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In Which I Stumble Around and am Afraid

January 14, 2015

Of course, it turns out that practicing what you preach is so much harder than I thought.

I did not sleep much again last night, and woke up with heartburn. (In Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life terms, that would be “Fear. Fear. Fear. Clutching fear.”)

And it was the same old things…fear of how I perceive these family members, of how I think they will hurt me again in the future. Fear of what the world thinks of me because I can’t seem to do everything perfectly. Fear of the consequences of my next mistake.

I started the day well. Discovered a YouTube video via Mary Hayes Grieco’s Facebook page. It was an explanation of a short prayer that author Debra Engle uses to combat fear (the theory being that fear is at the heart of most of our issues).

This resonated with me. I plan on using it.

As the day went on though, I kept finding (or, my ego kept finding) new and exciting ways to lose hope. Constant reminders of the things I’m afraid of, and this nagging sense that there is no safe future for me, that bad things will continue to happen, that there is nothing I can do to make anything better. I searched the world around me for proof that things are terrible and are going to be terrible, and, because I was searching so diligently for it, I inevitably found it.

And I found myself retreating to my usual coping mechanism, which is a whole lot of anger. Which I took out on my husband and children, because anger seemed easier to cope with than “clutching fear.”

For some reason I think that I am owed guarantees of what the future will be like. That if I do all the right things, everything’s going to be fabulous and no one will ever, ever criticize me. (Never mind that I certainly haven’t kept the peace myself.)

Tosha Silver has a chapter in Outrageous Openness about how the world can seem a stark and hopeless place “without God.” She even attaches the phrase to sentences just to change the dynamic: “this is what my family/job/money situation looks like…without God.” The idea being that with the Divine, everything changes, if we just let go of how strongly we hold to these stories that we tell ourselves about how horrible the world is. If we really do believe in a Divinely-inspired universe—then it is imperative that we let the hell go of the lies.

So I guess I’m sitting here today trying to get past my own stories about my family, despite the big scary world out there that looks like it’s out to get me in the form of people who (I think) don’t understand me and actively dislike me.

Although I know that I am going to need to surrender this idea that I can fix all of this by myself. I’ve been “controlling” all of this for years, and it has made me miserable. The good news seems to be that the only thing that needs fixing are the perceptions inside of my head.

I wrote quite a bit of my dissertation today, but I can’t seem to get the old writing high I used to get. When was the last time that happened, actually? Again, this reliance upon the external things to make me happy.

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