“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I awake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” This hung in my room when I was little. I said the prayer every night, but was always scared of dying in my sleep. It wasn’t until we had our first son that I learned of an alternate ending. Instead of dying, the stuffed bunny he got for a baby gift said, “The angels watch me through the night until I wake in morning light.” That sure was as a much better ending! This isn’t an isolated thing though. Several nursery rhymes and children’s stories are actually about death or something you probably wouldn’t want your baby or child to go through.
I tried to research why they are so dark, but couldn’t find one common answer. It ranged from “wanting to keep children compliant,” to “hidden meaning tied to historical events.” If fear was one of the reasons, they were successful, at least for me. I feel like fear is either a motivator or it’s something that causes you to grind to a halt. Kind of like cilantro or beets – one way or the other. (I’ve never met someone who kind of likes either of those things… either you like them, or you think cilantro tastes like soap and beets taste like dirt.)
It got me thinking about fear, and how many times I’ve been stuck in a loop. Usually, fear of failure is a recurring one for me. I’m not sure why. I’m sure a few therapy sessions might uncover that, but I know I’m not alone. Fear of failure has kept me from moving forward many times. I have pushed through fear and done things anyway, so you would think that would show me I can do hard things. I survived cancer (scary), I’ve moved my family to a new city & state (also scary), I’ve been published in a book… I’m sure there are more examples of things I’ve done that were wrapped in fear.
I’m not a medical professional or psychiatrist, so perhaps this is just a pep talk for myself as I embark on something scary. I graduate from my evening copywriting class next week. It’s a new skill in my toolbox, but it’s scary. As someone who is sensitive to rejection, there is an additional layer of fear associated with this new thing. “May your faith be bigger than your fear,” although I’m not sure I believe it’s a matter of size of faith that squashes fear. You’ve probably seen the motivational saying, “But what if you fly?” Instead of worrying about the fear of failure, I’m going to welcome in the paradise of possibility. Maybe I’ll move that unicorn over to joy.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough. I encourage you to listen to Francesca Battistelli’s song, “The Breakup Song.” She breaks up with fear. It’s a good one.
One thought on “Evening fears…”
Firstly, a HUGE congratulations on graduating your course! That is yet another accomplishment under your belt! Secondly, I hear you; fear is a biggie that presents itself in various ways over the course of a lifetime. Sometimes I think the older we are, the cleverer it becomes in its disguises.
You’ve got this, Mavis! Just like the course, the book, cancer, the move, and everything else you’ve accomplished! You’ve got it!
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