I have been thinking about fear a lot lately, and if any of you have conversed with me in the past week, we have probably talked about it. Maybe we didn’t talk about it, but I was secretly analyzing you and trying to decide what your fears were. I’m sneaky like that. So what on earth possessed me to think about your fears and my own? It all started with a trip to the spa.
I have a spa membership at The Grand America Hotel downtown. It is a fantastic way for me to relax and warm up in the winter, plus there’s a nice gym there if I ever decide I want to work out (still waiting for that to happen). My friend Erika has one as well. Last week, we decided to go to dinner and the spa. Erika and I have one of those friendships where you get together and solve the world’s problems with the greatest of ease in every conversation. We can definitely be silly, but at some point we always address some issue in our lives and talk it through with one another. She’s got some definite German practicality going on, and I have my “Critical Polyanna” way of looking at things (I want to think it is all going to end happy and perfect, but I have to analyze each piece of info before I get there), so the direction our conversations go is always interesting. We started talking about fears and how we let them rule our lives and how we have seen fears interfere with the lives of some of our mutual friends. Obviously, for her privacy and for the friends’ privacy, I’m not going to tell you what we talked about, exactly, but it did get me thinking…
What fears do I have? What have I not done in my life because of fears? How do I overcome my fears and move past them? I welcome you to think of your fears as I go through this process with you.
Well, honestly, addressing your own fears is HARD! It was for me, anyways. I know I am petrified of orca whales, but that is neither here or there when it comes to interfering with my life, because I live in a landlocked state. So I don’t go swimming in the middle of the Puget Sound. It’s freaking COLD! Who does that, anyways? When I was little, I was always scared of being embarrassed, but that passed as I realized I am perpetually the awkward human and I needed to get used to it. I think most of my fears are intertwined with love, actually. Whether it is fear of not being loved, fear of being abandoned by loved ones, or fear of letting go of past loves to make room for unknown future loves… That is basically where I’m a big old ball of mess. That is probably my biggest fear as far as “fear as an obstacle in my life.” Some that I have seen in others who are close to me that I think are pretty common are fear of failure, loss, control, and lack of acceptance (for those that are self analyzing as you read). A QUICK, SPECIAL SIDE NOTE TO MY MOM, BECAUSE SHE’S GOING TO WORRY: I don’t know where these fears come from and I’m positive I have felt them for a long time. I’m sure it’s part of the package that is me that came with me from the beginning. I don’t think anybody built it in to me as a child or as an adult, so don’t get your thinking cap on trying to decide who it could have been. It’s ok. Love you!
Well, love being the fear, makes what have I not done pretty interesting. I don’t take a lot of chances with relationships. I definitely try to be kind to others, because, as I think is the case with most fears, I project my fear on others and don’t want them to feel rejected from me. That definitely hasn’t hurt me in my life to learn to love others. It’s the love that is out of my control that is more the issue. I’m probably not going to go in to full confessional mode and tell you everything that I have done or not done specifically because of my fear. I will say that thinking about it has been eye opening and a bit liberating in it’s own right. The limits I have put on myself become liberating because, in acknowledging them, I can move past them and not be limited anymore. That obviously brings me to overcoming and moving past fears. It’s all a little clumped together for me. I am not a good organizer (that’s what my sister is for), so I am sorry I can’t give you organized steps. I can say that in thinking about this all, I have had several of my own “Ah ha!” “Huzzah!” moments where things started to make sense.
I don’t know that I am “Taylor Swift Fearless” yet, but I’m getting there. I definitely don’t want to spend my life in a brickle bush getting brickles in my britches. I want to be able to look my fear in the eye and get to where they are no longer fears, but familiar friends.
“And now we meet quite often, those empty pants and I. And we never shake or tremble, we both smile and we say, HI!”