"What happens if you show fear?" She asked.
"You get killed." I replied.
This was in the middle of a Kinesiology session and my answer was as much of a surprise to me as it was to Kate, my Kinesiologist.
Where did that come from?
Obviously we both wanted to know.
That's the beauty and the power of being able to access your subconscious- the stuff that although you don't know is in your mind it's actually wreaking havoc. This is the stuff that doesn't belong anymore. The outdated thoughts, beliefs and experiences that you're still living from as though they are truth.
So where did this belief come from?
Well, I grew up in a house controlled by an unpredictable, volatile and violent man who had us all living in fear.
So did I learn this directly from my Dad's behaviour or did I pick it up from and surrogate it for my Mum?
I don't know.
What I do remember very clearly is an incident that reinforced to me very early in life that we don't talk about the reality of life in our house. We 'pretend' that everything is OK.
There is a lot of shame and secrecy around domestic violence and as a child in that space you learn very early on that you don't talk about what happens at home and there is no space for your emotions.
Fear and anger are already filling up every bit of space in the house, the last thing needed or allowed for is for you to add to it.
So you learn to be OK on the outside. You become a master at - 'I am totally ah ok....nothing to see here.'
This doesn't make for a very healthy human being but it makes for a cracker of a nurse!
19 extra years of - this is not about you, there are people in pain here, sort yourself and get on with it - meant that no one ever needed to tell me to 'harden up.'
I could deal with anything!
In a job like nursing you take great pride in being able to control your emotions and your fear. To do your job, within the Western health system, well you need, to a certain degree, to be shut down. There needs to be a disconnect from your emotions and predominantly from expressing fear.
In my early 30's I started studying A Course In Miracles and began a massive transformation with my relationship with fear. I started to soften toward it, I softened to my own humanness. The understanding that I was not only allowed to be frightened but that to suppress fear only fed the 'monster' even more was revolutionary.
I softened toward myself and began the work of making my inner world a soft place, a place where I could thrive. I stopped living with the bully, the inner critic and I created a loving space where my inner guide could really lead the way.
And lead she did.
Relationships changed and evolved. Nursing was no longer a job I could continue to do, not in a system as broken as ours is. Real health care, genuine healing and transformation was what I wanted to help people with and so I started studying Kinesiology. No more band-aid solutions, no more magical blue pills that really only suppressed the symptoms, from now on only work that meant a real stepping up and Conscious Living.
All of this work meant that I became kind with my fear.
But there's a bit that got stuck.
"What happens if you show fear?
"You get killed."
Maybe that was Ego responding? Maybe when we show fear Ego thinks we could get 'killed' and it wants no part in this game of 'showing our weakness!' This is how that inner bully is born. Making sure we are always tough!
This Kinesiology session was just before a brain/spine MRI I needed to have and the session was to help me deal with fairly significant claustrophobia that I have experienced ever since a couple of incidence that happened to me as a child. I knew that I would struggle with being inside the MRI machine.
So I was meditating, visualising, affirming and having some Kinesiology sessions to clear my fear about small spaces.
I had already alerted the technicians when I booked the test.... "I need to let you know that I am claustrophobic but don't worry I will sort my shit and be ok on the day."
This is literally what I said.
Because I'm open about fear, I talk about my fears, I teach about fear, I help other's come to terms with their fears and thrive through them but you know no matter how I feel, no matter how frightened 'I always sort my shit.' I hold it together, keep it together.
'There is no space for you fear.'
"What happens when you show fear?"
"You get killed."
So the day arrives and I take a few valium and I breathe, I affirm, I prepare to sort my shit.
I alert the technician that although my shit is sorted I am not loving the idea of being immersed into a very narrow tunnel.
This man was so lovely. He was kind and patient as he slowly started the process of placing the sand bags on either side of my head and strapping the Velcro band across my forehead to stop me being able to move. He talked calmly as he placed the metal grate over my head and then slowly started to move the bed into the machine.
And when he got up to my elbows I said -
"Stop! I can't do this."
He immediately moved the bed back out of the machine and said 'Ok, no worries, we'll book you in to have the test under sedation.'
I cried a little after I got back in the car.
Wow! That was the first time in my life that I didn't force myself to endure something that 'needed' to be done. I actually allowed myself to say 'I can't do this'.
Three months later I not only did the test with sedation ( unfortunately this doesn't mean that you are 'out of it' you are still awake and aware so I was still in a fairly high state of panic) but I had my friend Steph holding my hand through the whole process (and my bra at one time but that's another story) I also had nearly the whole department clued up on how frightened I was! I had ALL the drugs, all the support, all the help I could get my hands on and it felt so good to soften the fuck up!
I've always been on the giving end of this scenario and I love helping people to feel safe and held but this time it felt so good to be on the receiving end.
"What happens if you show fear?"
"When you show fear to the right people, the helpers, they take your hand and help you move through the scary tunnel with the loud clicking noises while you have a 'torture' like grid mask over your face. And then they give you tea and biscuits and tell you that you did a great job."
On the drive home I felt like something massive had shifted.
I felt like that little girl that had always been frightened finally opened the front door and yelled- "everything is not OK in here. Can I get some help?'
And no one was killed.