The first time I read that line, many many years ago, I was stunned by the accuracy embedded in the words. “Driven”. I imagine that word to mean I am in a car, in the passenger seat, and at the wheel driving me where it wishes, FEAR. Sometimes we go fast, sometimes slow. Sometimes it looks one way and other times the face of that nasty master is completely different. It can take on a hundred different forms, but the core is the same. My life, is the car, the car I am being “driven” in and quite truly, that’s the way it was for many many years. I would be lying if I said it was over completely. However, it is not the master, the driver, the boss, the winner, even though it still shows up at a red light or a green light or an overpass or by the side of the road trying to hitch a ride.
I know I am not alone. There are many of us, much of the time, who are driven by fear in all it’s forms. So the question becomes, how do we kick it out of the driver’s seat? How do we cease to let it rule our lives? How do we “trust”? How do we “ride”? How do we “drive”? How do we breathe?
I once heard Brenee’ Brown say everyone wants a “how to”. I wish there were one, right here and now that I could lay out for us all that would take this beast from it’s place and all of us would be instantly FEARLESS. I’m quite convinced after years of trying there isn’t a direct answer or a perfect path. There are messy beautiful efforts that placed in the hands of God become mighty powerful surrenders, which open the door to no longer need fear and ultimately open the door to embracing freedom.
I did not realize how much I needed fear until I wanted to quit needing it. Much like I did not realize how much I needed alcohol or food or relationships, until I was too drunk, too fat, and too codependent to feel I could carry on. It was in that desperation that I had, not a burning bush moment, but a Dr. Phil moment… hey, it takes what it takes. I could hear, “how’s that working for you,” as he has asked so many a client. My initial response was, “it’s not”. It’s not working for me. The truth was, it was working. I was getting something out of my fear, that my brain had decided was worth more than my freedom.
As I look back, I can see that fear made it feel as though I were in control as though I were aware and assured of how I would feel. Without even knowing it, FEAR took on the form of “what I knew” and assured me that was better than “what I didn’t know”. The UNKNOWN would come to court me, but she seemed too suspicious, too vast and so I returned to my comfort zone, FEAR.
When I married nearly three years ago, it was my first time to greet the UNKNOWN face to face, to truly embrace something beyond my tiny controlled world. I met her again in pregnancy, in birth, and in motherhood. I am meeting her in my work and in my life. There are still places I have yet to let her take me, but slowly I am becoming willing. What I can tell you of this faceless angel is that her wings are mighty. They span skies. She flies high and fast and low and slow. Somedays she takes me directly there and other days we hover together, watching, learning, observing the majestical. She has never never dropped me. She has never taken me anywhere other than to the beautifully abundant. Though at times we must fly through storms with the exquisite pain of hail and rain beating upon our brow, she wraps me close and says hold on sister, “this too shall pass”.
-sending you love wherever you are in the world. Tyler