A swirling wind whipped around Jasper and I today as I braved the elements to sit outside after our park visit to have morning coffee. There was a flash of fear as the umbrella above us moved on its axis and threatened to topple. Earlier there had been a conversation at the park about how the fear of loss may stop us doing or going after something that may gladden our heart. My thought was, as painful as loss is, its better to live and embrace life accepting the unpredictability of endings and see them as portals to the new, dark passages that we all have to travel through at different times of our lives. But saying that I am not at all sure that that is how I have confronted and faced my own buried grief and fear in the past.
I think its true that fear can dog us and we may not even recognise it is what is motivating us. I opened up a book on recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder the other day when cleaning the bookshelf at my place which is an actual memoir. In in the author was being challenged by her therapist to see the part fear had been playing in her struggles with life. What came out of it was that the fear she had was related to deep fears of loss of control. The control issues she had were all to do with her fear of fully living and embracing not only the crazy unpredictability of life at times but also the deeper fear of fully opening her heart to joy. I must say reading it stopped me in my tracks. I recognised myself.
I had a moment today reading someone else’s blog of seeing where I have at times hovered on the threshold this person crossed a few months back. The benefits she is gaining are tremendous. I then proceeded to beat myself up, which is never a very effective way of growing or changing. Before we can take any action to change we have to become aware and that awareness may be blocked in some way. And it doesn’t really help to compare ourselves with someone else. My therapist reminds me all the time about how hard I can be on myself. I am still aware though when I hover on the brink of change and feel fear and allow this fear to hold me back.
Today I am grateful that I can see it. I am also grateful for something that was pointed out in the book on recovery from narcissistic family backgrounds I have been reading this weekend. It concerned the issues of choice and decision making. One of the problems of being raised in a family where your reality was not validated is that you find it hard to make decisions. You can also (unconsciously) adopt a false self, if the real self or you was shamed or invalidated. This kind of upbringing distances you from your own feeling wants and needs and may lead you to make choices where you fail or for things that don’t suit you, but the failure or mistaken choice was most probably an outgrowth of the fact you hadn’t chose what was true for your soul. You may then beat yourself up about it.
I could really relate to this and it filled me with a sense of hope, for I could see that even though its taken years I am far more aware of what brings me joy, I am far more aware of the inner voice that beats me up when I choose to go for what I want and I am far more prepared to risk looking foolish through remaining authentic. I know there will be times I go back into fear and step back from thresholds I need to pass through. But I also know that now there is no one to blame most especially myself, but the buck stops here and I need to take responsibility for the outcome of how I do choose if I am in full conscious awareness of my choices. This feels liberating and healing for me.