Freedom From Fear

 Historic Balch Hotel, Dufur OR. Look carefully. There is a bee buzzing amidst the flowers

Historic Balch Hotel, Dufur OR. Look carefully. There is a bee buzzing amidst the flowers

Ever have a bee buzzing around your ear. You move away concerned it might sting you, only to have it follow. Back and forth, back and forth you tussle until you resign to let it go. Soon, the buzz becomes part of the melody of the day and the concern subsides as you realize the fear of getting stung was greater than the actual risk. Following the path of the bee, listening to the melody was a gift waiting to be accepted. That gift was freedom from the fear.

This analogy is what arose for me as I walked this morning. I almost had my blog post complete. Only needed to do another re-read before going live, but something wasn’t settled. The bee buzz was annoying and the melody wasn’t making sense. So here is my third, yes third attempt, to get at the root of what has been buzzing around and my fears about engaging with this darting bee.

As someone who walks the labyrinth both literally, and metaphorically in my thinking, I understand the bends in the road, the changes in direction life can take, gradual and sudden. Even welcome some with open arms. But more often than not, my first instinct is to resist change and fall back on comfortable ways of coping. These “defaults” are usually based on old beliefs about myself and the way the world is “supposed” to work.  These were primarily established in childhood and developed with a child’s understanding. One of the benefits of walking a labyrinth is that it offers perspective. Life will look different depending on where you are on the path. From these different perspectives, I can look at myself with soft, non-judgmental eyes as I understand how I came to be who I am. I can also value the integral parts of myself, but not allow them to dominate as they have in the past.

So how does this tie back to that pesky bee that’s been buzzing around my ear? Well, one integral piece of myself is I am a peacemaker. That is a nine on the Enneagram for those of you who are familiar with that personality type indicator. My mother also falls into this category, so this was affirmed as I was growing up. I am also a strong earth person, element-wise, so grounded. I’m a good person to have around in the midst of chaos as I tend to be calm and try to keep situations from escalating. The shadow-side, as Jung would say, of this is I can focus so much on keeping the environment and others needs balanced, making sure to hear everyone's perspective, my own voice gets muted. So in my life, my “fire element” was relegated to the “back burner,” so to speak. Now I feel the earth within me, that has grounded me so well, is needing to give way and allow fire to erupt out.

What does that mean? Well, first, I am being curious and exploring what this looks like with those I trust in my life. I’ve learned to seek wise counselors and friends to accompany me on these journeys, especially as I get older and have shed surface layers on my previous excursions. Trusted friends and counselors that offer deep, attentive listening and ask honest questions that allow the answers to rise up out of my own experience and in my deep conversations with the Holy. They are the witnesses to my journey. I find in this world of disconnect, having a witness to my journey is becoming a vital as breath.

Fire has been coming out in my poetry for some time. Those poems will come more into view on my website. I will not discard my earthiness. That is who I am and will continued to be honored, but I have this rich, buried, fiery self that is ready to be heard. Do I find it risky even writing this on my blog? Of course. The practical, grounded me doesn’t want to offend anyone. But I am inviting myself to take this chance because what is living if it isn’t about taking risks? I want to embrace the gift of freedom from fear.

Why should you, if you have stayed with me to the end of this blog, continue coming back? I hope it is because you too are curious about your journey, your layers, your beliefs. That you will explore your own core with trusted counselors and friends and see what wisdom lies beneath the surface of your own self. As a spiritual director, my earthy self will continue ground our sessions, should you choose to come to me for trusted support and to witness your journey.

Is there a bee buzzing in and out of your periphery these days. What melody is it inviting into your life?