How to Compost Your Fears

Would you like to continue our journey together into a greater understanding of how to compost your fears and turn them into fertile soil to enrich your life?

Note: This Post is a continuation of my post, How to Compost Your Fears, part one from January 16, 2022. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you may want to do so before moving ahead with this post.

So, it’s been four days and it’s time to find out what’s happened to the fears we placed inside our composting containers. I’m curious about what sort of breakdown and changes have been happening while we’ve been away having a good time.

I imagine that your contents and mine may appear very different. Since the only contents I can see are my own, I’ll describe them, and you can see if some of the same things happened to yours.

Before I do, I have to admit that I have some preconceived notions about fear. My sense has been that fears intention is to take something away from me. To somehow make me less, which can create a good deal of anxiety. Over time, I’ve come to a new realization, that this is not the only way to view the role of fear. I’ve discovered it’s possible to shift my attitude and see fear as a divine messenger whose intention is to give something to me to help guide me toward my best life.

A second concern about fear centers around my perceived inability to control outcomes. Ordinarily I want things to turn out a certain way and consider any other result to be unsatisfactory. This generates a tendency toward worst case scenarios and a fear of failure. At times my awareness kicks in and I recognize this isn’t what I really think, but what others have told me, which creates incentive on my part to shift and change directions.

Okay, back to my compost container. When I pried off the lid and peered inside, I discovered the contents had separated into layers, with the lighter pieces (not seeing smiles or being able to hug others, appearing foolish and feeling small) on top and the denser pieces (feeling unsafe, unworthy and a failure) on the bottom.

I realized that not all fears have the same effect on me but that it is still essential to acknowledge each one and be open to its message, rather than ignore them or pretend they don’t exist. I found that each fear offers its own insight and as I embrace it the fear I once experienced is released.

Maybe you are like me and need examples to make sense of the world.

Here is one of the dense fears I experience fairly often. The fear of being unworthy or unloved. I’m not saying it is based on any reality, but that’s one of fears hallmarks, because it only has to appear real to be a problem.

When this happens to me now, I try to come to a full stop and acknowledge the fear I’m feeling and remind myself that I have the power to take action. I have free will and can make any choice I claim. I can find a great self-help book, talk with a friend or counselor or, as I usually do, have a conversation with god.

Whichever I choose, my aim is to shift my level of awareness and recognize the deeper truth that my sense of feeling unworthy or unloved results from seeing myself as separate from god and others. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve come to believe that fear lies underneath all things and shows through every time I need to be reminded of the truth, that I am a part of the divine and connected to everyone else here on earth and that I am loved and cared for and that there is always an answer available to me.

I remind myself that avoidance of fear is not the answer and that although it may seem counterintuitive, opening myself to fear and embracing its message enlightens me and robs fear of its power over me.

No matter what your contents look like or how they feel, know that you have the innate ability to release any of your fears and discover the divine message(s) they came to bring you.

New Growth

There comes a point when I realize I need to let go of something in order experience new growth. Although this can be very difficult, I know it’s what I want and need. The hard part is deciding what to surrender in order to find a way forward.

In our upstairs bathroom I have an ivy plant. It’s really the first plant I’ve ever personally taken care of. It’s a job I take seriously. My ivy and I have a routine, a little ritual ceremony. Every Sunday, I pour a small cup of water on the dirt that surrounds the plants stems. After this I place my hands under the flowing water from the tap and then allow the excess water to drip from my fingers onto each ivy leaf. As I do this, I offer it wishes for good health. Then I close my eyes and let my hands hover just above the ivy’s outstretched leaves and send it loving energy.

Once in a while, when I open my eyes, I notice the leaves quivering a bit. I like to see this. It feels like a response. A connection between us. It’s beautiful and I feel closer to my ivy.

It seemed to thrive, sending up new shoots at the base and new leaves on the older stems. When the new leaves sprout, they are such a gorgeous shade of green, far different than the mature leaves. They are tiny at first, but then spread out and grow, unfurling and swelling in size.

We’ve been together now for many years and recently it needed a new container. It had outgrown the original smaller one and wanted more room to spread out. So, my wife repotted it, she being better at plant things than I am.

Everything went well and my ivy continued to flourish. That is, until we went on an eight-day vacation. I thought to myself, it should be okay, after all it’s only one more day than usual.

I watered it before we left and gave it a tiny bit extra.

We returned home and I went upstairs to check on it.

Disaster.

It looked so unhappy. Many of the leaves had dried out and no matter how much extra care I gave it, the leaves didn’t come back to life. Of the five stems, three looked really bad. I wondered what I should do. I felt as though the soil could no longer support all five stems and that if I didn’t do something soon, all of them would die.

Whether it was the right or wrong thing, I decided to cut the three stems that were withering. I felt I needed their surrender so that the remaining two could thrive.

So far, it’s worked. The two stems now have some healthy new beautiful green leaves forming. I am so happy to see them and welcome them into our world with love.

I wonder what would have happened if I couldn’t allow myself to surrender the dying stems. I think the whole plant would have died.

After some reflection, it became clear to me that this same process exists inside of me. What am I holding onto that is withering my spirit? What do I need to let go of or release?

It’s kind of hard to know the answer to this. I can’t just look at my outside world and see, like I can with the plant leaves.

It’s trickier than that and I wonder what gauge I can use to measure with.

So, instead of looking outside, I glance inward. I move beyond appearances and my thinking mind, to a place where my feelings reign. When I arrive, I ask one simple question, ‘how do I feel?’

I realize this sounds pretty general, but it’s not. If I am quiet, answers float to the surface. All of the things that concern me bob up and down waiting to be noticed. I come to understand that this is a process that is aided by my patience. I am helped by the inner knowing that all will be revealed, if I slow down and wait.

And there they are, lined up together, waving at me. My feelings of desire for control, the weighty sense of having to please other people and the chains that cling to my internal measures of success.

I see them as clearly as a dying leaf on my beautiful ivy plant. And I know my best answer is to surrender them. Releasing them gives me my best chance to thrive. I want that. I want that for me, and I want that for you, if that’s what you decide.

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