Hello there, sweethearts!
Happy 4th of July!
In honor of this day, I am writing a post on independence from our fear and insecurities.
Is that even possible? Will there ever be a day when we are not plagued by them at all?
I honestly don’t know.
Some say it is. And some say that those pesky little things will still be there… They just won’t be pesky anymore.
Regardless, I will share a bit about how I interact with my insecurities. Mayhaps it works for you too?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to see that my fears and insecurities are my way of getting in my way so I can stay in the safe zone.
Even when I can see the value in letting them go, I sometimes still choose to keep them close to my heart. It’s easier to hurt in that way because it’s familiar. I don’t have to take the risk of aching in a way I don’t know yet. I can just stay comfortable and keep complaining and not do anything about whatever it is that’s bothering me.
I can blame it on others, society, physics or even use the ‘it’s just not meant to be’ excuse to stay in known territory.
Yes, they can be quite annoying but I hold on to them because there is a payoff. There is something that I get out of holding on, despite the fact that I rant and wail about how much I wish things were different.
Yet, at the same time, there is so much value in the incessant internal dialogue that tells me all the reasons why not, why I couldn’t or even shouldn’t.
My fears and insecurities are as much an enemy, as they a sign post that tells me where to look for the space to grow.
This place is scary and exciting.
In particular, lately I’ve been really present to how I’ve been shooting myself in the foot regarding my interactions with potential romantic partners.
Underneath all my confidence and openness and easygoing attitude around men, I am utterly terrified.
I’ve been talking to you about being vulnerable and haven’t been practicing it myself.
Not really… The kind of vulnerability I’ve been showing, I recently realized, was pretend vulnerability behind which I was hiding my real vulnerability. These are the convoluted things our tricky mind comes up with to protect us!
In fact, this fake vulnerability was not just a protection layer but also a way to make sure men stayed away from me so they couldn’t hurt me.
And under all that is the real insecurity and extremely self-limiting belief: that men cannot be trusted because there is no way that they would ever really be interested in me for more than just sex.
I realize that’s completely untrue, and I’ve even had experiences that showed me the fallacy of that belief.
But that’s the story I’m holding onto.
The story I made up about myself when I was 5 years old and 3 boys from my class came running up to me from behind to lift my skirt, resulting in me falling due to fighting with them to keep my skirt down and then it flying up showing my underwear anyway. They laughed.
It’s silly, eh, how moments like this can affect the way we live our whole lives?
There are many decisions I could have made as a result of what happened with these boys. Many stories I could have told myself about myself.
In hindsight, those boy probably lifted my skirt because they liked me not the other way around. But, as my 5-year-old self, I chose to believe that boys would never like me for me, that they were mean, and that I shouldn’t trust them.
I think I started gaining weight after that, probably as another way of protecting myself.
I’m allowing this to affect me to this day, even though I am now aware of how this disempowering belief about myself came to be and how much of a leap that conclusion was.
I’m not making myself wrong for it. As an adult, I can see little boys do that sort of thing and it’s not a huge deal. But of course my interpretation as a 5-year-old girl is much different.
But the question is, knowing this belief is based on the exaggerated and disempowering interpretation of something that happened ages ago… Why is it so hard to let it go?
And this is where that little voice in my head gets super loud and goes…
But what if it IS true? What if you let it go and find out later you were right when you get hurt again?
And therein lies the rub.
This unknown space. This unfamiliar landscape.
AHHHHHHHHHH! So much uncertainty!
What I do know, however, is that I will never get what I want if I hold on. And the possibility of what I want coming to happen is what gives me the courage to step into the abyss.
Into that unfamiliar landscape where I don’t know who I am anymore… but I am more free to choose who that will be.Room to share: Authentic sharing is what enables us to let go, shed our burdens, and find support in each other. I offer my words as part of this ongoing conversation; It makes a difference to me and to others who read this blog when you decide to join it in the comments section. Please remember: authentic sharing is talking about ourselves without making others wrong or telling them what to do.