Fear is this week’s prompt from Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge. See more at https://weeklyprompts.com/2022/05/04/weekly-prompts-wednesday-challenge-fear-what-if/
Just the word makes me want to hightail it to some place secluded, protected, and secret.
I came to realize some years ago that most of the issues causing me pain and discomfort have been caused by fear: my fear of failure, my fear of pain, my fear of isolation, my fear of being ‘found out’.
I never thought I was particularly brave, but it never occurred to me I was driven by such soul-sucking terror. How did I get so consumed by dread and worry? Why was I so afraid?
I may never know the answers to those questions, but I felt liberated once I recognized that anxiety had played a major part of my decision making. And with that ah-ha moment, I could stop and ask myself what I wanted to run from?
Sometimes (actually more than sometimes) my panic would be I was terrified someone would find out something about me I thought was bad or wrong. Heaven forbid I would be exposed to someone’s scrutiny and be found ‘less than’. I wanted to keep those self-described shortcomings to myself, hoping no one would see the real me.
It took me a long time to understand my secrets were probably the most interesting part of who I am, and if I kept them hidden, I would never be free to claim myself.
It’s not like I want to advertise every tidbit about myself, who wants to know that stuff anyway? But missteps I have taken, challenges I have faced, decisions I wish I hadn’t made, those are the things that molded me into who I am. If I had missed one of those steps, who would I be? Where would I be?
Besides, as I look back on those things I’ve been fearful about exposing, they aren’t nearly as awful as I thought they were when I was digging a hole to bury them. Fact is, often, they were funny. Sometimes they were even silly, and certainly more times than not, they weren’t even life-changing.
I’ve learned over the past 80 years, we all have our secrets, and mine aren’t any worse or better than someone else’s. Once I share my fears, my relationships with others flourish because those around me feel free to open up and share hidden parts of themselves.
Secrets keep me restrained, and I prefer freedom.