"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."
I was woken from a deep sleep by blood curdling screams. I knew the screams weren't human and my first thought was that possums were fighting outside my bedroom window. As I lay in the dark trying to work out where the screams were coming from two of my cats ran into the bedroom and circled my suitcase, which I'd left lying on the floor the night before. My heart started pounding and I felt real fear thinking a rat, or something worse, was lurking in my bedroom.
I put on the light, stood on the bed and hoped for a miracle. When no miracle arrived I put on sturdy shoes, went in search of a broom then moved very carefully around my bedroom but found nothing. Knowing I wouldn't be able to sleep with something in my room I went into my daughter's bedroom, stuffed towels under her door so nothing could crawl under, then climbed into bed with her.
The following day I had to catch an early flight from Sydney to Los Angeles so I closed my bedroom door and told my girls to call WIRES (our wildlife service which rescues animals). WIRES came and searched the room but nothing was found.
Ten days later I arrived home late at night feeling exhausted and grateful to sleep in my own bed after days of travelling. Shortly after I fell asleep I was woken again by the same unearthly screams and I went through the same routine of searching my room before jumping into bed with my daughter again.
Over the following week the nightly screams continued, by this time my need to sleep in my own bed was greater than my fear. During the day I searched the house, looked under beds, behind doors and even went as far as dragging my mattress outside without finding anything. Then, three weeks after the first incident I heard a really pitiful weak cry and found a tiny gecko, which could easily fit into the palm of my hand, trying to escape out my front door. Fortunately I was able to save him and returned him to the garden.
I believe this tiny gecko came to teach me to let go of fear. During my absence my two daughter's had stayed in my house without any incidents and it still amazes me that the gecko was silent that whole time and only started screaming once I returned. At that time I was really stuck in fear as I was worried about one of my children, I believe the gecko sensed my fear and screamed as a way of protecting itself.
There is only one thing that takes us away from being happy and manifesting all our desires and that is fear. The problem with fear though is that it has so many faces that sometimes we don't always recognise it. Fear can sometimes be called money worries, stress, anxiety or it can manifest as resentment, depression or anger. Most of us handle fear by trying to get rid of the problem or avoiding it, as I did when I hid from the gecko. Or, we try to force change, which is how all wars begin. For many people though fear is their constant companion, it rules their lives and influences all of their choices even when they aren't consciously aware of it.
Anything that we resist we give our energy to and whatever we place our energy upon we manifest more of the same. When we learn to stop fighting fear with fear then our world will change. I used to teach people to face their fears but I have learnt that there is a much easier way, all you need do is to have a conscious intention to let your fears go, then support that intention with your thoughts, words and actions.
Letting go doesn't mean that you will never feel afraid again, you will and so will I. It simply means that you are willing to let go of your fear and trust that there is a purpose behind everything that happens.
It's no accident that my love of the bush brings me into contact with creepy crawling creatures which I'm afraid of. I've had baby bandicoots in my kitchen, snakes in my garden and spiders all around me. I would prefer to live without these little creatures but I thank them daily because they remind me to trust.
I firmly believe that there are no accidents in life. Every situation, every person presents us with an opportunity to accept and trust. Acceptance is the king of values and if you choose to be an accepting person and nothing else you will see dramatic changes in your life. Acceptance does not mean giving up, or resigning yourself to being, doing, or having less than you really want, it's about accepting that there is a higher purpose to everything and sometimes there is a better way than you imagine. You need to accept what is, yourself and other people as they are and allow each soul to walk his path. Sometimes what appears to be a tragedy may be a catalyst that will transform a person's life and that of countless others.
Remember, there is no magic formula to letting. Letting go is an intention that you support with consistent action. The action comes first and the feeling follows.
Anne Hartley is a life coach trainer, author and creator of The Heart Process. For more information on Anne's work visit Hart Life Coaching