I have lived in fear for most of my life. The fear started early, as far back as I can remember. I believe the majority of us have lived through a number of things that might surprise most; maybe not. Depending on our age, we probably have more in common with regard to our upbringing.
The circumstance of my parents’ divorce was most definitely an interesting twist, at best. We’ll just say that the grounds were mental cruelty and leave it at that. The collateral damage in the aftermath directly affected me. There were a lot of adults that fought over us, but no one was really minding the kids. I believe that a seed of self-preservation was planted inside me early on, (which has helped me tremendously more recently,) but I was afraid. Looking back, I realize that I wanted to depend on those who could be depended on. Unfortunately, at the time, as a little kid, I wasn’t sure who that was. It was very scary; the fear was growing, expanding.
As I grew up, I formed friendships that helped me learn the real aspects of relationship. We had each other’s back and watched out for one another. This helped with the fear, having people to trust, to talk with, and to count on. I still had to be careful, though, always alert. There was sure to be something terrible waiting right around the corner.
When I got married, I chose a partner who had a similar background. We had determination to make sure that our children had two parents who would take good care of them. Give them unconditional love and support. To provide what they needed and to reward them with some of what they wanted. I was certain that something terrible would have to happen to my kids because I was undeserving. That is irrational thinking, of course, but still inside my whirring, fearful brain.
How do you conquer what scares you? How do you turn things around? How do you become “safe” in your head? What makes you realize that you can’t walk around in fear all the time? Does it have to take some catastrophic event to accept what you can’t change? Answering these questions took some work; but I have the answers for me. What are the answers for you?
I didn’t even realize that I lived such a fearful life. As I began to get older, my outlook changed, it had to if I want to LIVE. We can’t see or predict what is coming our way. We can’t prevent pain anymore then we can be certain of joy or accomplishment. I had to learn a very important lesson. To embrace what I can and to release what I can’t change, which included the majority of fear that I carried around. I’m not saying that there aren’t still times when I am afraid, but I’m not constantly looking for things to be afraid of either.
I used to think that I was all grown up, then I realized to stop growing is to stagnate, to wither and die. I want to continue to show signs of life – learn new things, embark on unplanned adventures, embrace those who cross my path and make sure that the ones I depend on know they are appreciated. I’m learning to fly, fearless, well, a least a little fear less. With love…