I’m thinking about putting up a big sign on the wall of my office that says, “I am afraid of being fat, alone, and homeless.” There’s something comforting to me about calling out the big ones – the deepest darkest fears.
I want to look them square in the eye every day and get comfortable with the fact that they are there, like cockroaches in the walls of my New York apartment, like rats in the ivy that festoons the mansions where I live now. The fears are there, they will be there, they’re everywhere, there’s no escaping them. Might as well saddle up and just keep going.
My big banner of fears would not be using The Secret. The Secret, you’ll recall, generally says we should focus on what we want, not what we don’t want. The Secret would recommend putting up a sign saying, “I am healthy, loved, and protected.”
The problem with that is I’m not there yet. I may never be there or maybe that’s tomorrow. Right now if I saw a sign like that I’d reject it. With nose wrinkling and sneering perhaps. Maybe I’d get out that stick and beat myself mentally – Think Positive. Think Positive. You’re not thinking positive! Bad! Like I’m my own new age Orwell.
So the incremental move for me, the nice auntie voice move, is to acknowledge and get comfortable with it. “Yes, Dear, there are cockroaches in the walls. It’s ok. You can do what you need to do anyway. You can put one foot in front of the other, make some tea, do some writing, and try to be of service.” And then a bath or maybe a bowl of pineapple.