How Can I Love My Fear? Handwritten Notes on Acceptance, Love and Growth

Here we go with another spontaneous, top-of-mind, unplanned post — thanks for being such an awesome community that I feel supported putting this stuff out there. Best readers on the planet, I tell you!

Side note: I’m currently en route to Syracuse to speak at the Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship conference — apologies in advance if I’m slow to reply to comments. For those who are curious, my topic is Great Leaps: How to move through fear, find your courage, and tackle your most meaningful goals. Will share pictures and/or video if there are any! 

Handwritten Notes on Acceptance, Love and Growth

I wrote these journal entries a few days ago and considered typing them up — but the very nature of fear and insecurity is that it is DEEPLY personal, often hiding in the shadows of our subconscious. Typing it out would place a shiny coating on a topic (and set of reflections) that are meant to be unfiltered and real.

I’m sure this is terrible for SEO and accessibility and retweeting, but too bad! These thoughts are going straight from brain to page to blog, delivered to you with love.

BTW — *right* as I was going to take a photo, I spilled coffee all over the page! A few F-bombs followed. But hey — maybe it gives the whole thing some character?!

Journal Entry 1: How Can I Love My Fear?

Journal entry on fear (click display images to view)

Journal Entry 2: Thoughts on Relationships and Fear of Loss

Journal entry on fear + relationships (click display images to view)

Additional Thoughts

I’ve have a few more additions to the lists above since writing those two entries: 

  • Even though things DO end (in life, love and work) and we are wise to find joy independently, there is also tremendous beauty in growing WITH people — be it friends, family, or a romantic partner.
  • As one of my favorite yoga teachers at Katonah, Phillip, often says when he’s giving the world’s best assists, “There’s so much we can do alone…but there is so much MORE that we can do together.”
  • Everyone on our path is a teacher, and there is great learning in whatever form relationships may take.
  • Relationships are fluid and the best ones (in my opinion) are not boxed in by rules and regulations.
  • We all worry about whether we are good enough. We worry about whether our flaws — large and small — are acceptable to others. The best thing we can do is be open, loving, kind, forgiving, accepting — first of ourselves, then of the people we are with.
  • Growth is in FALLING and then GETTING BACK UP, not in the unattainable plight for perfection. Let yourself fall, be kind as you pick yourself back up.
  • Acknowledge this same dance of growth in those around you.
  • No matter what you’re working on, find and return to gratitude as often as possible.
  • Acknowledge and honor the COURAGE it takes to try something new, be vulnerable, and move closer toward what you want in life.
  • And as John Steinbeck said to his son in his letter On Falling in Love, “Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

Related Posts

If these thoughts resonated with you, you might also enjoy these posts: 

***

I’d love to hear from you in the comments:

In what ways to you resist, fight or deny your fear?
What would happen if you were to embrace and converse with it instead?
What am I missing from the lists above? 

  • http://www.cheryldolan.com/ Cheryl Dolan

    Jenny, I love this post! Not only the content, which is so heartfelt, real and wise but I especially love the way you shared it with us! LOVE the handwriting and the sprinkling of coffee on the page – I could feel the energy and emotion in the swirls of your letters, the crossouts and underlines. What a great way to start my Monday morning and my whole new week! xo, Cheryl

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thank you so much Cheryl! It was such a lovely surprise for ME to have your comment be the first reaction :) It’s always a little nerve-wracking putting this stuff out there, and I just really appreciate you reading and taking the time to provide such warm feedback! What a great way to start my Monday too :) Have a wonderful week ahead!

  • Tracy Tillapaugh

    Thank you. (Simply stated but enormously heartfelt).

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Aw, I felt the “big-ness” of your thank you through the computer :) Right back ‘atcha, gorgeous! Have an amazing day, and thanks for the RT too :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Aw, I felt the “big-ness” of your thank you through the computer :) Right back ‘atcha, gorgeous! Have an amazing day, and thanks for the RT too :)

  • http://sdavismedia.com/ Sean Davis

    Outstanding, Jenny. For some reason, I feel like this is the first blog post of yours I have ever read. How could this be? Regardless of of such nonsense on my part, I’m glad I stopped by. The coffee stain did add character and even sparked a little imagination on how you responded when it happened lol. Too funny.

    I really like your additional thought, “Relationships are fluid and the best ones (in my opinion) are not boxed in by rules and regulations.” I spent almost 9 years in the Army where fraternization was a huge deal. I oftentimes met individuals that I connected with but because I was enlisted, and they were officers, we weren’t allow to converse as freely as I would have liked. Now that my time is served, the majority of my connections are with officers and it makes me wonder how much time was wasted adhering to those rules and regulations… as if we weren’t simply people.

    Anyway, great words/thoughts on fear. Ever since I read Peter Shallards “Demystify Your Fears,” I have been into understanding fears and what they are trying to tell me. It really changes a lot of things. It’s important to recognize that you can’t turn your fears off. It’s a natural defense mechanism and will ALWAYS show its head when there’s a threat to comfort… whether it be a physical threat of nervousness before a speech. Get to know it… understand it… embrace it… otherwise, you’ll spend your entire life avoid things that make you scared, but uplift you. What a tragedy.

    Good luck at your speaking engagement!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Sean — thank you so much for this amazing comment. Love that this post brought you over to LAC! 

      It’s so interesting to hear about your 6 years in the Army and how that relates to building relationships with others. You are a wonderful connector and so encouraging of others — it’s a blessing to know you through this big-crazy-Internet! 

  • Najela

    I love the coffee stains to. This is a mistake of mine, has nothing to do with your handwriting but because I’m trying to do too much at once, but I thought Conduit of Joy said Coconut. I’m going to be a coconut of joy. ;) 

    Wonderful post. I always love your handwritten thoughts, so honest. 

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Najela! Hilarious about being a “Coconut of Joy” — I love it!! Hard shell, deliciously sweet center :) 

  • guest

    Jenny, more than anything else you’ve written this really seems to
    resonate with me somewhere deep. Cherish your fear…this helps put so
    many things in perspective. I have been seriously anxious over lots of
    changes (or lack thereof) in my life right now–freaking out, feeling
    stuck, not sure what’s next. I get that feeling of anxiety from
    somewhere between my throat and my stomach and then I’m anxious that I’m
    anxious. Really…anxious and fearful for feeling…anxious and
    fearful. Jeeze. And so turning this on its head–cherish your
    fear–makes the fear less scary and almost familiar. It’s like I can
    passively recognize it, say hello, glean some insights and then…move
    forward. There are obviously remnants of this in Martha Beck’s writings
    and even in Eat, Pray, Love but somehow seeing it raw and written down
    is much more powerful. And needed. Thank you. 

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Wow — thank you so much for this incredibly kind comment — it means the absolute world to know that my post was so moving for you. It is fascinating to think about how we would feel and treat ourselves by cherishing our fear not banishing it or making it wrong. It’s amazing that you’re aware of where you feel your fear and anxiety — that is already such a huge part of acknolwedging it and moving forward. 

  • http://www.theunlost.com Therese

    This is perfect– perfect because of the coffee stain, perfect because it’s so honest and perfect because it’s exactly what I need to hear right now. I’m in the middle of a HUGE life transition and, although I chose it, fear and insecurity are swooping in forcefully. 
    “I would treat my insecurities kindly as loving children & nurture their positive growth, not berate their existence.”

    Yes, yes, yes. That is the work of our lives :).

    Thanks for putting this out there. All things I’ve been thinking about lately.

    <3

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Aww, thank you so much Therese!! Huge life transitions invite fears the size and speed of Niagara Falls — but they are so rich with learning too. In some ways, the fear is exactly what makes it so meaningful! 

      Loved your story on Rev.is btw — you are such a fabulously awesome rock star :)

  • http://www.clickthegoodnews.com/ Amanda @ Click. The Good News

    These are fabulous words & so much more personable because they are in your handwriting & are YOU.  Thank you for sharing- I’m jealous of your great penmanship :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thank you Amanda!! And you are so sweet about my penmanship….those “serif” g’s took lots of practice :) 

      Have a wonderful Easter/Passover!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    Such a wonderful conglomeration of inspiration and truths here. Love it. XO

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Aw, thank you Grace!! Means so much coming from you. And always great to see your name cross my inbox :) <3!

  • http://www.alisonelissa.com/ Alison Elissa Horner

    “We get insecure because we care” resonated a lot with me. 

    Also, taking risks or doing things that are scary sometimes does result in ‘sharp, shooting pain’ like you mentioned.  But it passes and we learn.  The alternative of a dull, ever present pain from not following our hearts winds up being much worse.

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thank you so much for your comment Alison! Yes — sharp shooting pain is excrutiating at times, but as you said, it does pass and we learn. And I just could never choose the alternative you described of the “dull, ever-present pain from not following our hearts.” So beautifully said. 

  • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

    Jenny,  I truly understand all that you speak to and it resonates with me in so many way.  Whenever we take a leap to do something out of our element or comfort zone, fear is ever present.  The key is how we use it.  Do we allow it to paralyze us?… or do we use it to propel us.  I say “Fear is a four letter word”.  (That was actually one of my blog posts a while back).  It can only defeat us if we let it.  It can be a great motivator if we choose it.  The fact is, it’s our choice.  I choose it as a motivator to succeed.

    Thank for sharing your inner thoughts and fears. 

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Susan – thank you so much for this wonderful comment! Fear is a great teacher, and I love the idea of using it to propel us, as you said. Love the focus on our choice of how to use it — amazing that you use it as a motivator to succeed — me too :) 

      Have a great Easter/Passover — thank you for stopping by! 

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