The Flip Side of Fear

(continued from “Facing A Fear“)

Theatre was always one of those things I was entirely drawn to, but never thought I could do. If you read the last post, you’ll understand why. The small problem of that paralyzing public speaking fear kind of got in the way.

A few years after the astrology reading, I made a new friend who introduced me to the local community theatre scene. She encouraged me to audition for a play at the theatre where she volunteered. In the same way that I knew I had to apply for the writers’ program, I knew that I needed to audition. Just to prove to myself that I was brave enough to try. I did NOT in a million years think I would get a part.

Well, I’m sure you know the rest of the story. I landed a role and proving that the universe is not only “like that” but also has a wicked sense of humour, I didn’t get just any old role. I got a lead role.

Oh. My. God.

Not only did I have to be ON A STAGE in front of A LOT OF PEOPLE, but I had to be on that stage for nearly the entire play, try not to forget my lines, and act natural!

The next three months were a whirlwind of rehearsals, culminating in three weeks of performances, five nights each week. I’m sure I made a fool of myself a hundred times during those months and I know for certain that I’m not a great actor, but I did it! And the ripple effect was incredible. Propelling me into the arms of a creative community, and into more experimentation (as a producer and then a director and then as artistic director of this wonderful little theatre).

Which leads me to this. Have you ever noticed that fear doesn’t crop up around neutral things? It’s the stuff we really want. It’s those sweet, tender, hidden longings. If you feel fear, undoubtedly something rich and juicy and worth exploring is cowering (or should that be towering?) right behind it.

Fear used to be huge, black, and loud, a powerful creature that for years derailed good ideas and halted me in my tracks. Now I think of fear as the strutting, pretentious, not-very-smart security guard of my most tender longings. Kind of like “the great and powerful Oz” who is really a nerdy little man with the microphone behind the curtain.

Could fear be a breadcrumb on your trail to something truly delicious?

Fear as a guidepost on your path, a sign you’re really on to something now?

Fear as the flip side of something much more inspiring:

“It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.”

—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Originally published on my blog “This Sweet World”