Since I started to focus on overcoming my sometimes crippling fears around the middle of February, I have been able to celebrate some wins. Step by step, week by week I am facing something I shied away from before. Gently, lovingly, sometimes shakily but I show up. Here’s what’s happened:
- Week 1: ✓ Kept a gratitude journal 5 times a week and mused about how we can be positive
At first sight they look easy and indeed, anyone can do them. What makes (made) them so terrifying to me is simple: unreasonable Fear.
But what is fear really?
At first sight Fear is not just a bitch but an attention-seeking one at that. It’s egotistic, consuming and burns up everything. It confines and ties me down, using the one thing I love the most about me: my imagination.
What am I actually afraid of?
- I’m afraid of being laughed at. I don’t want people to look at me and find it ridiculous.
- Being judged. I also don’t want to be seen and judged. “Look at that fatso.”
- Disliked. I’m afraid if I open up, people won’t like who I am.
- Rejected. I’m terrified of showing vulnerability, some need and getting a no in return.
Fear warns me of the pain these situations would cause. It wants to protect me but in return it throttles me. I’m like a caged bird (no, really) and by locking me up, fear deprives me of the sunshine that would keep me alive.
Fear is protection
I don’t doubt that fear’s got good intentions. We fear the fire because it can kill us. We fear heights because if we fall, again, it can kill us.
But then my fear tends to get overzealous. Would being laughed at kill me? Sure, it would hurt, it would be uncomfortable but I would survive. Isn’t it natural that some people will dislike me? Don’t people always make judgements at each other, fat or not?
I love fear for loving me so much that it wants to protect me from all kinds of pain. I want to use this mutual love between fear and me to give space to each other. As they say, if you really love someone, let them go. I need air, freedom to soar and not be tied into a cell, no matter how safe it is.
Fear isn’t a bitch after all: it’s an overprotective lover who wants only good for me. I just need to prove it that I can take a little pain in order to grow.
Thanks to the A to Z challenge I now have an excuse to turn my Courage Journey up a notch. During the next four weeks I will take daily challenges in real life to expand my comfort zone working with a specific type of fear every week. Hope you’ll come along, too!