They say that everything you ever learned, you learned in kindergarten. If this is true, my memory brings me back to my first feelings of fear. It was 1967-68 and I was in kindergarten.
It was music time and my classmates and I were sitting in a row as the teacher was at her piano. She picked 10 of us and assigned us our number. I was number 3. We were lined up facing the other kids that weren’t picked. We were going to sing 10 little Indians. Each kid sings the number they are, as she accompanied on the piano. I don’t remember why, but I didn’t want to sing so I didn’t.
The first kid sang 1 little Indian; the next kid sang 2 little Indians; she continued playing but had to abruptly stop. In her stern voice as she glared over at me, “Madeline! You have to sing 3 little Indians.” I stood there and said nothing, but I remember thinking I did not want to sing. “If you don’t sing, you are going to have to stand out in the hall! Ok class let’s start this again.” She resumed playing and 1 & 2 sang but I kept my mouth shut.
The music stopped and she escorted me out to the hall! As soon as I hit the hall and she went back in the classroom, it occurred to me that Andrew, my brother may walk by and see me. Everyone knew if you were standing in the hall you were in trouble! If he saw me, he could tell our mom and dad and I would be in so much trouble (or so I thought). At that very moment fear of being in trouble kept me frozen by myself in my own thoughts. Andrew never saw me.
Jump ahead 55 years and I’m still that same little girl often frozen by fear, with the thought of being in trouble. I’m still doing some of the same actions. If I don’t want to do something, or don’t know what to do, I do nothing. I’m still carrying the fear of getting in trouble from my actions or lack thereof.
What can I do to release this fear?
The thought came to me to do some inner work. What is inner work? Google says, “deliberate and ongoing reflective practice that increases awareness of self, others, and the systems in which complex social problems arise. At its core, inner work is the process of getting to know yourself. It’s a form of introspective self-care where you can help yourself let go of harmful attachments, habits, people, and thoughts.”
Oh yeah, I need to do some inner work. I’ll start with prayer as written by Ernest Holmes:
LOVE DISSOLVES ALL FEAR
Greater than fear is Love.
Love dissolves all fear, casts out all doubt and sets the captive free.
Love, like the River of Life, flows through me and refreshes me with its eternal blessings.
Love cannot be afraid; it is fearless and strong, and is mighty in its works.
It can accomplish all things through the Inner Light of that faith in all Good,
Which fills my very Being with a Powerful Presence.
Love casts out all fear.