Up close and Personal with my special guest “Fear”

Up close and personal with fear. Just one of many conversations I have had with “fear” as I move toward living in the result of accomplishing my dreams and goals.

Oh tis true fear; how I love thee, let me count thy ways.

I want to know and own all of my fear; name it and go through its tight constricting grip on my Universe of dreams to the other side…to where I’ve never been thanks to fear limiting my world.

Nickname all the fear, which is unclear, that comes to me as fleeting thoughts and making decisions at times without being in the present moment; I want it all unveiled now.

 

Asking myself so many questions, why am I in all of the current situations I find myself? Not to analyze every step mentally, but what is the feeling behind why I am here? What vehicle drove me to this location; on what road did I take? What is the draw, the benefit to my surroundings? What is the cost each day I stay in this place?   Where was I conditioned to think I must overcome or fight this battle and win? What do I win?

Nothing outside of me is really a battle; it is a reflection of my inner world. The battle within, coupled with my inability to stay consistent, because fear is the driver.  What if I take a wrong turn, re-visit an old rest stop or gulp…look weak not strong, stupid not smart or end up vulnerable and used?

The incapacitating feeling it creates; it restricts vulnerability and keeps me trapped…when it is so much easier to show my heart.  That fear “thing”; I must put my toe in the water and be free!

Instead I sometimes draw a line in the sand with my head and close up my heart further…for me I decided awhile back, “the cycle needs to end once and for all”.  And it has been a long journey away from my head and the fears within that small space.

I live in my heart more of the time than I ever did in the past, but it is not enough to allow me to touch the sky. At times, fear still manages to take the wheel and drive without my seeming knowledge or permission.

Today, I feel it. A major change happening within to pull me out of the outworn values and conditioning, self-limiting beliefs I feel restricted by…

Everything outside of me is a symbol; it only has the meaning and power I give to it, which depending on the circumstances remains a variable. A technique I use that partially rescinds fear from stopping me cold… is when I accept where I am emotionally. Not battling myself. I combine that technique with the knowing that I have to make distinct choices, which require different action.

Then I am stuck momentarily.

What are the different options available for a new decision?  Good question.

And as I sit with my circumstances, digging deeper, asking “why”?  I find being with the smallness in me starts to unravel the ties that bind me from my own light. I watch the iron clasps melt away like butterflies newborn on a summer day, as I go into my hell to be purified from the demon within that says “no” I am not worthy.

Its never just one area of my life, I’m the common cord… its all related.

So fear, we’ll start with developing a little consistency and commitment.

To be consistent; how do I treat me like I matter all the time? And in accordance; I seek a mirror, which reflects the consistency of treating myself with kindness and acknowledging my value. I am committed to show up for myself. And even if it is difficult, I will communicate honestly with me, stay committed and be supportive of my mistakes and weakness. This means I can’t run, hide or cut off from myself.

My approach needs mindfulness and awareness.

Even though awareness requires an elevated amount of attention to my inner life, it is much better than wallowing in a high level of discomfort, because I am STUCK.

In the mirror I seek in another human being, I know that whatever they reflect back to me positive or negative, it is what they feel about their own self too.

I want a kind, compassionate, forgiving, loving mirror reflected back to me…

So, I must be a kind compassionate, forgiving, loving being to me first.

How do I change my perception? I dig deeper to unveil the pain that keeps me trapped and makes me fearful.

And sometimes walking through your fear, you may notice it is still foggy yet heavy. And this when I ask the question; what is so old in me that I can’t give or receive from this place? Is it numb?

This is when I stay in this uncomfortable space, hunkered down feeling the heaviness, the fogginess…watching for an answer…where did this fear start and how is it true? (It never is by the way)

Time to REALLY commit, down on the mat…let’s go fear, c’mon, show me what you got…let’s go! Can I recognize all its insidious ways, those elusive feelings and thoughts; can I catch them with my butterfly net?

Keep moving through the fear, call it by name! Stay committed to unveiling the fear…

Its time to jump into the ring of fire—why not? I mean why not stay stuck like most others?

Well, for me I have a simple answer.

I want to live my dreams, reach my goals of true love, happiness and peace…not goals others set for me, but the ones that come from my heart and soul. The dreams which allow me to soar and be fulfilled…otherwise, I just drag along this “Facade or part of me which feels like it’s all too difficult. The empty shell who asks isn’t there a good show on TV to watch or someone’s else’s drama I can insert myself into so I don’t have to commit to this happiness?”

I don’t want to settle…and neither do the people who come to me as clients, we all want the full LIFE experience.

My favorite saying has been for years; “Wherever I go, there I am”.  So no matter what distraction I get stuck on or what groovy move I think will lead to a new me…I just bring the same ol’ me with me if I am not aware.

Where I go is unknown, I just know I can’t stay here on this journey within…sooooo…. where are those fears? Let me at em’!!!

I will embrace my fears- all that I feel and see go by as an old movie, leaving me raw yet at a place to begin again in peace? Yes.

As I conclude this post, I have made a new decision. I am making a promise to myself; I will do what is within my power now to pay close attention to my impulses, instincts, and desires to recognize my fear big or small. As I recognize it, I will actively record it mentally or on paper. I will be diligent and go through the fear…. walk right into the fire…and take a new course of action immediately!

That would be a different choice, wouldn’t it?

 

Happiness, Goals and the FEAR Box

Definition of the fear box : 

A place we imprison ourselves without even realizing how we arrived there. It allows us to compartmentalize our lives, not deal with fears, and play it safe with NO emotional risks.

In the box, our actions and beliefs don’t correspond to our dreams/goals. It is familiar and comfortable, yet very uncomfortable too.

We may complain and say we want things to be different, but continue to invest in building thicker walls in our box, while we wait. We wait for the magical day to appear in which it is safe to come out and play. We may be waiting for the planets to align, or a person; wishing for confidence or stability, security, a green light and any other “outside” sign telling us its safe to proceed. This day WILL NEVER come.

Ya just gotta do it!

Each day is an opportunity. Yet, how many people wake up on a “regular” day without a catalyst and take the leap of faith to live their heart’s desire?

Pulling people out of their FEAR box doesn’t work.

It took me years to finally release myself from pulling people along in my personal life. I did it to ignore my fears. Until I was pretty far along on my journey into awareness did it become clear; I hid in this role.

I didn’t realize what a high cost it was for me to always be the shoulder to cry on, the Dear Abby, the “nice and funny” person until a few years back. Let me say, old habits and beliefs die-hard; it’s been a long process to let go.

I didn’t want to look at why I carried a low level of anxiety and loneliness. What belief about myself created this facade? Keeping me surrounded by my own limitations, in my FEAR box.

I remember when I was a kid; my mom told me I wasn’t nice and no one would like me. She said I was selfish and cold; that I didn’t need anyone and was already like an adult at 8 years old. The thing is all of those words were background music to my actions and beliefs I developed about myself FOR YEARS.

I figured if I was this other “person” then what my mom said would NOT be true. I could prove her wrong and make it so people loved me and needed me. (Btw-This was not obvious to me until I did transformative work and took action.)

I thought if I weren’t nice, no one would be my friend.

If I wasn’t trying to fix their lives with my “words of wisdom” or “support” then I would be alone in this world.

Funny, how what you are afraid of most happening, ends up happening.

Slowly and I mean slowly, I became aware of it in my personal life. Thankfully, in my coaching practice I am able to provide without taking anything personally. It is a healthy relationship with my clients.

I have released all people in my personal life to go freely and live in their boxes. I subscribed to a skewed philosophy that if others saw me living by my word they would be inclined too.

Not so.

And how self-righteous was my view? Who am I to take what people asked for in my support or guidance and remind them through honest words?

Someone told me I make it impossible to hide.

So I gave up the dysfunctional relationships where there was no alternative. Ones in which I allowed others’ to make me responsible for their well-being. I accepted in my remaining relationships that I’m supportive, but I don’t invest in the choices of others as my personal crusade.

As I take action and live from a place of authenticity for myself, I realized that I had a hard time personally listening to people repetitively complain about the same thing (beyond venting) or tell me stories, which made them victims.

And if I agreed, I’d feel like I was letting them off the hook to their fulfilling their own dream. It’s not my personal job.

Now in my personal life I don’t make that investment. I accept and don’t try to fix.

I’m there as a friend who may ask questions and be supportive, but not as their therapist.

Have you found yourself in that role? You are welcome to retire any time.

Take all that energy and focus on what holds you back from your own dreams. And if you are inclined, pop out of your FEAR box.

As I’ve learned by coaching people and watching them move toward their dreams, it is about making the commitment to oneself.

No one can do the heavy lifting for us. Only we can do it to have our lives become what we say we want.

I will continue to take risks, which are uncomfortable as hell every day; push me beyond my own limitations and not sabotage myself. I know when I honor myself; I honor others. I accept others and I can still choose to take my own fork in the road and find new traveling companions. Or if I stay, it is from this place of fulfillment in my heart.

I invested in a romantic relationship that was not fulfilling me in any way. Safe topics were cool. And like the relationship with my parents, we rarely addressed issues between the two of us. The pink elephant was in the room; unless I reached my limit of being able to NOT focus on what was obviously wrong.

No change ever happened. …I gave up fixing and pulling, so the relationship fell away. And as I move on, intimacy is something I no longer fear.

I chose to invest in men who preferred to never rise to the occasion; stuck deep in their own boxes. I preferred this to keep me single and in my FEAR box.

Why, if I am saying I wanted to be married was I working so hard at investing in the opposite? Haha.

Old commitment fears and issues die-hard too.

I keep taking Ol’ Bessie in hand here and am honest with myself. I know the fear I felt had nothing to do with the other person; it is my fear of my own emotions coming at me—can I handle them? Now? YES I can.

Pop right out of my FEAR box!

Love is spacious, fear is limiting and once again I walk on my hot coals. I don’t have to slam doors. I don’t fear a committed relationship as a prison; I can just love.

As my client told me jokingly last week when we were setting his appointment for this week: “ Next week could be rough, with everybody “needing me”. Can’t I just go back into hiding and be a recluse? I blame/thank you for this.”

My client is in a healthy, happy relationship now, a great social life and developing a whole new division of his business for himself too.

He is one of the reasons I coach, watching people pop out of their FEAR boxes and create the happy life they want.

 

Relationships and the Common Denominator

I’d like to ask you a question or two…

In regard to a current or past relationship, what was the dynamic in this relationship and do/did you find yourself in the present moment (rather than the past) when strong emotions came up?

How did you feel right before you said words that provoked a fight beween you both; or made you inclined to walk out the door? What was the feeling when you were compelled to make a decision in the midst of any strong emotion? How OLD was that feeling, which initiated your action?

What is it you “do” that re-creates the same issues again and again in your relationships?

The “doing” is old conditioning and being unaware of your own emotions in the moment, what is it that is NOW being provoked, which brings the past into the present?

We are only doomed to failure in a relationship (barring abuse or some other event which is harmful to one’s mental/physical health) because it is what we work toward creating, when we “unconsciously” and falsely believe it is what we deserve.

When relationships have failed in the past what is the commonality?

What was the feeling that took you over in 0-60 that lead you to ruin? Who or what is driving the car?

One may ask herself/himself, “Why do I focus on things that ruin my inner peace and I can’t control? When I do something to try and control it, which makes it worse. It is like I’m watching a rerun of a past situation in a relationship.”  

Nothing is written in stone, so why do we act as though “this always happens to me”, as though we are unaware of what we create in our relationships?

In this state of auto-pilot, we use blaming, cajoling, forcing and withholding to get what we believe is the perfect outcome.  When we use these tactics the outcome is never fulfilling, it usually leaves us wanting more.

It is never is about the other person.

It is what we allow when we don’t have boundaries or we traverse the boundaries of our partner hoping for a reaction.

Who is right or wrong? Who cares? The people engaged in the struggle are in an ancient battle. A re-enactment of their history, except this time with a different person.

I always love the saying, “wherever you go, there you are.”

And in the context of relationships…we bring “me” to “we” and think that the new person is different, until we find certain commonalities of communication and reaction we had in past relationships. And what is the common denominator?

Awareness brings openness.

And to see how you truly are the creator of your life, watch how you anticipate certain responses, actions and reactions from your partner.

Have you noticed when you emotionally feel a certain way, let’s say insecure…you get a specific reaction? Is your partner programmed depending on how you approach he/she to respond to you in a familiar pattern?

And you do realize there are two of you here?  Although when dealing with the ghost of relationships past, he/she could be a “stand in” used for the present, instead of a real human being. You both are playing a role in the same stale story wanting a different climax and result.

The outcome you seek may not be the same as your partner. So, again who is right or wrong?

We tend to hold our partner accountable for their response to us without first seeing the dynamic we bring to the situation.  We build a case against them and  if this relationship fails, we bring it to the next one.

I’ve mentioned it before, when you THINK you know what your partner will do or say WITHOUT them having done or said anything… YOU are building that future moment; you have all the tools or weapons to make it happen.

Our body language, tone of voice and words we use all are aimed “unconsciously”at that consequence; one from the past.

We are creating what we think is beyond our control. Truly.

We take no notice of the feeling we have before we engage in the act of destruction, except “not getting our way.”  What it comes down to is “my way”, “I want my way!” 

And in your desire to have what you want; the will of another must bend to your way or play along in your “ancient” battle. You create the outcome “you know and it is familiar”. And the bummer is, you never feel satisfied when this happens, ever.

You create more stories.

When you honor and respect yourself, you inspire that in another.

When you approach a person as though you are a 5 year old having a temper tantrum and must have your way…. you usually don’t get your way without a cost.

And this does NOT mean yelling or violence externally. It means the single-mindedness you have in your thinking cap of the situation turning out how you believe it should, like unanswered needs of a small child.

When we are unaware of our inner mental patterns they tend to be distorted, self-sustaining and contribute to auto-pilot resurrection of the past in the present. 

Awareness gives freedom.

No matter what took place in a past relationship you have the power NOW to choose how you feel and act. 

Awareness grows through being in the present moment and making different choices.

Take a breath, a pause, relax when thoughts and physical sensations become intense…listen to their story.

When you learn to sit with the intensity of your emotions, you have the ability to create…. because you relax; the peace and spaciousness grow and awareness shows you are not reacting to a present moment, but one from a story long ago.

Even if you have no intensity in emotion and you are simply anticipating words or behavior from your partner … you are not “predicting”,  you are setting up the story-line.

All of the storyline is from the past.

Again, pause to stop thinking “I know” and let something happen based on a clean slate.  Don’t color it. Treat it like the first time. A new experience with this person, situation or conversation. You have the magical ability to create a completely different outcome now.

Life is about creating, new experiences and opportunities, NOW. It doesn’t have to be limited to re-living the past.