“If I were to answer it just kind of bold-faced, I would say what scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not lovable, that I’m not worthy of being loved. That there’s something fundamentally wrong with me … What scares me the most is not knowing and accepting that just about everything is not in my control. That makes me feel unsafe….I used to think that what scared me was the idea of being abandoned until someone said to me, ‘Only children can be abandoned. Adults can’t be abandoned because we have a choice. Children don’t have a choice.’ So I started to rethink. ‘OK, it’s not that. What’s the underlying thread that really scares me?’ I think what scares me is not having the courage to reach my full potential … That I would allow fear, insecurity, and doubt to rule me and that I would ask for only a little of what is actually there for me. It would mean that I would be settling.” ~ Demi Moore
I need to speak on this today. Probably because I’m fearful at this very moment. I started writing this post on December 19 and it’s been sitting. I was already feeling uneasy then for good reason that just continued to escalate. When I read the quote above today from Demi, it really hit home. I need to thank her for her candor and for being open. This statement got me right together.
I knew it was time to send this post out. I’m not the only one who’s afraid. She spoke about how I’ve been feeling. Maybe that I’m fearful of the future and what’s coming. I’m fearful of what I have no control over. Fearful of not being loved. Fearful of not doing the right thing or reaching my full potential. Of losing the most valuable people in life. Of the uncertainty of it all.
But how am I supposed to handle fear when it’s right at my door and about to come in and have a drink with me? What happens when it greets me in the morning when I wake up? That up-in-my-face-all-in-my-damn-business sort of fear. I can’t escape it. It doesn’t plan on going anywhere. It’s right there. Sitting on me. What do I do then? Here’s a few of the things I do:
- Get thankful. I remind myself of what I’ve gotten through at this point. I reminisce over the good and the love in my life. It helps reset my tone.
- Assure myself said situation isn’t permanent. Most things are in passing. It’s about getting over a wave. If said situation is permanent, there wouldn’t be anything I can do about it. Or is there? Am I just in panic mode because I feel hopeless?
- Seek help. This is important. There should be at least a couple of people who I don’t have to hide my true feelings or tears
or nervous breakdowns aka panic attacks. Hide. This doesn’t solve anything but sometimes, just being able to be away from it all has helped me. I “hide” at home or at a trusted friend’s “safe” space home.
- Take a nap. Reset. Start over.
- Get a new plan of attack when things seem to fall apart.
- Find someone else that may need my help more than I feel the need to feel sorry for myself.
Thinking about everything that’s happened over the last few years, there were so many things I feared happening that STILL came to pass. Some people will say it was the fear that brought it to pass. Others would say maybe I knew things were coming and I was prepped in advance. I don’t think it was either. I just think it’s life. Shit happens. It’s about how you manage that shit and navigate it. Me being afraid didn’t change anything. Me standing still didn’t stop life. Choosing not to move, not to fight, not to do anything is still a choice.
I admit here and now, I don’t always succeed at managing my fear. Sometimes, I just have to stay home in bed and pull it together. Sometimes it’s caused me to make the wrong decisions or just drop everything and not fight. Instead, I took flight. Because I didn’t face up to some things, I think I lost some valuable situations and people. However, each situation was a learning process. Sometimes running makes things worse.
All of us handle these things in different ways. Sometimes it’s about loss - the death of a loved one or it’s about a partner or spouse leaving. The most amazing relationship suddenly falls apart. It could be the loss of a significant amount of money, it could be unforeseen illness or debt. It could be a betrayal of trust. It could be disappointment in ourselves or about where we are in our life. Or about our own actions. Or fear of the truth. Fear of the truth! Fear of having to face the inevitable. What about the anticipation of the unknown? Yup. Afraid of that too.
By the way, everything on the above list has taken place in my life over the last few years in some form. Each one has it’s own story.
But here’s the best part of it all -
When the worst of my fears were realized, I was freed. I mean, I’m going to admit all kinds of shit has rained down. But as it has, as I’ve forced myself to face it, I’ve become just a little bit braver, just a little bit more fierce and a little bit less fearful. I work hard at being more brave these days.
So many things are out of my (our) control until most of the time, there’s no reason for the worry in the first place. It doesn’t help with what I need to do and where I need to go. It doesn’t stop things from happening around me. It only paralyzes me. I will say fear can save your hide, but that’s a discussion for another time. I’m not speaking about caution today or how we process all of the warning signs that arrive before something tragic happens. In this case, I don’t classify this as fear. That’s intuition, caution, discernment. I (we) should listen when that’s the voice that’s speaking. There’s a difference. It’s not negative. It’s cautionary, warning. Loving.
This fear I’m speaking of as mentioned above, is a nay-sayer. It’s abusive. It takes an unfair advantage over your movements and your mind and spirit. It can wrap it’s bony little icy fingers and hold you down. It’s not Godly. It’s something different. It’s the kind that talks you out of the good things appearing in your life. It’s the kind that has you confused and making terrible, rushed and inappropriate decisions.
So, I just wanted to get this off my chest today and confess. Yes, I am afraid. I’m not as brave as everyone thinks I am. I just have faith. I have hope. I believe I can make it through because of who God created me to be and because He’s with me every step of the way. I know where my help comes from. Why should I be afraid?
Marianne Williamson said, “Sometimes we need to tell our fear to go to hell because that’s exactly where it came from.”
Today, I’m telling my fear to go to hell. I encourage you to do the same.