That Which Must Not Be Named

That Which Must Not Be Named

Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

By: Rebecca Liston

Some weeks back, Stella and I hosted an impromptu gathering of like-minded folks to talk about what we were experiencing in these Pandemic Times – the confusion, the reactivity, the fatigue and mood fluctuations. We talked about how the Pandemic Energy was something to be aware of…something that is indeed affecting us, whether we are aware of it or not…and we talked through some ideas of how to release ourselves from its impact, if only for a few moments of respite at a time.

And that conversation served as a reminder – at least for me – of the importance of Naming Things, of calling Them out, as it were, such that we could not only be aware of Them, but also move within Them and not find ourselves living solely at their affect. 

It is in this spirit of things – this Knowing that Naming Things Matters – that I write to you today.

(Even though it is difficult…even though my mind is being Muddled even as I attempt to discuss it because even in the Naming of this Thing, I am being affected by it and therefore this writing is taking a great deal of effort…so I shall just shout it out like Harry Potter might when calling out He Who Must Not be Named for as Dumbledore once said:  “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” And so here I go, Dear Reader! Here. I. Go!)


(Oh my goodness I just Named It!)


(There it is…in black and white on my page…yikes!)


(In putting it out there three times I already sense relief within myself.)

Fear, Dear Reader, That Which Must Not Be Named, is very much present around us, and has been for quite some time.

Global fear. Personal fear. Family fear. Generational fear. Fear of economic collapse. Fear of climate change. Fear of contagion. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of leaders. Fear of misinformation. Fear of being lied to. Fear of not knowing. Fear of not understanding. Fear of losing our families, our homes, our livelihoods, our “normal.” Fear of making mistakes. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of not being understood. Fear of losing out. Fear of missing out. Fear of repercussions – those we can see and those we cannot. Fear of war. Fear of freedom. Fear of freedoms denied. Fear of what to say. Fear of not knowing what to do. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of sounding dumb. Fear of offending someone. Fear of the dark. Fear of the light. Fear of wearing hats or masks or pants that are too tight. Fear of snakes and moles and cancer and strife. Fear of guns. Dogs. Pigeons. And nuts. Fear of what’s next. What’s coming. Who we are. Who we are not. Fear of our selves. And fear of one another.

Fear, Dear Reader: We are all feeling it on some level or another, whether we are aware of it or not. We are all afraid in some way, shape, or form.

And that’s okay.

It’s reasonable.

It makes sense.

And above all else: You’re not alone in it.

There is nothing here to be ashamed of.

I am afraid, too.

We all are. 

And it’s okay.

In Naming It, we can, as Dumbledore so wisely noted, reduce our Fear of The Fear itself.

We Name it so that we can See it.

And then we can Fear It Less.

And we can Recognize how it is impacting us…our feelings…our reactions…our decisions (or lack thereof.)

We can Understand why we may feel paralyzed on some days…or why we might avoid certain people, places, or things.

We can be Compassionate with ourselves…and with others…Knowing that the impacts of Fear are wide-spreading and far-reaching and that, gosh darn it, sometimes it’s really flippin’ hard to make any move whatsoever much less the “right” move when there’s just so much Fear.

And we can Forgive ourselves, and others, and Know that we are all just doing the very best that we can in the face of Fear, and that that, unto itself, is Enough.

Keep on shining on, bright lights.

Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.

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