The scary stories we tell ourselves: Tales from girls' night out

July 26, 2016

Girl’s night usually brings laughs and stories and sharing. Last night Natalie and I were hanging with some sisters.  The topic of “fear” came up. The Course in Miracles speaks of the fact that everything in our life comes from “Love” or “Fear”.  I asked my round table of wise women what made them afraid.

 

What came next turned into a giggle-gaggle (our word for when you laugh till the tears run down your leg).  One friend shared that she was afraid of whales.  Really?  Whales?  “Do you know we are 10 hours from the nearest beach chair?”  However, she was serious.  Twice she had been invited to go on a cruise, almost expense free.   The trip was everything she could want except….what about whales? Our Moby-phobic didn’t go.

 

 

Natalie shared that she had this quirky issue with having anything around her neck. A choker or high neck sweater felt like a noose to her.  We played with all sorts of past life possibilities like maybe her demise as a Salem witch or her last days as Marie Antoinette.

 

I explained that my fear was very valid (of course it is). I was afraid of…turtles.  Natalie laughed like only Sister Sky can laugh.  “Do you not…..do you not…..giggle…...giggle…...sniff……. know that you can outrun them???”  I went on to tell the story of being a little girl in the Mojave desert.  I told my sister-girls about the terror of mean little boys chasing scared little girls across the playground.  Only each little boy was holding a tortoise up trying to get the unresponsive critter to bite our hair.

 

One woman was afraid of rabbits and one was afraid of hummingbirds for no remembered reason.  We had no idea what to do with that other than laugh some more.  I brought the conversation up a notch (or down, depending on your view). All giggles and wine spit across the table aside, “really girls…what scares you?”

 

This brought on the type of sharing that only Sisters-in-Spirit can have. We all gave separate and different accounts of what was keeping us awake at night, rumbling in the back of our brain or creating a dull ache in our tummy.  Though they were different examples and experiences, they all fell under the same categories. One of the unspoken rules of Girl’s Night is “cross your heart and hope to die”.  For that reason, I will only share my own emotional nail biters, but again, we pretty much all said some version of the same thing.  Sooo…here we go. See if any of these sounds familiar.

 

1.)  A fear that I won’t be able to keep everyone happy.  Wanting every situation to be “win-win” is a lovely and healthy way to operate.  However, on a dungeon kind of day, I catch myself believing that it is me who has to “make everyone happy” in any given situation, event or family exchange. The soothing thought for that fear is, “It’s not all about you, honey”. It reminds me that I would be well served to trust the flow of things and give everyone their own chance to bring their “A game” of intention and spirit. It’s really not all about me or up to me.

 

2.) Fear of failure.  This is an old hat, overworked, overworn fear. However, I don’t just mean a fear in lack of financial or career success. I am referring to a fear of letting people down or being disappointed in myself.  My most useless solution to that fear is to push myself past what I could ever do. My second most useless solution is, I just don’t do things I know I’m not good at doing.  That works till I’m sobbing in the Taco Bell drive thru from exhaustion or feeling frustrated out of pure boredom. I then have to cool my jets to find my worlds center. I also might have to  try something new (even if I really suck).

 

3.) Fear of running out of time or money.  Our wise woman forum acknowledged that “enough” is a screwy measuring stick for anything besides telling the waiter when to stop filling your coffee cup.  As unrealistic as our smart woman selves knew this fear to be, we all admitted it was very real. What if we didn’t get it all done? What if we didn’t have enough? We all agreed that enough money and time was elusive since that damn carrot just kept moving. But that didn’t stop us from investing our precious energy in the belief, the need, the lie of...  “enough”.

 

4.) Fear of who we really are.  I know firsthand that all these women are rock stars. However, we shared the fact that sometimes our true rock star selves didn’t fit in with who everyone else needed us to be. We knew we often stood strong in our personal boundaries.  But sometimes, even we questioned if we knew what the hell we were doing, thinking, saying. We agreed to help each other remember the lyrics when we forget the words to our own private heart song.

 

With smiles that said, “I really get you,” and a clink of glasses we all knew we had been heard.  We all felt a swish of relief “Thank God, it’s not just me”. We promised to remind each other that being afraid of your own brilliance or lack of control or….failure is no different than being afraid of being chased by turtles or… whales in the middle of the Midwest.

 

We also promised that we would send that message out to all our sisters. So there it was, here it is.  We hope you know that you are not the only one with a low rumble of “What if I screw this up?”, “What if I’m not enough?” or “What if I can’t make everyone happy and ok?” You have sisters who understand.  They will remind you that “You’ve got this!” and will send big red lip prints across the Universe that say, “Mwahhh, You Rock Sister!”

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