This morning, I was visiting another blogger’s page. In it she expresses the feeling of overwhelming anxiety, and at the edge of a cliff in her life right now (thank you, Judy http://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com). What is so significant about this? I realized a few things about transitions and changes in my own life.
We (I believe this to be the case with most of us) have been conditioned to act or react in a certain way to things we are afraid of. Some face their fears head-on, seemingly without a second of doubt or feeling unsure in their own world. I would LOVE to pick those folk’s brains for a bit and find out just how they do it! But then again, I wonder if they actually do feel unsure during those times, and are just used to pushing through the anxiety to see to a desired end. That seems more realistic. Maybe it’s because that is exactly what I’m trying to learn for myself. Others freeze in step, afraid to face the mountain ahead. When that person sees the insurmountable size of the mountain, in an instant a sense of dread comes upon them. Anxiety, fear, predicting each step and the obstacles they will face…all without ever actually taking a step. The imagined scenarios are enough to cause some people to turn back…even if there is a pot of gold on the other side. It’s easier to face the loss (after all, it’s what we are used to) than to face the “unknown” in each step to make it over that mountain. I am one, who’s natural inclination is to FREEZE in-step. It’s a battle every day. It’s also one, that I am working at learning to conquer.
Does that mean I’m overcoming the fear? Not really. The ‘unknown’ almost petrifies me on a daily basis. I allow myself to take in the potentials. But I know there’s a better life ahead, when I take my first step. I struggle to move my foot for the first time. It’ll probably be a forever battle for me.
I remember dreaming (a few times, as this was a repetitive dream) of suddenly standing on the edge of a cliff. The distance to the bottom was hidden by clouds, so I only imagined how far down it was to the bottom. I felt exposed. I was horrendously afraid. The dream always ended the same way…I fell on my stomach, holding onto the edge for dear life, unable to move. I’d wake up that way, feeling that same fear for some time. I was afraid of falling over the cliff. The fact that I couldn’t actually SEE the bottom, really scared me. I didn’t want to find out what it was like to fall that “far”. The clouds indicated that I was high…VERY high. In reality, though it was a dream, it was my own fears coming out in my dream. Looking back, I (thanks to my friend) am able to get a better view. The distance to the bottom might not be more than a few feet, instead of thousands of feet with a very abrupt stop at the end. Not so much to be afraid of, after all! 😀
I’ve always been afraid of the unknowns in my life. More in the ones that would make me feel or look stupid. I was afraid of being belittled, demeaned, made fun of or punished. The fear was so powerful throughout my life that I’ve NEVER followed my OWN dreams. Instead I imagined the failures ahead, and decided “this life isn’t THAT bad, after all” and allowed the unknowns to control my future. There have been situations that, in spite of all that fear, I had to speak or act on what I knew was right. Since my experience with a psychopat over the last year, those fears have multiplied exponentially. Just turning in my 2 week notice to boss #2, was excruciating…but the life I knew I would have WITH that second job in it, would be stunting…wasting…painful. Knowing what ACTUALLY laid ahead, was more excruciating than the step of turning in my resignation.
A small victory.
This blog is my own personal journey of healing…apparently in EVERY aspect. I notice the areas that my X-monster has debilitated me, even more than I was prior to having him in my life. I recognize that before him, these areas needed attention. They needed to be changed. Now, since he’s caused the unsurety that was conditioned as a small child, to grow stronger than ever, the battles ahead are bigger, but not unconquerable.
Each day presents a new cliff. A new ledge where I COULD lose my step and fall. Now, a dose of reality… What would actually happen if I were to take the first baby-step off of that proverbial…PROVERBIAL…cliff? Will I fall to my demise? Or will I, MAYBE, get a bump or a scrape on my knee? Actually, what I HAVE been finding are little successes. Little battles crumbling at my feet, and my own flag of pride being flown where the “cliff” once stood.
Winning the contest I was so afraid of losing (not the contest, but falling on my face, again not being able to have confidence)…more afraid of having to face my X, IF he showed up, was one of these victories. I took the step anyway. Was I scared? Yes, I was shaking more and more as the days went by. Did I imagine pretend scenarios of failure in every aspect? Oh GAWD yes! What happened when I took that step off that cliff? I sang with confidence, and in the end took home the grand prize of $500, which I needed to pay my rent. It wasn’t such a high cliff, after all.
Every day presents a new one. Every day presents an opportunity to fall or fly. Every day, I’m afraid again, yet I still take that one…small…step… (EEK!)
What is your cliff? Your Mountain?? What are you afraid to face? What would happen if you took that step? You might fall, yes, but chances are you won’t be killed when you take your first step. You might find that with each step, the path toward your “pot of gold” (whatever your “gold” might be) becomes clearer and surprisingly easy. If the only way out is to step off the cliff, then you might land on a cloud that takes you the rest of the way…or fall 2 feet down, onto a path with a cool creek beside it. Unicorns to lead you, etc…I know, that’s goofy 🙂 But, the difference between the fear of the unknown, vs. what happens when you walk in spite of the fear, is that drastically different. Unicorns. Yup, I said it…
One foot in front of the other…breathe in…breathe out… As you continue in YOUR journey, you will find that each of your fears will fade, one by one, and you will find more and more victories 😀
Remember…keep your feet moving!
- Conquer Your Fears, Live Out Your Dreams (mbaks.wordpress.com)
- Overcoming your fears (ashameri.wordpress.com)
- Standin’ on the edge, arms open wide and toes hangin’ off. (kassieabel.wordpress.com)
- Fear Beyond Reason (gailsinclair.wordpress.com)
- Realizing Our Fears (mattullrich.wordpress.com)
- Have You Danced With Your Fears Yet? (write-2-be.com)