This is an entry that’s quite personal to who I am – I’m not sure if it’s even personality related, but it’s deeply and truly person-related.
It’s an entry of the roots of many of my fears and insecurities, and my purpose in writing this entry is simply this – identifying my fears and their roots will hopefully help me to see my upcoming battles and equip me for the battle itself. Knowing what you’re up against helps you arm yourself in the right way in a war. This isn’t a normal war.
Now I had a pretty nice life compared to what I’ve seen out there, but I’m going to start by labeling my experiences in different arenas that opened up the doors for the fears to creep in, since that’s our focus here:
Dark dreams and nightmares,
Being pushed into a pool,
Nearly drowning twice.
Being labeled ‘devil’s child’ by a friend,
Getting cursed by a friend,
Being treated unfairly.
Lower grades ending up in disappointing others,
Mistakes that caused harm to others’ reputations,
Being identified according to expectations,
Dad’s son or my brothers’ brother, rarely my own person,
Feeling judged rather than ushered into my potential,
Dark thoughts mixed with a vivid imagination,
Resentment caused by unrighteousness,
Hatred towards those who had done me wrong in life,
Pretending not to hate them for their own sake,
Expectation to be perfect,
Not allowing myself to make any more mistakes.
Hearing from medical professionals that addictions screw you over for life,
Having no hope of escape,
Greater strife for perfection,
Allowing myself to be placed on a pedestal,
Smaller mistakes having greater relational impact,
Small victories being looked down upon,
No commitment capacity,
Loss through theft,
Caught in the middle of relational issues,
Being a pillar for others not allowed to crack,
States of depression,
Causing more pain,
Losing precious friends,
Heavier states of depression,
Personal space disrespected,
Having hope broken down,
Even more rejection,
Having your house and vacation home broken into by drunk people.
Those are but a few of them, and yeah, it hurt reliving and naming each one of them.
Now there’s a truth to it that all of those experiences helped in making me who I am, but here’s the downside – those events made me step back in life little-by-little, where I eventually found myself so passive and so in fear of rejection, pain, disappointing others, hurting others, that I didn’t even know how to move anymore.
I was standing up straight, having opinions of people and their perceptions over my life as lasers all around me, where if I even breathed out too hard, I’d trigger the lasers, and an alarm op epic proportions would go off. I’ve become so afraid of everything in life that I didn’t know how to move anymore. I didn’t know how to take risks anymore. I’ve become passive, uninspired, having absolutely no freedom in myself to live life, not even being able to love myself.
The Start of the Process
Now, entering the process to face these fears was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done, because I had to be shaken, and for that I needed to be fully vulnerable. I attended a men’s-group meeting and opened up about some of my fears and their possible sources, struggling to even gather my thoughts, so it took a while to speak without being ambiguous.
While speaking, I was shaking. I realised there that I haven’t been vulnerable to anyone in months, and I was absolutely terrified, even though I knew that I wasn’t being judged. I just didn’t know how to handle life anymore, and for someone who’s used to being a support for others and helping others up, being in a place where I felt absolutely lost was not an easy thing to accept or even voice. But I did.
Listening to their stories and how my life related to theirs made me realise that I’m okay even though I’m lost, and that being lost is just part of the process to find yourself anew again, which is brilliant for facing fears and redefining yourself. But it still didn’t come easy. Having a group of men look at you with love and acceptance and hope can sometimes be more scary than being judged. Hope sometimes has to come in through hard knocks and a man telling you that you don’t have an excuse to not face your fears and take the leap of faith, just make sure to fall forward if you are to fall, and you will.
Earlier I wrote about preparing for a war against fear. Being accepted in a space where your fears are hanging all over the room is a very healthy place, and it’s a good place to start preparing. It’s a very scary place, but knowing you’re safe while others are standing in the way of your fears and helping you identify the ways of overcoming them definitely helps you in gaining some perspective.
Vulnerability is a strong source to help you revitalize.
Choosing wisely who you listen to can lessen the voices and opinions of those who won’t be of any help in any case.
Finding people who will fight alongside you is essential, but there’s a point in the war where you have to face your own demons and kill them, no matter what amount of damage is done.
One thing is certain – you’ll come out alive, whether it’s with your fears still on your back and their voices still in your head, yet you seem unscathed, or with your face and fists full of dirt, sweat and blood, but with the tails of each of those beasts as a trophy of your victory. Just don’t numb yourself. Feel everything to its full – the victories and the losses, the pain and the relief of it. Let it seep into your being and become the fuel for the next fight.