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!