“Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.” – unknown
That quote I got from the book I’m currently reading – F! Excuses Act Revolutionary F.E.A.R by Jewel Carter. This book was a gift from Jewel, who I’m shamelessly claiming as my new friend, via our mutual dear, sweet-souled sista-friend Marcella. Marcella, my bestest bestie if ever there was one, visited for two days last week (she’s based with Jewel for her stateside vaycay) and hubby and I dropped her off (with heavy heart I might add) last Wednesday. Cella’s visit was perfect… for her (as she shared in her blog post https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/15772510/896205911) and me, in ways I’m still opening fully to.
We hadn’t seen each other since the day I left Antigua to come here, Sep 5th (aka the last time I bawled so hard I had a two day headache). As much as I knew leaving home and family and friends would be sad NOTHING prepared me for the heaviness of that day. My heart felt like it had been tossed in the middle of the Atlantic with 4 cement blocks tied to it.
There I was, bags all packed… well what wasn’t packed just wasn’t going, plain and simple… and the time was fast approaching. My first break-down was with my mother on the veranda of my aunt’s house. I had spent the last few days in Antigua in her downstairs apartment with the to-live-for view and was getting ready to leave it and my life in Antigua behind… indefinitely.
Mommy looked at me and asked if I was ready (to leave for the family house that is) and I broke. Now something you must know about me is that crying isn’t typically my thing. Not the water-works at the drop of a hat type at all, unless I’m frustrated. I’d sooner cry out of frustration than a broken heart. But that day ANYTHING opened the flood gates. Mommy grabbed me, hugged me with all the love only mothers have, telling me over and over “its ok, you’re going to be fine; I prayed for you, always remember you are the one I prayed for; you’re going to be ok”. Her words added another cement block to my heart and I cried harder. And she cried and held me tighter… so tight in fact that I had to stop crying to gasp to her that I couldn’t breathe. It was then I accepted I’d be a slobbering mess that day. “Oh well”, I figured, “it is what it is”.
Within an hour we were at the family home. My childhood home. Saying goodbye to my grandmother and other aunts was another round of crying but when two of my dearest sisters, Marcella and Zahra, came to say goodbye the real bawling started. Words couldn’t come out our mouths. Just tears and hugs and hugs and tears and nods of “yes” or “no” to questions because words wouldn’t come, couldn’t come. That was the last time I saw them until Marcella’s visit last week… a visit we didn’t know then would happen. My heart still longs to see my Zahra but Cella’s brief visit warmed it some. But anyway I digress. Cella’s visit was perfect in ways I’m still opening to.
One aspect of that perfection was meeting Jewel and her husband Darnell and receiving this gift of her book, aka THE book. Marcella told me about this book her friend was writing/had written and what a kindred spirit she (Jewel) is. The name alone got me – F! Excuses Act Revolutionary F.E.A.R. – and from then on her book was no longer “Jewel’s book” but “Jewel’s book with the kick-ass name”. When I first heard about it I made a mental note to get and read it but time pushed it on the mental back burner, then in the mental fridge somewhere in the back where food eventually ends up to spoil in peace. So when, just before hubby and I said our goodbyes to the good people we’d just met and I gave my bestest bestie one last hug-up and “I love you”, Jewel presented me with her book, I was excited and surprised. I remembered this book with the kick-ass name that I wanted to read over a year ago and there it was in my hands (handed over by the author no less). I hugged my gratitude and pray she felt the sincerity.
To keep from crying (you know that last hug-up almost started the water works again… and I didn’t have my mother close to suffocate it into submission) I opened the book and started reading out loud in the car while hubby answered a call on his phone. Only 4 or so pages I read then but that was more than enough to know I needed to prioritize a complete read. That was 4 days ago! Today, this morning, I returned to F! Excuses Act Revolutionary F.E.A.R and, in one sitting, have read almost the entire book (only put it down to get lunch and a few chores sorted).
The book is speaking directly to my spirit… all now, big conversation still going on… and I know this is a piece in the puzzle of “just what I needed”. Its a beautiful, from-my-soul sharing that is so simply written, so journal-like, so this-is-just-between-me-and-my-girlfriends-like that it really doesn’t feel like a book book. I suppose it would be classified under “self help” but even that doesn’t seem fair. Well, whatever box its in, for me, it was a whisper from the universe, a slight nod of approval from my ancestors that these inner shiftings, my unfolding openings are in the right direction.
The entire book deals with rethinking and readjusting your relationship with fear and is full of quotes, Jewel’s own words as well as quotes from others, that say “pssst, look here” to my spirit. “Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity” is one such quote. It speaks to some of what 365 days to Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!!! is all about… a shared journey of discovery and rediscovery; of peeling back layers and being bare; of discarding whatever (and whoever) needs discarding, embracing whatever (and whoever) should be embraced; of allowing life’s lessons to come and teach, easy and soft or rough and hard, but teach; of trying those big-girl panties on for size…and the voice that goes with them; of LIVING life NOW, not “soon” or “someday when…”, NOW!, without that flat spare tyre called fear!
Yeah, I think I’ll trade that in for a super sized order of curiosity, put it in my front and back pockets and ride out the adventure of the next 362 days.