How to work with the fear of the unknown

Happy Holidays to all the lovers (and non lovers)  of bad writing

This season has been rather unusual. It has just felt like a  series of days that have woven themselves together. The only way if felt like any holiday was the lingering anxiety and the fear of the unknown that is predominant around these celestial times. This year is ending the way it started, with a journey back into the unknown.

There is one major problem with the unknown, and if you haven’t guessed it yet, well it is the fact that it is the unknown. Inversely there is the greatest gift one can receive within the unknown.

Today is a special day for me. Today, December, 26, 2018 marks my one year anniversary of living in San Francisco, CA. One year ago, on this day, is  when I loosely packed a messenger bag, hitched a ride and left everything I had behind to start a new chapter in life. One year ago, I started off with a plan, I had ideas about how it would all work out. But, like most major life plans, the moment I started planning the moment the universe conspired against all my plans.

One year ago, I climbed to an epic view spot in Russian Hill, what is also known as Lombard Street, and I realized I had no idea what the fuck I was actually doing and how I was going to make anything actually work. I didn’t have much money, I didn’t even have a place to live. I thought I was going to go back to school and become a Holistic Life Coach. Also, I  didn’t have the money to actually pay for school. One year ago, I sat at the top of the hill starring at all the beautiful shimmering lights of the Bay Bridge and vast landscape of buildings that pixelate the jagged terrain of San Francisco and became frozen for a moment. As for the first time, I had felt something new in my adventurous spirit.

I have felt fears before, but none like this. This was a fear that had no face, this was a fear that had no voice. I stared at the vast array of shimmering and blinking lights and for the first time I felt the fear of the unknown. It hovered around me like a swarm of flies. I wanted to gaze at the potential of the future I was going to create. I wanted to dance in the joy of the exhilaration of taking another plunge. I wanted to believe that I followed my intuitions, that I was communicating clearly with source. Most of all I wanted to feel comfort, in this decision I had made that would cost me everything I had.

Every attempt I made to follow my plan would fail, and the future was seeming grim. The problem  was that in my reality, I didn’t have a home or family to go to. I was alone, and now in one of the most expensive cities, with not a lot of money, no job, no housing, and most importantly no idea this reality slapped me in the face. The unknown was acting relentless, demanding my attention. The fear of failure was squeezing my chest, and my sense of self, was lost in a maze of unfamiliar streets and people. There was no plan B. There was no other options, which in my reality has never been the case. This was my unknown. I was confronting the moments that nightmares  and anxiety are made of.

My situation may have been extreme, because for the first time I felt something I had avoided the feeling of. For some reason, in my youth I decided that I would bypass what ever part of my brain that defines a single reality. That I was truly alone. For the first time there is no imaginary golden parachute, there would be no imaginary benevolent family to bail me out. There would be no friends to turn to, as I would be too proud to ever ask for any help. For the first time I was truly alone.

I am only grateful that I was able to witness this feeling. I was on a walking adventure to Fisherman's Wharf when this all came to a crux. A feeling arose within me, and the unknown came back and along with it a slew of fears and worst case scenarios. I battled up another vicious hill. I couldn’t crush this hill like I had very large mountains in my past, I had to go slow. As I could feel the weight of my thoughts pressing down upon me.

I finally got to the top, and took a moment to rest. As there would still be more hills to climb. As I moved myself in a circle to see everything that surrounded me the anxiety and treacherous thoughts where still there. I looked back to see the glow of the water below me, once again memorized by the tiny lights of boats reflecting from the water.  They glided silently, on the Bay. They looked so far but in reality they where so near. Just like the unknown that had been looming around me for a couple of days.

There is a common thread in my inner dialogue. I am constantly asking myself, “Are you fucking crazy”; obviously, with the magnitude of thoughts I had and all the setbacks I was experiencing it wasn’t a question anymore. I knew apart of me had snapped. There was something in the aloneness that I had felt that had affected me, but couldn’t directly put my finger on.

I had not gone mad, yet something had snapped. What had snapped was the root that held onto fears in the guise of denial. I was alone for the very first time, all I had was me. I had spent a lifetime of never wanting to be alone. Yet, there I was as alone and as vulnerable as a human can be.

In the acceptance of our aloneness, there is no greater act of faith. There is no greater sense of self  can be experienced. When we become truly alone we surrender. The fighting stops, the questions are answered, and peace prevails. In my moment of aloneness I reached out and I reached for the unknown.  And like the white scarf of compassion sutra I surrendered myself to unknown and I allowed myself to be held by it. In its warmth I learned that the unknown was not there to challenge me, rather it was there to guide me. As do most of our fears.

After that moment, life began to happen. And one year later, I am grateful to reflect and to be here again and back in the unknown. At least on this turn I know that this is the only place that I can be. Good thing I make the kind of life  scary life choices that are in alignment with the unknown. Inthe year I have been here I have done the things that the fear of the unknown would not allow me to do. I finally became a full time artist, and I am making some of the best art of my life.  I built a website for my art; which is always a work in progress. And now, I am living out my life long dream of writing the worst blog ever written. Most importantly, I have found the thing I have been recklessly searching for my whole life. I found a home, and oddly enough, although I may live in San Francisco, CA my home resides in the unknown; which basically is San Francisco and the Bay area.

So here is the skinny on how to work with the unknown. To work with the fear of the unknown is to embrace it. If the unknown is present in your reality and you are trying to escape it, you may be missing out on the greatest present it is offering you. Feeling and experiencing the unknown is a calling towards Samahdi. The experience of the unknown stimulates awareness, and in our individual moments of  awareness we experience a little enlightenment. The gift of the unknown is the presence of not only your fears, but of you. The you that has the strength to see your fears and heal within them.

Happy Holidays! Thanks for reading the worst blog ever written!

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