Tuesday, August 21, 2007
It has become important in my life (to my love of self really) that I am seen as someone who is not afraid...that people learn that despite my weak looking frame, I am actually tough, strong and brave. It is a strange thing really, because I am also a clearly emotional person and I have no problem with people seeing that side-- most of my emotions, whether depression, joy, anger or frustration, just to name a few- come out in tears and I don't mind if people see that. But I always want to be the first one to jump off the rocks into the water or crawl into the dark cave or try sky-diving or eat something weird or take a dare and I get upset when someone tells me I can't lift something heavy so I'll spend too much time and energy trying to prove to people that I can carry heavy loads instead of just serving quietly. It is clear to me that this desire to not be afraid comes from a childhood of anxiety. I was nervous around strangers and my tears when I was young would often come from one emotion alone-- fear. As I grew, and became more and more extroverted, I found joy in courage and didn't want fear to stop me anymore. As I tried more and more things, I learned that there was less and less to fear. My desire to be seen as tough comes from proving to myself that I was stronger than I thought and in taking on new challenges, finding that I can do more than I ever would have imagined. I didn't want others doubting me the way I had once doubted myself. I am over my fears in so many ways and I love new challenges. I am still suprised by the things I am capable of doing, but I don't like realizing that this has become a part of my created image-- the one I feel the world has to see. The funny thing is, I think I am still so afraid. In a completely different way. I am terrified of God. That sounds strange, and I don't mean it in the fire and brimstone way or in the healthy fear of God way. I mean that sometimes I am just terrified of what God will do in my life as I continue to follow Him. I am not afraid that he will send me to live in a hut in India or that he will have me work with the poor and disabled. I am afraid that he will make my life so completely different than I would ever have pictured it that I will run and not follow the life that I know will truly bless me and those around me. I am afraid that God will call me and I will not choose to hear or be too distracted to hear or maybe that I will hear and I will follow but it won't fit my image so I will rationalize and cop out. I am afraid I will be a disappointment. The funny thing about fear is that the only way to get over it is to do the one thing you don't want to do...face it.