Overcoming Fear with Bert and Ernie

Recently, I have found that a lot of my strength comes from little skits that pop up on Sesame Street. Yes, Sesame Street. You read that correctly. When I have days of doubt, like today, it seems that the episode my daughter is watching knows. And it could be even more than that. 

I woke up today wondering if I was on the right path. If I was doing and feeling the right things. I followed my new routine as usual: healthy breakfast, a cup of coffee, a look at my homework discussion boards. I changed a diaper, fed the dog and stepped out for an evil cigarette. But as I trucked on through I found myself steeped in fears of failure. I lit my grief candle and talked to my cousin Elena, who resides now in the stars after a rough battle with cancer. I told her I have been going through the motions of my diet and other regiments as usual, taking care to not smoke too many cigarettes. And I asked her to give me a special boost today, as I wanted to write and work on my book and I didn’t know how to clear my head enough to do it.

Blowing out the candle, I moved about my kitchen, finishing the last little bits of cleaning that I had neglected while sitting dazed and confused in my arm chair. Scarlett began laughing hysterically at something. I knew it must be Ernie and Bert. This being a usual thing at our house, I normally wouldn’t disturb the laughter, but something told me to go sit down in my chair for a moment. I sat down and took a sip of my water, tuning into the skit that was playing out for my one year old. It was about fear. Intrigued, I began to really pay attention.

Ernie was afraid of the monsters under his bed. Bert tried to explain that they are surrounded by monsters on Sesame Street and there was nothing to be afraid of. Of course, this wasn’t enough for Ernie, who insisted there were scary monsters there that he couldn’t shake from his mind. The scary kind that say “Wubba Wubba!” Bert began to explain that Ernie is imagining the scary things and should focus on the nice things he can conjure in his head. And a song about imagination ensued. This actually infused me with courage and funny thoughts of my fears running around my head screaming “Wubba Wubba!” And I laughed out loud. Scarlett raised her brow at me as if to say “Momma you are nuts.” But I continued laughing. I couldn’t believe I let the monster of doubt even enter back into my existence after I spent a month imagining all the good things and the places I would go with my health and my writing. How I told myself there is no more looking back or down, only forward and upward.

There are going to be times when we all get scared. Young or old, we all have doubts and fears pertaining to some part of our lives. As I pursue the facets of my career, I am going to run into this again and again. And I just need to have the courage to believe in myself and imagine the good things and push aside the bad. I believe that was also Elena’s wisdom for me today. And I advocate my daughter’s love for her furry friends on Sesame Street even more. Thank you Jim Henson, for the universal and timeless messages that you have left us in this world. Pay a visit to Elena’s star and give her a hug for me, will you? I would very much appreciate it.


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