Recently, I went through the difficult experience of learning that I needed a breast biopsy. During the two weeks leading up the procedure, I was consumed with fear; I had a hard time concentrating, felt panicky, confused, out-of-control... I entertained lots of worst case imaginings. The fear was real, but the stories I constructed of its energy were not.
After the biopsy, I sat with the radiologist and talked with her about what "really" would happen, from that point forward. I determined what I could do, what I would do...with real information; I faced down my fear-based imaginings and consolidated a more response-able, self-connected consciousness about the situation. A plan emerged that allowed me breathe in hope, clarity, and strength--no matter what.
Through this experience, I (re)learned several lessons and practices about being and keeping it "real." They include the following: 1. Voice matters. The more I tried to "silence" my fear with silence, the stronger it became. 2. Thoughts are things. It sounds trite, but a vital portion of the way we inhabit our worlds is first constructed in our minds. Call it attitude; call it faith, call it what you will. 3. Love is power. If a quality of fear is disconnection from what is "real," an antidote to fear is love. Love has been defined as uniting that which appears separate; and as such, love is an act of courage in itself.