is purely semantics, but i would use the term “humble myself before the lord”. Holy fear sounds like an oxymoron, what is there to fear in the presence of pure light, love, compassion, all that is holy?
Thank you for sharing u’r precious insight and wisdom, you are a bright light for us!
Infinite blessings Sharon. ❤
You are absolutely right dear one! Words can sometimes get in the way! And how very sweet of you to share this with me in the language of utmost kindness and gentleness. I really am so touched. I embrace your blessings with a grateful heart. Hugs, Sharon
🌺 How beautifully expressed. Thank you for sharing …
I also caught this sentence from your blog sidebar “Create no more suffering.” What a arrow of discernment … lovely, simple, honest & right to the heart of it ALL! Peace & Love to YOU & YOURS! 🌺
Dear CL, welcome to the blog and thank you for leaving me such a warm and uplifting comment! I am so glad to hear that this ageless reminder resonated with you. It is a teaching from the Buddha and I too find it filled with deep wisdom. My warmest wishes and blessings to you! Sharon
Wonderful wonderful news about passing the powerful five year mark, Sharon. Stay strong!
You bring light and strength to this space Elisa! I can feel it. Thank you. Sharon
Congrats on your health, Sharon! And, thanks for this very inspiring post on fear. You have a most wonderful way of pulling our own deep secrets and feelings to the surface to remind us who we are and where we’ve come from so that we continue to grow from it.
Dear Lee, thank you for reading my heart’s deepest secrets and sharing in this journey with me. I certainly do feel less alone. With many warm hugs! Sharon
First, huzzah for the clean bill of health. Secondly, I missed you, Sharon. Believe it or not, you have been in my thoughts in my everyday life. I have never met you, but I have felt your words rain down upon my soul and that has been more than enough to love you. About your blog post, I say thank you – for writing, for continuing to shower us, your readers with your brilliance, insight, gentleness and love. It is a privilege for me to read your posts. Stay well, my friend and welcome back!!!!
Piyali!! You fill my cup to the overflowing. Your words bring life to my deepest parts. Believe it or not, you are there in my thoughts – especially when I visit the library. I have missed your household and your writing especially. Love to Sahana, Ryan and Sage. Hugs X
What a powerful, joyful message. I am SO happy for your good news, and so moved by your revelation!
Sending hugs and warm wishes,
Sorry for the late reply Naomi. Your note nurtured my spirit. Hugs and blessings for new, bright days! xo Sharon
Blessings to you, Sharon!
So happy to read that last sentence – and all of those beautiful sentences above. You are an inspiration.
Congratulations on your clean bill of health! This is an amazing post, thank you.
I love the way you defined fear and I am delighted with your clean bill of health. ❤
Dear Brenda, you are like a warm, comforting presence to the words and thoughts of my heart. Bless you, Sharon
A clean bill of health and the ability to write such powerful posts! You are indeed greatly blessed, as is the world for having you in it.
So great Sharon! xox
Sensing your huge love every single time Carolina… xox
What a joyful conclusion. Congratulations. Freedom in many senses.
It is always so good of you to leave me a note of support Andrew. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful wishes. Am loving your garden tales! Sharon
I’m so happy that you are back Sharon 🙂 I have thought about you many times and wondered how you were doing after your previous ‘final post’ ?! I believe you have the strength to conquer ALL after what you have been living through and dearly wish you a wonderful happy future !
Dear Caren!! It’s been a while! It is a wonderful feeling to know that we exist in someone else’s thoughts. Thank you so much! Please know that your caring and joyful wishes warmed my heart deeply. Hugs, Sharon
My heart went out to you reading your ‘last post’, the first time around, then reading THIS latest post to which I’m now replying, saddened my heart beyond words…especially already knowing what you have been through! I’m sure beyond doubt, I was not the only person in this world to think of you many times after you went ‘off radar’ so to speak. I can’t help thinking a collective caring from many helped in some mysterious way to give you unknowingly strength to grab back your right to a happy life! I felt uncertain at first whether to say my small piece to such a powerful post, now, I am happy I did 🙂 )))))Big Hugs(((((
I really needed to read this today and since I do not believe in coincidences, this was exactly the right thing at the right time. Congratulations on your clean bill of health Sharon and thank you for the reminder that fear keeps us in shadow and to let go of it, even a bit at a time, allows us to move towards light-
Sometimes the hardest bits about our life can turn into life’s best gift to us. Outwardly it is fire and vengeance, inwardly it is light and mercy. I am touched to know that this post spoke to you. That alone has made the journey worthwhile Meg! Thank you so much for your message. I wish you blessings as you step out into the light. Hugs, Sharon
What an amazing journey you had to take to come to that place of no fear anymore. You have awakened to something bigger in your live. Enjoy your health.
Thank you for taking time to come by and share in my journey Cornelia. I appreciate your kindness and warm support! Sharon
I’m glad to hear about your clean bill of health, but even better to hear of you letting go of fear in this world.
Absolutely so true Amy! xo Sharon
An insightful post full of life and gratitude, so beautiful Sharon! I’m so happy for you and your family!
Beautifully written and full of wisdom, well earned wisdom, it appears. A lesson for all of us. Thank you. Curt
Thank you most kindly for your gentle spirit Curt. I feel it every time you write. Blessings, Sharon
What a wonderful blog you have – gracefully written with beautiful photos. I’m so glad I found it!
Dear Kathy, so good to have you here! Thank you for your lovely note. It’s been a pleasure viewing your gorgeous photography. Sharon
Delightful and heartwarming post, Sharon! Live fearlessly is a beautiful mantra. Happy you found this secret, owning it will make you free to realize your full expression in life. Wonderful you got a clean bill of health, I’m happy for you on all counts. You go fly!
Love your message Tiny! Will fly. xo Sharon
What a wonderful piece of news, Sharon ! I am so, so happy for you and yours. Happy and grateful you shared your secret with us : letting go of fear. I will not forget it, it could not have come at a better time. Thank you, with all my heart.
Dearest Isa, I can really feel your heart in these words. Thank you for your warm hug. May we all learn to live unafraid of anyone. Of anything. Sending you love, Sharon
Inspirational ….your story and your message ! It takes one fighter , one survivor , one brave heart who can stare fear in the face to inspire many who grope in the dark. …struggling to free themselves from the shackles of fear. You come across as one such inspiration . God bless . Stay healthy !
Thank you Priyanka for your heartfelt wishes. I am most touched. A warm welcome to the blog and I look forward to getting to know you! x
So very nice to hear from you.. I have thought of you often over the months.. I thank God for the good news…
You might like this site.. http://braveheartedbeauty.com/
Dear Roberta! So very good to see you here and thank you so much for your kind thoughts! Sharon
I’m so happy that you liked my post so that I could find you and this beautiful post! I too had cancer and remember my moment of epiphany. Bathed in the beauty of a hot fall sun, lying on the cool sand, and listening to the sound of the ocean breathe, I felt my entire awareness of self and life shift. My body went from a lifetime of darkness to one of a vibrant light. I’ve read Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” many times since my Gramma gifted it to me and always remember his words that “pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” The depth of these words became even more clear after my experience, and I keep them in mind when life, and my commitment to love, grow a little dark. Congratulations on your moment of enlightenment and on your clean bill of health. The freedom I know you must be feeling is such a gift of love! Gratitude for sharing your story!!
My dear Jaymi, how very good of you to come by and leave me this soul-stirring message which touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing your magnificent story. We have never met and yet, I feel we share this sacred bond of having walked through fire. And discovered that it was a gift of light instead. Thank you so much for your kind wishes. So much looking forward to getting to know you! Giving you a big high five and a tight hug! Sharon
p.s. I couldn’t access your blog via your name link here. Do re-check if you’re properly linked up to your page.
You’ve made my morning, and I am so very happy to be connected to you! It’s not often that I can be so open about my experience, and I am so grateful to have found you – a kindred spirit. I too look forward to getting to know you better. Love, and hugs, and so many thanks!!
Reblogged this on everthedreamerblog and commented:
For anyone going through a hard time or being afraid for any reason, I strongly recommend this post. I found it inspiring beyond measure.
Thank you most kindly Sandra! Blessings and strength on your journey. Sharon
No words to describe the joy and freedom I felt reading this.
plus …. massive struggle to conceal all the strong emotions and thoughts your writings invoke.
Love always, Cempedak
Living in fear is a terrible way to live … our challenge? Always – live fearlessly! Congratulations on winning the battle – on all fronts – and on even the ongoing will to fight. We’re all out there, standing together.
Many blessings, Jeanne
Congratulations, I know what the words 5 years means! I also know fear has a way of lurking. You drive it out and it comes knocking again, only to be disinvited once more. I’m lucky with fear, my personality just doesn’t tend to be amenable. But I’ve also learned how it can hold sway over much stronger souls than I, sometimes in the time leading up to the end. And it’s heartbreaking when that happens to one you love dearly.
Dear MJ! It’s funny that throughout my one year of not blogging, somehow I kept receiving every single comment notification from your blog!! So, for one whole year, I was somehow in touch with you 😀 Thank you so much for writing and for your high five! Sending you light and blessings all the way to your spot in the world. Sharon
Reblogged this on Tana Daily Telegraph and commented:
“This here is freedom. This here is the stone to vanquish the massive Goliath. This here is knowing that nothing can ever truly hurt us. Nothing can ever diminish our light.” Indeed it’s not an easy road. Recalling the scenario of a tiny David on one hand a massive Goliath on the other, it’s simply not easy to imagine that by end of the day, Goliath would be conquered through the power of courage. So remarkable and encouraging to many of us facing our Goliath moment in life. Am equally relieved you’ve been given a clean bill of health. Thank you for sharing your personal experience.
That is the most moving testimony to conquering the fear inside us I have ever heard. You are a beacon in the darkness. Bravo! And THANK YOU!
Hi Gail Dorna! Thank you so much for coming over and giving me such a great, big cheer! I really appreciate it and it’s so good to get to know you. Hugs, Sharon
Congrats many many times over!!! Bravo for your braveness and honesty!! Let’s all be even a little bit more courageous…one step at a time! Have a wonderful day!! 🙂
Thank you so much Kathleen for your warm wishes. It fills my heart anew. Sharon x
Reblogged this on Kathleen's Writings & Art and commented:
To my fellow-blogger: Congrats many many times over!!! Bravo for your braveness and honesty!! Let’s all be even a little bit more courageous…one step at a time! Have a wonderful day!! 🙂 Kathleen
You are such an inspiration! May you and your family continue to be blessed.
Thank you from my heart. So much. Sharon x
Congratulations! And yes, fear is something that we must learn to effectively handle. I can understand that feeling, because last year, my brother, who was only 13, at the time, fell very ill from a severe case of Encephalitis. Thanks to God he survived, but the road to recovery is long and excruciating. Ever since he awoke from that one week coma, he was never the same. And I constantly fear that his becomes worst, especially his mental health, since the frontal lobe was the part his encephalitis affected the most. But I’m glad for real life experiences like these because it motivates me and makes me realize my family isn’t the only one dealing with the constant fear of fear.
And that, like in your case, fear can be triumphantly conquered.
Your posts always show wisdom.
Here, because you conquered yoiur ear, you are free, free to do the right thing always. I agree with you that our greatest fear should be that which is doing wrong to others and to the One who is above us all.
I just happened to nip over to the blog after our dinner and your comment popped up. Thank you so much for writing Imelda. Your kindness is a gift to my heart. Big hug, Sharon. Gotta run! Family calling 😀 xx
Reblogged this on you1andme.
Reblogged this on Holistically Healthy RN and commented:
This blog post is so inspiring! I love her take on fear and that fear is sacred. And that fear holds us back. So grateful for inspired writers!
Congrat! Health is the most important thing in any case! 🙂