The day I was born, my sense of security was immediately challenged. I was protected until that point, depending solely on the womb of my mother to nourish me — my mind, my heart and my very existence. Being born interrupted that security and as time ticked off days, then weeks, months, years and now decades, that sense of security has become less and less dependable. I know that doesn’t make me special, it makes me very ordinary and on level footing with every other person born into this world. So why are some capable of taking that unstable security and stepping over it to make a fulfilled life and yet others struggle?
Fear. We all have it but we all deal with it in different ways.
I’ve been using the avoidance mechanism to “deal” with mine only that’s not dealing with it at all. In order to truly deal with it, I have to face it. So how do I do that? How do I allow my fear to no longer control me? It’s as simple as standing on the precipice of what scares me and taking the step toward it anyway.
Only it’s not so simple when you are riddled with thoughts of failure. But that fear of failure keeps me from being free. That fear of failure has kept me from being truly happy. That fear of failure has kept me from feeling secure and isn’t that what we all strive for? I know I need that sense of security in order to thrive. It is a core need for me and I suspect I’m not alone.
No one is exempt from failure. No one is exempt from life events that make us ponder the “fairness” of it. But there is no fairness in life, no fairness in love, no fairness in heartache and no fairness in joy. Because part of life means dealing with failure, heartache and hopefully joy along the way without allowing the fear of failure to inhibit us from being present in our own life.
I’ve learned that expecting things to be fair is a sure-fire way to set myself up for disappointment. I cannot control what others do and I’ve spent a lot of years reacting to the world instead of acting of my own accord. I have given my sense of self away for decades, hoping to find fairness instead of just accepting that life will never be that way.
And then came the moment of clarity.
That moment when the proverbial light bulb goes on and the realization that I have done myself a disservice by not believing in myself — instead, looking to others to provide me with a sense of validation in order to feed my deep-seated need for security. To have someone else measure my worth and tell me how to think, how to feel, what to do, how to define success and happiness. But the scary flip side of that is that all those years of allowing myself to be measured by another person’s yardstick, I sort of did that as well — not understanding why others didn’t approach life with the same core values that I believed to be honorable and worthy.
My family was my focus of importance but not everyone feels that way. I do find that a bit sad but I suppose someone else may look at me and find it sad that what motivated them had less importance to me. Such is life, I suppose. Not fair and with episodes of failure and heartache interspersed with times of joy and happiness.
I don’t have a lot of experience at being fully present in my life. I have lived for half a century being reactionary instead of stepping forward beyond the brink of fear. But what purpose did it serve? The only thing I can figure out is that perhaps it afforded my ‘failures’ with finite consequences.
But in the glow of my moment of clarity, I step into the precipice of fear and scream loudly (think Buzz Lightyear, okay?)..
.. to the infinity of fear and beyond.