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  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

Fear Not

Updated: May 17, 2022

Surreal, Angel, Earth

There are strong men, and there are strong women. They influence each other, their families, communities, countries, and the world. Then, there are those who—because of fear, a systematic wearing down leading to exhaustion, and decades of false narratives—have weakened into a state of disempowerment, breaking amid crises. 

When facing an event, such as a pandemic, many find themselves bonded with the community of fear. It is a way to connect with others during uncertain times. When events escalate, reaching a point of what feels like the ultimate threat to safety and well-being, people tend to plunge into a swirling river of heightened anxiety and hopelessness. 


Instead of finding comfort or clarity, negative energy is multiplied. This ultimately results in the inability to focus, communicate, make good choices, eat, and sleep properly. So, instead of building our mental, spiritual, and physical immunity, we are taking a massive hit. Coping skills are significantly compromised when panic sets in.


Does this mean that we should not take the necessary precautions and responsible action? Of course not. The first thing we can do is step back, away from the media frenzy, and accept responsibly for ourselves and those in our circle. Be realistic. Give yourself credit for what you know. This applies to most of us in a variety of layers. We can trace back our qualities and strengths, which is necessary during critical times. Trust your own instincts.


If we are not careful, we can become trapped in a powerless structure built by ourselves. We quietly slip into a system of what we think is safety and security. Still, it is nothing more than the status quo and, during challenging times, can be utter chaos.


You can choose to pay attention to basic facts and avoid dwelling on a repetitive storyline. If you are not aware, your worries will become your reality. You are the scriptwriter. 

Remember to breathe. Then, give yourself credit. Use your logic to guide the story, ignoring what has been typically hard-wired into your being. I am referring to pure fear. Once you own that, there is little room for anything else. You decide.


An analogy that I like to use as a mother is to decide if you are in a small, rudder-less boat being tossed about in rough seas, or if you choose the boat with the rudder. Take the helm. Navigate the waters as the captain of your own ship. Think big.


So, here we are, facing something unprecedented. Yes, it could be daunting. But we have options. Gather the necessary facts, enough to be informed and not have it rent the entire space in your being, and have a plan. Yes, there are changes. We must be aware of the possibilities, but we cannot know everything. That is life. But, if all we hear, see, and respond to is outer and inner fear, we lose traction in all aspects of our lives. We become weak.


What are some ways to accomplish this? I use this method in so many situations. I am like a broken record. Write it down. If you externalize anything that is troubling you by transforming it from thoughts in your head to words on the paper, you will be able to think clearer. It’s a miracle how externalizing helps. You may never look at it again. You could have a scream journal that is used solely for getting this stuff out. It helps.


End the dialogue with others who are scared and panicking. You are just whipping each other into hysteria. The best thing to do, if you feel the need to share and talk, is to reach out to a trusted person in your world who is not reactionary. Do not drive this person away by being all output and no input. If you have the right kind of connection, express your thoughts, listen, and then reflect. If you go on and on, as if you are not hearing your compassionate friend, then in time, this person may tire of your refusal to learn and step out of your fear construct.


Find solutions. If you frame yourself as a victim, you will be the victim. Think of how long humans have been on this planet. What have we endured to survive? Do we, as a species, have what it takes to face challenges and carry on? I believe that we do.


I find comfort in playing music. “But what if I don’t play music?” You ask. 

You sing. You dance. You listen. It is therapeutic and soul-soothing. 


Nature. I am grateful to live in the woods. Being isolated is a way of life that I choose. In fact, I refer to myself as a hermitess. It is true. And, as I say in my bio, I am that woman in the woods who carries nuts and seeds in her pockets to feed feathered and furry friends. I talk to them and know the terrain well. Trees are my people. So, for me, claiming my place in nature is life. I do not need a crisis for this.


It is a proven fact that those who have a physical connection with Our Mother (Earth), have improved physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Today, I went outside and listened to the bird chorus. I was ecstatic to hear the call of the red-winged blackbird. They have shown up, indicating that spring is on the way. To me, that is hope.

I was in awe, carrying that song with me. Look for those moments. If you feel that the world is closing in on you, step outside. Breathe. Listen. Look. And, if you are like me, talk to those who share the space. When you are right there in the present moment, you are pushing away perceived doom and gloom.


We may have to be isolated from one another for a certain amount of time. Given the cultural, political climate—the divisiveness that is the norm for this country and especially over the past few years, perhaps we invited this. Some of you might think it strange to comprehend. However, now we are being instructed to hunker down, wash up, stay home, and hold our own. Is this what we are facing because we had lost our tolerance for each other? Perhaps this is a colossal, earthly lesson. It is time to remember our humanness. This is not limited to our country; it spans the planet. We are being forced to re-think our connections and pathways, our touch, our very breath.


The best thing we can do is to calmly approach this event as a global time-out, to retreat into our cave, the proverbial womb. It is a place to regenerate and nestle into our roots. We have summoned our mutual winter, soon to re-birthed. Is that not a good thing?

When the time is right, we will venture back out into the light. Will we learn? Will we navigate the landscape with a new compass, overcoming what we knew as a universal belief system that kept us separated? Is it possible to sift through the entanglements that have been threaded through our villages, tribes, and shared history? We have no choice but to change our ways!


This is not limited to them or us. Borders make no difference. We all belong to this place, home, the heart of Our Mother. We must be careful about what we inherit from this planetary lesson. If we pay attention to our instincts and know when to stop the outer chatter, we can become wise beyond our wildest expectations.


Be smart, safe, centered, and informed. Be the love that sustains humanity by claiming the new stories that will bring us forward and away from the shadows of fear. Step into your power.


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