A few years ago I began immersing myself in a culture that was not quite my own. Like with all new environments, I found that words that I knew no longer meant the same thing. When I moved to Washington, DC I learned that the word ‘transparent’ does not mean the same thing to everyone. Prior to that move I believed the word meant that one could see through but not perfectly so; there would always be some lack of clarity. In Washington, DC this was not the case and transparent means with complete clarity. My learning of this word growing up came from using transparencies in class that the teacher would write on and project onto the board. those were not clear and one was not able to see through them 100%.
A similar experience has happened over the last few months and I have found it benefiting my mental health in ways I never imagined. I have been redefining what fear means. If you have been reading my Chakra series over the past few years you have seen mention of the significant amount of fear I felt that I was holding onto. I still have this but I am realizing it is not always fear and I just did not know how to properly understand what I was feeling.
Much of this fear has actually been excitement and nervousness and I didn’t really know clearly how these felt different to other feelings in my body. I am always for understanding how my body feels but I just didn’t understand because I hadn’t specifically felt excitement that specific and intense frequently enough to know how it felt different to fear. I am now understanding my fear in a different way and seeing that there is value to being scared other than a flight or fight response.
Just think about a roller coaster or a scary movie. We like these because they are scary. They increase our adrenaline and give us a rush. I can easily see that in the past I was holding onto so much fear that I could not enjoy these kinds of things and they were all negative experiences for me. As I have healed I have found that I can redefine much of the fear that now comes my way as excitement, making it a more positive experience and one that I am now starting to seek out.
How did I redefine fear? I really don’t know what steps to tell you. I saw over time that I was able to change my life to no longer be in standard fearful situations. I no longer walk down streets that feel unsafe. Everywhere feels safe to me now that I have moved. I no longer interact with people in places that feel unsafe. I do not expose myself to the real dangers of life. I have become lucky in this and I know that not everyone is as fortunate as I am.
When I was able to really settle and no longer feel fear from my every day situations I found that things that were exciting for me elicited a similar feeling in my body of fear. After repeated exposure I saw that no I was not scared, I was excited. I heard other people use the word nervous to define the similar feeling before the events and yes these were nervous excitements and all positive experiences. As a child I was scared of roller coaster rides and even now I wouldn’t say I am not scared anymore. But this got me thinking: was I in a state of constant fear of my surroundings even as a small child?
All I can say is that now I feel safe and I am able to find excitement and joy in fearful moments. I hope you are able to redefine your experience by changing your situation and developing your own mental state. If you experience a lot of fear there are ways to get out of your current situation and start to heal. Please feel free to reach out to us and we will help guide you or find you the support network that you need to get out of fearful and dangerous situations. You cannot afford the risk of not reaching out. Everyone should feel safe and loved. *hugs*
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.