February 18, 2013

Why Fear Holds Us Back.

There are those times in my life where I have been  apprehensive to speak my piece, whether it be in romantic relationships, friendships or sibling encounters.

For the longest time I didn’t really understand why I hesitated, and I am just now starting to figure it all out.

Where I see it most is in romantic relationships and with close friends. As an adult, it is sometimes difficult to acknowledge these behaviors that are so engrained in our being, or to see them as capable of being transformed into something else. Habits are so easily formed and so hard to break.

What I notice in myself, is that I never want to appear as ‘too much’ or ‘too heavy’ emotionally. I have fear around speaking my mind, voicing my needs, for I don’t want to be a burden. But what I’ve come to realize over the years and had the ability to work through, is that the burden is much heavier, and the water is much muddier when I don’t adequately communicate my point of view. If it isn’t made an opportunity to bring two people closer together, then the anxiety of it all just rests within me and starts to feed on itself.

I have a friend who not too long ago made it clear that he didn’t want me part of a significant event that had occurred in his life regarding his health. Now, I am a fair distance away from this person, so my daily interaction with him is non existent. To say the least, there were moments of dishonesty where I was left in the dark regarding his state of health, and I have found myself incredibly frightened to bring it up.

I look into myself and see what it is exactly that I am so afraid of:  I am afraid that I am going to lose what I have with this person.

I am afraid that our relationship will change, because his dear heart is so afraid of being vulnerable and confrontational with his own emotions. I don’t want to possibly muddy the waters of what we have. So where do I stand then? Do I speak my piece?

Another circumstance involved me not sharing some major events that were going in my life with my closest friends. At the heart of my hesitation was fear of being judged, fear of being left.

When we are able to not only voice our needs, but voice our fears around expressing those needs, the fears start to take a different form.

They become less monstrous, and become more of an irrational fantasy.

I feel like we all come to these crossroads in our life. We come to these points where people in our lives evoke emotions in us that must be expressed, but there are hidden fears deep within our souls that prevent us from carrying out these conversations, because we are afraid of not being safe in the relationship. But I have seen the error of my ways. I have seen that the longer I wait, the harder it gets, and the more painful the interaction becomes. When if I just own it on the forefront, my mind is at ease, my heart is at peace and my relationship is honest.

Think of the people in your life with whom you have something that has been left incomplete.

Make a list, and either voice or write what is incomplete. Next, try and really search for the way of being you have been living, that has contributed to things being left this way. See if that way of being works for you, and see if there is an opportunity to let some of it go. Once you have done that, reach out to those people and get complete. You will feel liberated and the lighter for it.

Speak it if you feel it, don’t let the fear of consequences sway your action.


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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