HOLDING HANDS WITH FEAR & BRAVERY
Have you ever done something that totally terrifies you? I do hope you have. Bravery is not easy; it seems to hold hands with fear. We can’t be brave without also feeling scared. Last week I finally published my first book, ‘Unfold Me’, and it scared the crap out of me. Not just for a moment, but for the entire year and a half that I have been working on it.
Waves of doubt and uncertainty would keep me awake at night. Fear of judgement by all made my stomach turn, and forced me to question if I trusted myself. Amidst the terror, the answer always remained yes. At times it was a weak response, and others it was full of fire.
There was a deep knowing from within that this is the path I am meant to be on. In the past I never understood how to be in touch with my calling or passion project. They said everyone has it in them, was I the only one that couldn’t figure it out, I wondered to myself. Feelings of low self worth over the years had me believing that I was not included in this special group of people who have purpose. How wrong I was. If we don’t believe in ourselves, always coming from a place of lack, then we cannot see our value and our gifts.
I planned out a socially distanced book launch due to covid. The venue could hold tables of 6, spaced 6 feet apart. I had 34 guests in person, and also hosted it live on Facebook and YouTube. I sat on stage with 3 friends that have also experienced trauma. Cecilia was emcee and shared how she experienced violence as a child. She wore her beautiful smile and with a sharp sense of humour she easily lightened things up. My long time friend Jordana was the keynote speaker, she shared her own story of life on the streets, addicted, lost, and in search of love. She also brought her playful charm and her happy ending. I couldn’t have asked for a more talented speaker, she knocked it out of the park. Lastly, Emily shared her story of how she wound up with a 4-year prison sentence and how she was able to turn her life around and become a total badass entrepreneur.
It was an amazing night, one I was so grateful to share with so many friends. I also spoke deeply that night. I read from two chapters of my book, exposing dark realities from different phases of my life. The first share was from chapter 4 entitled ‘Escorting’, giving details of how I went down this path, and what it was like living as a drug addicted prostitute at the age of sixteen. Chapter 8 ‘Criminal University’, I dove into the section explaining how at the age of nineteen I began smuggling drugs into prison for my partner who was serving a 6-year sentence. It was raw, no holds barred. I felt strangely liberated to be able to let go of the stigma attached to these stories – to allow myself the freedom of being me. If you’re curious the book launch can be viewed on my YouTube channel at Dee Maloney.
With all of the emotional build up leading to the launch of ‘Unfold Me’, I knew I would be suffering from a vulnerability hangover the following day. What is this you ask? After exposing deep secrets about yourself that you swore would go to the grave with you, there is a sense of dread that may embody you. When I first woke up, I felt ok; my mind was busy with the events of the night, and I had already planned to take it very easy for the day so that I could digest it all. I headed to the couch and suddenly felt that looming feeling slowly come over my body. There was an uneasy feeling in my stomach, and an ache to my body, like I had done something wrong, even though I knew that I hadn’t. That is the social programming kicking in.
I’ve always been taught to keep things quiet, not to share feelings, and to feel shame
and guilt instead. I put on Brene Brown’s ‘Call To Courage” on Netflix (an absolute must watch) and let her wisdom on breaking the mould we get put in by our upbringing and society
wash over me and ease my pain. As the day went on, the feeling of despair grew. I allowed myself to sit in it, feel it, and yes eventually move through it. After a few days I was back to my usual self, ready to shift shame, and take on my fears.
It took a tremendous amount of healing to be able to move forward and get to the point I am now, all while holding hands with fear and bravery. In my experience it is so worth it. What is holding you back from living your dreams? Please don’t let it be fear.