In Return to Love, Marianne Williamson writes, “The spiritual Journey is a relinquishment, or unlearning of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.”
With the inauguration of the new president, there is great concern: instability of government, immigration, racial divisiveness, and the direction of the country. Understanding that present fear, I decided this week to ask people what scares them outside of politics.
In a very informal Facebook poll, friends were eager to express their anxieties. I received over fifty responses to my question. While some said spiders, cockroaches and snakes; the majority were worried about parenting, loneliness and death. Insects and rodents make me uncomfortable, they don’t scare me. I’m not a parent. I have a beautiful support system. Yoga has taught me not to fear death. I sought further counsel.
My friend Milena Govich and I met at a splendid coffee shop in Studio City. She has enjoyed a very successful acting career in both Broadway and Hollywood. We discussed anxiety regarding her emerging directing career. When I inquired what moved her past the fear of uncertainty and newness, she declared, “Passion trumps fear”. We decided that with this current political climate perhaps “Passion overrules fear” might be a better choice. As we laughed, I realized Milena was on to something. Maybe all these years my passions have carried me past uneasiness. I thought about the brave woman and men who marched this weekend. Their passion definitely trumped fear.
With a new determination, I journeyed to my favorite Mexican vegan restaurant in West Hollywood. At Gracias Madre I convened with energy mover, dancer, pilates guru, soul sister, Katie Rayle. She declared that some people have a fear of failure, but in our case perhaps it was success. Bam! That hit me hard. My stomach turned, and not from the fabulous empanada.
Then in a trifecta of powerful woman, I sat for a catch up tea in an eerily quiet joint with another longtime friend. Annie Funke and I shared a heartfelt discussion in which I disclosed my fears of being big. In her wise and no nonsense manner she questioned, “Who are you not to?”
That brought me right back to Marianne and arguably her most famous quote. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?”
What do you fear?