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Monday, January 24, 2011

85. Conquer(ing) a Fear

I changed the title from conquer to Conquering a Fear.  That's because I've learned that you can conquer a fear once and it can still be something you fear. I have all kinds of fears that I've "conquered" at one time or another; heights (I went zip lining a 1000 ft above the ground), throwing up (I haven't had to conquer this fear in almost two years! Praise Jesus), spiders (summer fusion studio...that hadn't been cleaned in 4 years...spider haven...Katie Mustian knows what I'm talking about), public speaking (I'm the queen of conversation but make it a legit <insert formal> speaking affair and I forget my name), and the most disgusting (yes more disgusting than throwing up) fear of all...touching raw meat (I didn't touch raw meat till I was twenty...I sometimes regret ever conquering this). No matter how many times I conquer them, I still fret about them, get anxiety over them, and/or just plain dread doing them sometimes. Now the fear that I ended up conquering was one that I didn't ever think I would share on my blog...but here goes nothing.

Its quite simple, I fear being honest with people about how I truly feel. I know that must seem like a joke because here I am writing a blog, where all I do is share my feelings and opinions. And when it comes to that and sharing how I feel about fashion, food, friends boyfriends (once they become husbands, my lips are sealed, that's between them and God, but until then...) I am an open book. And I'm perfectly fine with sharing my feelings when they involve me being happy, excited, elated, joyful, surprised, you know all the "good" ones. But being honest with people when they hurt me or disappoint me or just sharing my (unhappy) feelings in general...I have a very hard time doing that. I  avoid it at all cost.

If I see someone else being treated wrong, I have no qualms about saying something. I don't know why I don't do the same for myself. Now I'm sure I could go lay on a couch somewhere, discuss my problem for hours and try to figure out where this started and why I am the way I am. But I'd probably just end up with bed sores (from laying down so much), a massive pile of bills, and blaming my parents (isn't that always the answer). And I'd be no closer to sharing my emotions and thus conquering my fear.

Actually, I got a lot of insight about myself from watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Love that I didn't have to pay anything to sit on my couch). Adrienne (the sparkly haired one) was saying how patient she was with her children compared to her husband. Well as a viewer I'm hearing what she's saying but I'm also watching the scene unfold. And what I see is two little boys, pitching fits about chocolate milk, dropping hamburgers on the ground, and saying inappropriate things about poop and butts (typical boys). The father corrects them, and this is where she says she's more patient than him, because she was fine with their (poor) behavior. I'm not judging her parenting (if she's cool with her kids growing up to be the next "famous for no reason" celebs entering rehab, coolness, ok I'm judging a little), I'm  judging her use of the word patient. Ignoring her kids bad behavior doesn't make her patient. Tolerant of high pitched whining voices and capable of zoning out, yes. Patient no. All I saw was a parent avoiding dealing with her kids. And  that's where my story ties in. 

I've always claimed to be a calm person. Someone who is in control of her emotions. I believed this because I rarely got angry. Like Giselle from the movie Enchanted, the concept of anger ("Anger...I've heard of it") was foreign to me. Whenever someone would (legitimately) upset/hurt/disappoint me, instead of dealing with it, I would run away from <insert avoid> it. The audience of my life (which is pretty much just my mom) has witnessed this scenario happen over and over again.  But it hit me, like how Adrienne avoiding her kids bad behavior, didn't make her patient, me avoiding my problems didn't make me a calm person, it made me coward. So I had a choice...either I had to start telling people I was coward (who wants to do that) or I had to change how I handled situations. Now this is where the fear came in. Because it's one thing to acknowledge that I avoid dealing with my emotions. It's another thing to actually deal with my emotions. Because that would mean dealing with the people who caused them.

I wish I could say I spearheaded this change on my own, but I didn't. This past week my feelings were deeply hurt by someone very close to me but instead of saying anything, I just kept quiet. I had no plans on telling this person that they hurt me. But my mom knowing this person, interfered, and told them. Her one act of telling them, presented me the perfect opportunity to tell this person how I felt <insert conquer my fear>. It was not easy. I dreaded doing it. I had so much anxiety over it. But now that its over <insert sigh of relief> I feel so much better.

{If this story was just mine to tell, I would share more details, but its not. There are other people involved, who didn't decide to put their life up on a blog. So out of respect for them, I'm going to keep the details to a minimum (pretty much what you read above, is what you get). Thank you for understanding.}

When I put Conquer a Fear on my list, I envisioned myself writing about me bungee jumping (#75), figuring I could cross two things off  at once. I didn't set out to conquer my fear of sharing my feelings. But everything fell into place and that's what happened. That's what this list is all about right? Taking hold of the opportunities that present themselves, I love it. To gauge sharing feelings vs. bungee jumping on a fear-meter(0-10), bungee jumping would get a five, where as sharing my feelings would get an eleven. I'm still conquering this fear, so I'm sure I'll still fret about doing it. But since I've conquered it once, I know that I can do it again. Here's to conquering my fears and to no longer being a coward! (Amen)

{P.S. Don't worry, I'm not going to become one of those crazies (with a chip on their shoulder), who just goes around telling people how they feel. Doing it under the notion of "being real", when in actuality a lot of times its just mean or rude or crazy. No, if anything, being "real" <insert bitter, mean, nasty> makes people shut their ears and not listen. I've learned through all this, that its allowing God's grace to come in and cover all your words (the good, the bad, and the ugly), that allows people to hear what you have to say and receive it in love.}

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