Friday, December 21, 2012

Revelation Series: #2

I wanted to post a little bit sooner but ended up getting pulled back to MN for absolutely no reason. The trip wasn't a complete waste, though, for a few reasons. I will keep those reasons to myself until I can reflect more upon them/am ready to share.

Even though I realistically have a TON of people that I desperately want to thank for various reasons, I would like to take a second to thank a few of those people without actually thanking them. Three people this past week agreed to put their reputations on the line to support me in my job search, without so much as a second thought. I cannot express to these people how much it means to me that they would do this because it also means they are confident that what they say about me will not reflect poorly on them or on me. You three know who you are--THANK YOU. I also need to thank one person who has already done so much for me without realizing it--this person has opened up their home to me, provided non-judgmental insight, and has been willing to provide as much support as I can comfortably allow (and then some) for no other reason (well, no other reason that is apparent to ME) than this person feels it's the right thing to do. This person also turned my attention to a book they felt might be useful for helping me work through some of these revelations I am stumbling through and it really IS helping. Regardless of where we find ourselves down the road, I will forever be grateful for and appreciative of this person and the fact that they came into my life when they did--THANK YOU. Yeah, YOU. You know who you are. 

This one isn't necessarily a "new" idea or an earth-shattering, insightful revelation but more like something I DO every day that I have recently found a new application for. Sometimes our revelations direct us to a new way of applying an old idea rather than being something totally novel to us and this is one of those. 

...I stole some of this from a text conversation with a friend. I don't think that person will mind. The rest comes from an old journal entry. I will apologize in advance for those who don't like to read tons--this is a doozy!

It's far more difficult to actually DEAL with our troubles than it is to simply sweep them under the proverbial rug and move on, or medicate them, or do destructive things to bury them so deep we don't think about them. We don't like to be reminded that occasionally, we fail at things that we are confident we should succeed at and fall short of our own expectations. Sometimes the people in our lives fall short of our expectations and when those people are close to us, we take it personally. The reward in dealing with our troubles, failures, and shortcomings is found in confronting them and beating them down with logic, pragmatism, and a little bit of selfish pride. This is truly the only way we will EVER grow into whomever it is we are destined to become. 

We are all on some kind of path; there is a person in the future that we are supposed to be and a place in the universe that we are supposed to fit into. ALL OF US. Why the hell else would we even be here if we didn't belong here? Many of us go through the motions in our lives, avoiding this confrontation. Why? Because it's easy! Because the path of confrontation is difficult and fraught with the dangers of being disappointed, not getting what it is we think we want/deserve, defying and tearing down old ways of thinking and sometimes even the foundations upon which we have built our entire being. That shit is scary! When we fail to recognize that the confrontation is necessary and we allow fear to direct our growth, we then begin to descend into a (metaphorical) dark, nasty-ass cave that becomes progressively more difficult to escape from as we continue to avoid confronting our "demons." What we don't realize is that our demons reside in this cave and they become progressively more nasty the deeper we descend. Some of us have some VERY DEEP FRICKEN CAVES and it turns out that I am one of those. Bats won't even hang out in my cave. Mordor closed off the entrance, even.

This is something I am excerpting from my journal--I wrote this several months ago when I began to understand that I was interfering with my own progress of becoming who I am REALLY supposed to be, simply by being afraid to confront my demons and drag my ass out of the cave. Yeah, it's one huge metaphor, I know...but metaphors help us relate complex ideas to something a little easier to understand. I'm intelligent but that doesn't mean I always "get it," especially when it comes to what is lurking in my cave.

"…you fall into this dark place, a place where light doesn’t reach. The deeper you go, the less you want to try to crawl back to the light as the descent was difficult enough, so you assume that the laws of physics apply here and the ascent will be even more difficult. You may take a step or two towards the light only to be pulled back by the dark. Your vision fails you and is limited by the darkness that is trying to swallow you."

That darkness, and the demons that reside within it, are completely of our own fabrication. It's easy to just close our eyes and let ourselves be enveloped by it.

What is fear, really? Fear is something that can (and does) keep us safe from harm. We don't jump into the lion's den because the lions have sharp teeth and they're probably hungry. I think the zoo might have rules against it or something as well. While most of us have probably never been mauled by a lion, we can imagine what it would be like by relating some other experience we have had (being bitten by a housecat, falling on our faces into a briar patch, etc.) and because we are able to reason that out, a healthy fear develops that tells us "getting munched by that giant cat will probably not be a great experience for you; stay out of the lion's den" and we listen. That's a healthy, necessary fear. It's reasonable. Fear is what drives our sense of self-preservation. Sometimes, though, our ability to reason out what is physically harmful and what is harmful to our psyche fails. The two become intertwined. We start to confuse primitive, necessary fear with artificial, detrimental fear based on things formerly recognized as secondary (or even unnecessary) to basic survival. Our caves are mortared with this fear and our demons feed from it. It is THIS FEAR that keeps us afraid in our own caves, shaking in our little cave boots. Only by challenging and vanquishing this fear can we overcome all of the things that we have created to shelter ourselves from our troubles. This in and of itself is completely terrifying and I won't deny that for a New York minute. Or a minute anywhere else. Change is hard. It takes a lot of effort and as valiant as those efforts may be, we will fall on our faces along the way. We will fail occasionally. But you know what? That doesn't matter. We pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and try again. Yeah, maybe we fail again, but we fail BETTER. We learn. Then, one day, we look around and realize that we have succeeded and that makes all those failures not failures anymore. They are now lessons learned and we have beaten a fear by persevering.

I have a very, very long way to go to break down my own fears and conquer demons but the fact that I recognize that has put me light years ahead of where I was six months ago. On the one hand, fear of physical harm is not something I possess. Those of you who know me fairly well already know this. I take some pretty wild (but calculated) risks--for years (and still now) I rode dangerous horses that no one else would ride; bought and drove cars that my friends thought would end up being my coffin; snowboarded in some dangerous snow country; fired guns no one was really sure would work properly; and will always be the first one to volunteer for any new adventure. My chosen profession comes with some serious risk of physical harm every day and I honestly don't think much about that. On the other hand, fear of failure, fear of not being loved/being alone, fear of disappointing people I care about and/or respect, and fear of changing the things that keep me fearful of those things are ones I do possess. I know there are more but these are the Double Down sandwiches of my fears. REALLY bad and really detrimental (and maybe too much deep-fried crap?), thus are the ones that are in the most dire need of confronting. I can't take them on all at once and no one should. Baby steps. I used to be a very impatient person; recently, I have seen the length of my fuse increase and am even able to look back and see the things that I just don't get bent out of shape about anymore. They seem so silly now...but at the time, they made me seethe. I am now patient. I am willing to take my time and heal myself and my heart, the right way for ME. Anything worth doing is worth doing well...and my physical and emotional well-being are worth the effort.

I will now leave you with the musical wonder that is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I love this song because the lyrics speak to the recognition of a fear/fears, the mastering of those fears, and the strength to decide that one will never return to a state of fear again. The video confronts this very same issue but on a different level. Plus, the song is just fricken cool, no matter how one interprets it!!


  1. Very interesting, having you mention fears. I am understanding how my fears developed in a different way now. A vast majority of them I have created myself ... from doubt, not giving things my all, not feeling confident, etc. Now, when I have fears --- I think .... why is this fearful to me? What happend or what have I told myself in the past that makes me feel this? Most of my fears are totally pointless yet they have stuck with me over time and often times, have grown.

    I am very proud that you are really taking time for yourself -- making the most of it that you can! :) You are understanding so many things and becoming very patient with yourself. You're doing very awesome ... and just like you said ... baby steps. :) xoxo

  2. Nicole,
    Thank You,Very interesting, makes one really think about working on your own self improvement.
    You have come a long ways, you are a awesome person. I only hope I can dig deep into myself like you to find the real person I am and deal with my fears.


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