What are you afraid of? Nothing, nothing at all, my father convinced me as a child. And so it was, because he said so. Little feet jumped into a huge bed, everything towering so greatly above me, consuming me, in the dark when the lights went out. I held my breath as long as I could before I had to come back up for air and face the monsters again. Reminding me, every night, there was everything in the world to be afraid of.
I became a fierce little lion, roaring at everything and everyone. My little lion who puffed up with empty strength to prove I conquered the fear. I would make my father proud.
When the monsters came again, I opened my mouth to roar, to show them this lion was in charge, but out only came a squeak. My voice cracked and I crumbled and shook. My lion was not so fierce after all.
I lost hope and I lost my roar completely, the fear was too large. I forgot I had a lion, I forgot my voice. I forgot I was fierce.
I remember my little lion sometimes. The other day, walking through the massive trees in the great Northwest, I am suddenly afraid of everything. I let my roar help me call for support. She asks me, What are you afraid of? Tell me everything. She listens, patiently, as I name every one of my monsters, from snakes and spiders …to death and pain …to love.
I am not afraid of nothing, I am afraid of everything. Something I wish I could have roared when I was little. Because with each acknowledgment, walking in the woods, I feel my roar grow louder. Feeling all of my fear, instead of none of it, I start to claim my space in the woods. I start to grow bigger, and the monsters, that were once larger than me, are now smaller. They are still here, part of my woods, but I roar with fierceness and they know who is the king.
I go into my world and face my fears, with compassion. I shake and tremble and roar. I am afraid of everything. And I am fierce.
This is written by Tara, after completion of 2 years of Radical Aliveness.
“My lion never left me, and guided me through this program and beyond. Sometimes I forget my fierceness and I need support. Thank you to Nicole, from my Radical Aliveness group, for being my support this time.”