Hello Fear…Now Shut Up

Today’s post is a wish one 40-something woman has for herself. After constantly seeking approval she is finally learning to stand up for herself and like what she sees in the mirror. It reminded me of some quotes from an Elizabeth Gilbert talk I attended last year. I was a fan / not fan of Eat Pray Love*  but I ended up enjoying her speak, very engagingly I might add, about “growing up” and how she stopped running away from herself.

So from one 40-something, divorced, single, working mom who loves to travel…to a 40-something best selling, divorced and remarried against her will woman who famously traveled the world, the commonality  is the realization that we all have fears.

“My goal is to be able to walk into a room and be completely comfortable with who I am and never have to not be who I am. I’m partially there and it’s so much more peaceful. I used to want to fit in or think I had to be someone I wasn’t in order to be accepted.

I did that for a long, long time. I tried to be the funniest one in the room so everyone would like me – the men, the women the children! I probably made others the brunt of my jokes at times when I was in my twenties but it was only to make up for the fact that I didn’t think I was interesting.

I joke now. I say to myself, ‘I think I’m pretty interesting and I’ve done interesting things in my life. I have great friends and family.  And I love to watch Real Housewives.’

I used to have a part of me that would be embarrassed to admit that. It was a fear of being true to myself. I have to embrace who I am and be okay with it. It’s just fine. First you have to become aware of what your stuff is – what is really a fear or an insecurity that you hate to admit about yourself – and then you have to learn to just live with that stuff and be okay with who you are. – 40-something

Excerpts from Elizabeth Gilbert’s speech in NYC

We think we are the only who has demons…

“It turns out my own private struggles were the same as 10 million other people’s struggles. The only thing we all are searching for in life is solid ground.”

We start out with this need for perfectionism…

“I thought I was supposed to do everything right …but if you turn it around to a new construct…you realize that having a little texture is better than being smooth. Our mission is supposed to be to fail. Life is better when stop expecting to sort things out so much.

Saying hello to the demons make them easier to live with. Blame, shame, longing and despair – always thought they were my monsters. But when you look at them closely they are just orphans. They are harmless babies. They are scared and crying and just need to be fed. Need to be treated tenderly. No I just say, okay, ‘mommy loves you too. You are a part of me. But mommy needs to work right now so you need to go away.’

I wouldn’t say it gives me power, but I’m just calmer but I’m less likely to impale someone else (with my fears). When you starve the fears they just start crying louder. We all have fears. Just don’t pile so much on top of it.”

So try saying hello to those fears!


* On Eat Pray Love: I liked the journey but don’t think you are going to go to Bali and meet the love of your life. You need to do parts one and two first. Eat: that would be letting go. Pray: that would be spending time with yourself so you can get to know your fears and embrace them. Each of those may take more than 4 months. Then say hello to being more open in a relationship…or just being by yourself.

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