Fear not!

For about a week, the weather forecast has predicted that we are heading into a hot spell; 4 days of 90 degrees or more. I decided to clear my calendar and take a mini-vacation. I did not plan on going away,  just thought I’d spend a part of everyday on the river. The idea came to me yesterday to go to Maine. By the time I went to bed last night, the plan was set and I am scheduled to leave this morning for the 4 hour drive. Before drifting off to sleep last night, a burst of anxiety shot through me. If it could speak it would have said, “You cannot go away!” and then it would go on and on and give me all of the reasons why this was a really bad idea.

I used to listen to this voice. Thought that it was guidance. I know better now. Not that every plan I make is “divinely guided”. I’ve changed my mind plenty of times. But the voice/feeling of Spirit is not one of fear and anxiety. It does not shout at me (and list all of my character defects to support itself), as it tries to change my plans. The voice of God does not threaten, scare, or otherwise escalate my fear, to try to stop me from going forward.

I know this scary voice. It is that part of my ego that wants to keep me small and “safe”.  To every new idea, it yells, “Get back, it is a trap! This is not going to work out well for you!” So I have to say to it, “Thank you for sharing, I am going anyway”, knowing that if a decision is not right, I will be moved in the right direction.

“Fear not, for I am with you” Isaiah 41:10

P.S. I’ll send you a picture from the beach!

20 thoughts on “Fear not!”

  1. Good for you! Maine is soooo wonderful…which I suspect you know. Eat a lobster and some fried clams for me! xoxo

  2. My spouse Maya and I met Jack at his store in Cambridge this weekend. We struck up a conversation with him after we noticed that the photography from the wonderful eye on the walls was of very interesting sculpture that now occupied the room.

    He lavished praise on you and encouraged us to check out your blog. I subscribed immediately. And also immediately, the first of your posts to arrive in my mail box strikes a familiar chord on a favorite subject. It left me needing to know, have you read ONE!HUNDRED!DEMONS! by Lynda Barry? This book was written out of precisely the kind of “listening” to your own thoughts you describe in your post: it is a listening to distinguish between true guidance and “demons.”

    Jack also said that you often teach at Omega in Rhinebeck. Lynda B. is also often there. Have you met her? I can send you an e-mail with the introduction from ONE!HUNDRED!DEMONS! if you have not read it and are interested. Be well, enjoy Maine!

  3. Funny how scary voices often come before new adventures… Chowder and lobster, here you come! Have a wonderful time with plenty of cool breezes…

  4. I dream of the Lobster Pound — Steamed clams – fresh lobster – Maine blueberry pie – Haven’t been there in years – Used to go to the beach – swim – back to RV to shower & head for the Lobster Pound. and eat my way through all the seafood I could get down.
    And then there are all the little shops – book stores – art galleries – great browsing places.
    Have a great time – I envy you

  5. Ye ha indeed! Enjoy every second of those cool ocean breezes and don’t even give us poor sweltering slobs a passing thought!

  6. You go, girl!
    I’m finding your comments helpful for me to reflect upon, too…thanks!
    Have a terrific time!

  7. Bravo – enjoy the Beach. My husband and I are sitting here planning our own trip. Probably not this week. Lucky for us, our old fashioned, built in the 50’s, cozy country cottage, has central air!! We didn’t put it in; the previous owner did. But the Beach is a grand idea.

    Also, I appreciate the part of your post that says, “…if a decision is not right, I will be moved in the right direction “. Important idea for me to remember.

  8. I sure appreciated Kerry’s suggestion to read One Hundred Demons. My son is going through a hard time right now not knowing what the ‘next step’ should be in his career path, and I think that book may help him to shoo the demons out the door so he can follow his heart. Thanks Kerry! I remember something a minister once said in a sermon – it’s always stayed with me. More than any other phrase Jesus uttered in the Bible, “Fear not” is the one most often repeated. Also, how lovely that we are told that Christ stands at the door (of our hearts) and knocks. He doesn’t shout, coerce or blast the door down. Simply knocks. Up to us to open. Enjoy Maine Mary, and yes, send us a “picture post – e – card”!

  9. I too have heard that voice, and am learning to discern ego from true divine guidance. Have a wonderful time in Maine!

  10. Oh, I love hearing how one’s defiance of that little voice proved to be the absolute right decision and that feel good confidence that follows. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

    Am headed to Maine myself next week with all my kids plus to witness my niece’s wedding. This will be the umpteenth time we’ll travel to that beautiful state since we are blessed with loving, enriching relatives who reside there and have graciously welcomed us into their home year after enjoyable year.

    Ye ha!

  11. Mary: I know about those voices – they are quiet by day, but gain momentum as the night wears on. My voices came when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. After a time I called them “Bertha” and “Beulah”. They tried to raise self doubt in me, and sometimes were quite successful. When they had a particularly tiresome visit, I would not be on top of my game the next morning. It became easier to tell my DH that Bertha and Beulah had visited.
    I finally made a hooked mat of them – their sour, brown/grey faces and wayward hair on the outer parts of the mat, and in the centre they have orange or red hair, beautiful dresses, funky hats, and smiles – the caption around the mat is “Bertha and Beulah Go To Dollar Day at Sally Ann” – it was a way for me to get them out of my system and I look at the mat (hanging on the wall, as I would not want to walk all over them!!) and remember that I made it through that time and now it is so great on the ‘other side’.
    I think we all have those voices, but it is not what they say, but how we take what they say and use it to become stronger.
    PS Enjoy Maine – beautiful part of your country!

    1. Dear Peg, Thank you for this powerful story! I really love that you made an image of Bertha and Beulah! I do not believe that we ever get rid of the voices either…how much better it is to “befriend” them!

  12. I love that image that Peg created – walking all over those voices!! Thanks for that. And how wonderful to be able to walk Through them as well.:)

  13. Mary,
    My niece forwarded your message of 7/20. (I’m still not getting your daily blog).
    I love the way you distinguished between the voice that “guides” us and the voice that scares us. Thank you! This is an area I really struggle with. That scaring voice is so loud sometimes and because of a long-standing pattern I often tend to hear that — rather than the Spirit voice that wants the best for me. So glad that you were able to have this awareness and hope that your time away is truly fun and nourishing.

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