Reverb 10: Lesson Learned.

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Fear steps in and gently wraps her fingers around my throat, as if to measure. Just as she assures me this is for my own good, her grip firms and tightens around my neck. My senses begin to numb. I cease to feel pain and almost can’t tell that I’m no longer breathing. Almost. I begin my attempt to break free, thrashing around, thinking I’m shaking the fear, trying to get her off me. Instead, I’m fueling her fire by believing the fear actually has a grip on me to begin with.

“What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year?

“And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

~ Tara Weaver

I close my eyes and imagine my fear sitting next to me in a chair. She is frightened and shaking, cold and naked sitting before me, tears in her eyes. She tells me she wants only the best for me. She tells me she doesn’t want to see me get hurt. She tells me she knows what she’s talking about. She tells me she’s only trying to protect me.

I bring her a thick terrycloth robe, some tissue and a cup of hot tea. I hold her hand, wipe her face and stroke her hair before I say anything. She begins to calm down, and I begin to speak. Softly, slowly, silently.

I tell her my heart is meant to be broken so I can learn about strength. I tell her I am meant to fail so I can learn about success. I tell her I am meant to live so I can learn about life. She doesn’t completely understand, and she says she feels useless. Why am I here, then? she asks. I tell her she’s important to me. Without fear, I might not question my path. Without questioning my path, I might not learn from it. I might walk blindly into the flame without realizing the fire is there. I tell her it’s essential for me to listen to my fear, not always to follow her though.

Sometimes she doesn’t realize she’s walking me right into the fire. Sometimes she does.

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.

~ Pema Chödrön

She sips her tea and asks to borrow my Kindle. She has some time to kill while she thinks about what we just talked about.


In 2011 I want to allow my fear to help me fail so that I might learn how I will succeed. In 2011 I will allow my fear to speak. I will not ignore her, nor dismiss her as useless. I will keep my eyes open for the truth—my truth—disguised as my fear.

This post is written as Day 17 of Reverb 10, inspired and created by Gwen Bell (Best of ’09) and her rockingly awesome cohorts. Are you reverbing too? I’d love for you to share yourself in the comments below.

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Julie Jordan Scott December.18.2010 at 9.45 pm

Ahhhh, beloved Dian. Beautiful. BEAUTIFUL words. And what a great way to partner with your fear in order to “get it”… to learn. Brava kudos all those grand words we can string together.

So grateful to read your REVERB10 post today.

Devon December.18.2010 at 9.57 pm

That’s incredibly powerful, Dian. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jason Benoit December.21.2010 at 12.29 am

Great post. Almost missed this one. Glad I caught up. Thanks.

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