Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Tag
If you learn from a loss you have not lost. I lost my grandfather. He had been ill the last time I saw him and I knew it was coming and yet, I was still not prepared for the depth of my grief. I had lost loved ones before, but while I had loved them, they weren’t him. He was special. He saw me. If you know what it means to be seen I don’t need to say anymore.
If you’ve never felt seen, let me explain what that feels like: It is the very best feeling; better than love, better than friendship. It’s looking into another’s eyes and seeing complete acceptance, acknowledgement, and the truest form of love. I got that from him. Every time he looked at me. Every conversation we had. Every moment we shared together and then he was gone. He moved on and I was left feeling worrying that I would never know that kind of love again; I would never be seen.
We all wear so many masks. We wear them to fit a role: mother, sister, wife, father, brother, husband and good worker. We wear them to protect us in social situations. For so many of us, we hide ourselves because we are afraid that the truth of who we are will not be acceptable. If others, even those who we trust with our love, were to see who we really are they would turn from us, that we will be seen not as angels but as monsters.
Do you see your loved ones? Do you let yourself be seen? I have been reading Dr. Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. It’s an extraordinary piece of work. It’s beautiful and terrifying. Dr. Brown explains that while we are all afraid of making ourselves vulnerable, study after study shows that the majority of people are truly rooting for you. They want to see you; they admire your courage. It’s eye opening information.
The very thing we are protecting ourselves from could be the source of our greatest strength. It’s in large part because of these two things—the loss of my grandfather, and being inspired to let myself be seen despite deep shyness and a healthy amount of social terror—that I started my blog, and am working on starting my own business. Before last year these are two things that I would have never considered. They were for other people, not me. As I sorted through my grandparents’ photographs looking for a keepsake photo of my grandfather and me, a talisman I could hold on to, it occurred to me that my family’s photos were in desperate need of organization and preservation.
I began to think that I couldn’t be the only one in this situation. That there had to be others who were grieving a loss and were left with shoeboxes filled with precious family photos and no idea how to keep them safe. I knew I could help. I could help them and I could help me. I’m naturally organized; my mom calls it bossy. I’m an amateur photographer, I’m a postdoctoral researcher studying preservation of medical traditions, and I’ve lost someone very dear to me. I’m perfect for the job of photo organizer! But wait, I’m an introvert. I’m very shy. I’m very private. I hate any kind of public display. I find posting my status on Facebook challenging. The thought of putting me out there, of letting others see me was just terrifying.
How could I let myself be so exposed? What if I failed? And that’s when I remembered what this was all about, my fear of never feeling seen again. How could I ever be seen if I hid behind my fears? If I didn’t put myself out there, no one would even know to look for me. See, I know that I struck the emotional jackpot with my grandpa. He was there from the day I was born supporting me, encouraging me, believing in me. If I ever wanted that again, I would have to actively seek it from someone else. Or would I?
You see, as I started to open myself up to being vulnerable, as I started to show myself through my blog, through my actions, an amazing thing happened: I began to feel seen. I began to feel appreciated. I began to feel admired, and what’s amazing is that he was also there from the moment I was born; he had been rooting for me the whole time. He was me. I had been so busy hiding from others that I hadn’t realized the real person I was hiding from was me. I had denied myself my greatest champion. I had been scared to not measure up to the ridiculousness of my internal standards, scared that if I tried and failed, I would hate me. But that’s ridiculous! If I can’t accept myself, see myself as great, how can I expect anyone else to see that? It’s a trap so many of us fall into.
I’m still a work in progress and I still catch myself trying to hide so others won’t notice me, won’t judge me, but I am getting stronger. I am better at acknowledging that there is only one me and he is kind of fun. Now when I look into my eyes, I see me and I see my grandpa and I feel the love and support that was always there.
- Shame – The Big No-Go Area (conqueringfearspiritually.com)
Fear is the worst kind of grave, because it buries one alive. Fear can force obedience, but it can never transform a heart. What you fear will not go away; it will take you into yourself and bless you and keep you. That’s the world, and we all live there. Fear kills everything; your mind, your heart, your imagination. Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure. It’s better to die laughing than to live each moment in fear. One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end. Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it. Imagine not being frightened by any feeling. Imagine knowing that nothing will destroy you and you are beyond any feeling, and state. There is no reason to use drugs because anything a drug could do would pale in comparison to knowing who you are. Find what you are afraid of, face it, and then you won’t be afraid of it anymore.
Fear is about the loss of familiar things. We fear losing the jobs we don’t like and the people we don’t love. This is what keeps us stuck in insanity. We fear losing the comfort of a habit that gets in our way. This is why we continue to numb ourselves. We fear the loss of pleasures that we enjoy. This is what causes us to lie, cheat or steal. We fear losing our youth. This is why we are deceitful about our age or try to stay forever young.
We fear losing our money or never having enough. This is what causes us to ignore the people around us and to work an insane amount of hours. We fear losing our status or recognition. This is what causes us to pretend to be someone we’re not. We fear death or losing our health. This is what causes us to ignore and neglect the elderly population. We fear losing our children. This is why they can’t talk to strangers or play in the front yard. We fear losing our sense of identity. This is why we worship our degrees, titles and live in cubicle prison.
We fear losing our sense of safety. This is why have stuff packed in storage units and supplies stockpiled for doomsday. We fear feeling unlovable and being unloved. This is why we become people-pleasers and lose our souls in the process. Fear sucks. The only way to get around this nonsense is to understand that we really don’t have any of these things to begin with. Every thing is subject to change and alteration.
Safety is an illusion. The only thing that we can count on is the present moment. Notice that you are safe right now and get on with what you need to do!
- Afraid Of The Dark? (visual.ly)
- On Fear, Love, And How Bummed I Am Right Now (kuyajot.wordpress.com)
- Are You Fearful … or Fearless ?? (suzfitness.wordpress.com)
- Stop Allowing Fear to Rule Your Life (positivethoughtsonlife.wordpress.com)
- What is your fear? (gettingumotivated.com)
- Full of Fear (flightoftheflightless.com)
- Acknowledging gently (mindfulbalance.org)
- Everyone Seems So Afraid (ourhumanlife.com)
- SHRINK YOUR FEARS (by Bob Gas) (inspiration4generations.wordpress.com)
- Facing Fear (jonathanhilton.com)
You perceive this feeling when you have just gone through a breakup, or lost your job, and everything is terrible and terrifying and you don’t know what to do, and you find yourself crying in a pile on your bedroom floor, barely able to remember how to use the phone, desperately looking for some sign of God in old letters, or your Facebook newsfeed or on Glee, finding nothing there to comfort you?
Come on, yes you do. We all do. In this moment, in this pile on the floor, you are more powerful than you’ve ever been. You get strength and possibility during a time of change and uncertainty in life. In pieces, warrior-style, on the back of a crocodile; “never not broken,” the double negative here means that broken right down, but this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror. It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable. We can get acquainted with the power from being broken and in flux, pulling apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations. The thing about going through sudden or scary or sad transitions; like a breakup, is that you lose your future: your expectations of what the story of your life so far was going to become. When you lose that partner or that job or that person, your future dissolves in front of you and of course, this is terrifying.
But look this way, now you get to make a choice. In pieces, in a pile on the floor, with no idea how to go forward, your expectations of the future are meaningless. Your stories about the past do not apply. You are in flux, you are changing, you are flowing in a new way, and this is an incredibly powerful opportunity to become new again that is to choose how you want to put yourself back together. Confusion can be an incredible teacher—how could you ever learn if you already had it all figured out?
We are still left with rudiments of reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. The predatory power of reptilians like crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they pluck their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl that prey like a dervish seeking God, they use the power of spin rather than brute force to feed themselves. By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature’s attitude; you refuse to reject this fear or let it control you. You will learn to ride on it. You get on this reptilian brain that lives inside the river, inside the flow. You take your fear down to the river and use its power to navigate the waves, and spin in the “never not broken” water and that is beautiful.
In our lineage it is like a spinning, multi-faceted prism. Imagine the Hope Diamond twirling in a bright, clear light. The light pouring through the beveled cuts of the diamond would create a whirling rainbow of color. The diamond is whole and complete and because it’s fractured, it creates more diverse beauty. Its form is a spectrum of whirling color. That means that this feeling of confusion and brokenness that every human has felt at some time or another in lives is a source of beauty and color and new reflections and possibilities.
If everything remained the same, if we walked along the same path down to the river every day until there was a groove there as we do; habits or even some scars, this routine would become so limited, so toxic to us that, well, the fear would catch on, and we’d get plucked from the banks, spun and eaten. So the time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness is right time to get up on that fear, ride it down to the fear river, dip into the waves, and let your self break loose. You will become a prism. All the places where you are shattered can now reflect light and color where there was none. Now is the time to become something new, to choose a new whole. But remember; even that new whole, that new, colorful, amazing groove that we create, is an illusion. It means nothing unless we can keep on breaking apart and putting ourselves together again as many times as we need to. We are already “never not broken.” We were never a consistent, limited whole. In our brokenness, we are unlimited and that means we are amazing.
- Fear Unfound (kratosenlogos.wordpress.com)
- The girl I knew… (campuswriting.com)
- Fear is the Mind-Killer (themyriadthoughts.wordpress.com)
- Women’s Biggest New Year’s Fears (kymx.cbslocal.com)
- The Crocodile And The Wise Girl (And The Startup) (lalitkeshre.com)
- Vera’s Story “The Way Out” (Story 1 of 31) (deepandwonderfulthoughts.wordpress.com)
- On Fear by Mary Ruefle (objetsdevertu.wordpress.com)
- Yann Martel, Life of Piscine Molitor Patel (sylviemheroux.wordpress.com)
- William Dean A. Garner ~ Sun Tzu To The Reptilian-Jesuits: America Of 2013 Is Not The Weimar Republic Of 1923 (shiftfrequency.com)