Fear has become my close companion.
After speaking with my mentor, I realized how much my fear is holding me back… not only in terms of my career, but in personal matters.
To be frank and straight to the point: love freaks me out. From years of self-work, I know and recognize myself as having a fearful-avoidant attachment style in my relationships–much of that resulting from how I was raised, and the crappy relationships I trekked through in my past. I want to trust and love whole-heartedly, but at the same time, I’m terrified of the process. What if I get hurt? What if something bad happens when I bare myself whole?
Enter potential love interest.
Although these issues have been something I’ve been consistently working on, now I find myself being pushed up against them in a very close and personal way. It was through my best friend’s frank observations that I caught myself throwing up internal barriers and seeking things that fuel my insecurities, all to prove my inner core belief right, that I am not good enough–because then I could check out, run away before I got in too deep. It blows my mind how different I’ve become compared to the person I was when I was younger. I used to readily embrace love, draw romantic dreams in my imagination, and hope unabashedly. Now I find myself being very grounded, jaded, entrenched in reality, struggling to let myself go to the process of falling in love. Even saying those very words freak me out.
I think of all of the men who have hurt me in the past, who took advantage of me, who took my trust and shattered it into thousands of pieces. I think of the jerks I’ve dated, all the arrogant men, and especially those men who saw me as primarily an object, existing only to prop them up, make them feel good, or give them status.
But then the other part of me reminds me, this is a different time, a different place, a different guy. I pride myself on my “bullshit radar,” in calling out fake, bullshitting people fairly quickly–but my radar has been very silent with this person. If anything, this person has proved at each point that he is authentic, genuine, sweet, and trustworthy. All signs point to one direction… which brings me back to my realization. I know deep down what to do, but my fears are holding me back.
On the outside, I can see myself coming off aloof, but the truth is, internally I’m fighting against falling, fighting for control. I’m afraid to show you that I care, that you’re slowly starting to matter more, that you have the potential to become someone significant and in the near future, if you’d let me, I could share with you all of me. I’m afraid if I say these things, you’ll run away. What if you ran away?
But then, what if my fears morphed themselves into self-fulfilling prophecies? What if my fears led me to subconsciously push you away more until you left? What if this is all in my head, and I’m making something good turn into something ugly?
I’m not going to say that I know all of the answers, or that I’ve got it all figured out. If anything, the past few weeks have been humbling for me in a good way, as I acknowledge my limitations and put complete faith in God. But one thing is becoming very clear: I have to face my fears. I have to push them back, reject their power over my life and my choices. They are keeping me from reaching my full potential, from living a happier, more fulfilling life. Even if I end up hurting, I have to relinquish control and let myself go to the process, all the while trusting in God that He is guiding me where I need to be. Regardless of how it turns out, it will turn out for the good some way, somehow–whether it is to flourish the connection, or to challenge/grow me in a new way. Or even better, both.