fear of letting go

889659

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.

facing the unconsious

c673

The fear inside me grows heavier and heavier. All the darkness and pain scare me, yet I have no idea why. It’s as if I am staring into the eyes of a monster, but I can barely make out its face. It resides in the deep recesses of my unconscious, and my startling inability to discern its name, appearance or nature leaves me without any words. All I know if that when I sense its presence, I am overcome by a deep need to abort. I run the other direction.

And here, is where my insight falls short, my awareness runs out, my tendency to shift toward positivity breaks down. Nothing works. I am up against an enemy that I do not know.

Freud argues that our unconscious is composed of unrealized, and often socially unacceptable, desires and wishes, along with traumas and painful memories that our mind has worked to repress. Most of us are only aware of things existing on the conscious plane, unless our developed defenses are challenged and/or we work to build our self-awareness of the ways our unconscious leaks out in our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Considering this, my current situation is pushing me up strongly against my normal defenses. I am sitting in the in-between, within the tension of what I want to do, and what is best for me. I am at the brink of self-sabotaging, and I know it, but the other, darker part of me is fighting for control, pushing me to run. Run from what? What truly scares me is my inability to answer that simple question. I don’t know. But here I am, pushing, running, numbing, kicking and scratching, anything to keep me from falling in too deep, from being captured and seen. If I move enough, never stay in one place for too long, I’ll somehow be safe. There is safety in my evasions. And this is why I cannot settle. There is something in the water that will get me if I do.

Nothing makes much sense, because logic and intellect sink like swords in quicksand when you are up against the creatures of your unconscious. There’s a reason why we are running away and repressing them in the first place.

There is one thing I do know for sure. In order to get to the healthier, better place, we have to venture through the thick of the unknown forest. We have to rise up to our monsters, our demons, and make the choice to push up against them. If we run, they win. If we repress, they’ll continue to control us in our ignorance. It’s so much easier to run… but by running, we are choosing to live in bondage. This is uncharted territory, and this is the difficult call: to trust, and to have faith. Trusting in God, trusting in yourself, trusting in the fact that despite the arduous nature of the journey, if you keep trekking, you will make it out of the forest. You will overcome someday. The call is for you to submit yourself to the unknown, and have faith that through all the dark and pain, you are reaching a better place, coming closer to a healing you so desperately need… closer to becoming a better you. The more you challenge and push up against yourself, the clearer your inner self becomes. The more control you end up gaining.

The journey, therefore, calls upon courage. Courage is not a personality trait, as some may believe it to be, but an act that anyone can do. It’s about making a choice. Despite fear, I will press forward. I will enter the tension and allow myself to be moved. Here we stand at the precipice, faced with our choice: to jump, or not to jump? That certainly is the question.