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When your nest is empty... It's your time to soar.

Jason Robert Brown Says “I’m Not Afraid of Anything.” Are You?

Strange title for an empty nesters blog, right? In 1995, one of my favorite songs, “I’m Not Afraid of Anything,” hit the New York stage in a musical play called “Songs for a New World.” The composer and lyricist was Jason Robert Brown.

I still cry every time I hear it.

You are probably wondering what that song has to do with Empty Nesters. And why it makes me cry… It’s because the character who sings it, well, she reminds me of myself not so many years ago. And I empathize. She’s so busy not being afraid, that she can’t be vulnerable enough to let anyone close to her.

I don’t know if it will affect you the same way, but I’m moved by her experience. Maybe because it sounds so similar to some empty nest emotions I had. Maybe you had them too.

But What Does It Have To Do With My Empty Nest?
As an empty nester, it took me a long time to find my footing and start figuring out who I was when I didn’t have my kids around to focus on all the time. I was too proud and too embarrassed to show how vulnerable I felt and how worried I was about their future—and mine! And unknowingly, I put up insurmountable walls so no one would see how lost I was. Maybe you can relate…?

Don’t get me wrong. Lots of people asked me how I was doing. But I put up my walls by proclaiming that I was doing just fine to any and all who asked. I didn’t want to show my vulnerability and what I perceived as my weakness. And I shut a lot of people out. Just like in the song.

And How About The “I’m Not Afraid Of Anything” part?
Here’s the really interesting part—the other side of the coin.

I’ve noticed that when I sing along with the refrain…ahhh, that’s a whole different thing. I have another reaction entirely.

When I’m belting out “I’m not afraid of anything” I feel fearless and powerful.

Do’s And Don’ts for Empty Nesters And Everyone Else!
Remember I just said that singing along with the refrain makes me feel fearless and powerful? Here’s what to do. You may not know the melody, but stand up right now and say those words out loud. With feeling. No cheating now! Don’t be shy–say it loud and strong like you mean it, even if you think it isn’t true. Shout it out a few times. Spread your arms wide and lift your head up so your body makes it clear to your mind that you mean it.

That’s right! Really get into it!

How does that feel?

I bet it feels pretty great, doesn’t it?

As for the don’ts, I certainly don’t encourage you to put up walls and barriers like in the song, and like what I did. Let the people who love you, love you!

And if you can’t, get help—just please do it now instead of waiting and feeling more and more isolated and ashamed. If you’d like help from me, or just to talk with me, contact me at www.drdorinekramer.com.

There’s one other line in the song that I want you to know. It says: “A new world holds me to a promise.”

I encourage you to make a promise to yourself to start dismantling your walls and to practice feeling powerful and brave in your empty nest, so you always remember that
        When your nest is empty
             It’s your time to soar!

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4 Responses to Jason Robert Brown Says “I’m Not Afraid of Anything.” Are You?

  1. Katie Bauer says:

    I’ve never heard this song Dorine but it sounds perfect! I’m so excited to find it! Even though I’m not an Empty Nester, I completely relate to fear of being vulnerable. It’s something that I’ve been working on being more comfortable asking for help and showing my emotions. And I love the exercise of belting out the song. It’s absolutely amazing how singing a song can change our mood, but it definitely works! Thanks!

  2. Dr. Dorine says:

    Thanks so much for your comment Katie. I can always tell when I’m in a particularly good mood because I notice myself singing or humming. The trick is to remember to do it intentionally! Let me know how it works for you.

  3. Music is magical, isn’t it? I’m so glad you found that song and it had such an important place in your life and that you have shared it Dorine! Thanks so much

  4. I’m not familiar with this song either but love the refrain – I’m not afraid of anything. Yes, it does feel good – even saying it in my head (as others are around me at the moment ;). As my kids continue to grow up (darn it), I think about the time they’ll leave and I know it’ll be SUCH an adjustment – on my sense of self, time, and my relationship with my husband. For now though, I’ll value and cherish the next five or so years I still have with them close at hand and even under foot. 😉

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