I've been avoiding these posts. Completely. I don't want to write them. I don't want to think about them. I don't really want to read what anybody else writes about them. I wish one would go away and the other would shape up. But wishful thinking doesn't equal taking responsibility for my own life. So....
Fear -- I believe fear is the ultimate weapon against transformation, the ultimate roadblock on the journey of becoming. Faith like a mustard seed may move mountains, but fear multiplies faster than the worst weed and chokes out anything else trying to grow. Like controlling weeds, controlling fear requires constant monitoring and immediate action. When fear sprouts, we must notice right away and take measures to control it while it's small and still manageable. If we don't, pretty soon we find it taking over. When unchecked, fear has the power to immobilize, to bring out our worst qualities, to spew harm and hate, to bury us alive.
I struggle with fear. I battle it. I sometimes let it stop me in my tracks. I have missed opportunities. I have shortchanged relationships. But I'm learning. I'm learning to take a step in spite of the fear. I've learned to listen to the fear and figure out who is really afraid and let the parts of me that know better assure the little girl, or the searching soul, or the fumbling mother, or the wounded wife that everything is going to be okay. I'm also learning to admit the fear instead of burying it below layers upon layers of defense. Once it's out there, spoken out loud, somehow it seems more manageable. I don't know that I will ever conquer it, but maybe, just maybe, someday I'll learn to co-exist with it and continue on my way in spite of it.
Family -- I want to say a lot of wonderful things about family. But I can't. I'm struggling with family right now. I'm struggling with letting go of the illusions of what I want family to be and accepting the reality of what family is. I want to differentiate from my family, letting their inclinations and expectations control me less, but without completely destroying relationships. It's been difficult to admit the areas where my family has failed me... and it's been difficult to move beyond blame to accepting responsibility for my own life. I've watched and listened to person after person struggle with the pain caused them by their families, the very people that should have loved and supported them. I think most of the clients I've seen so far have all been injured, and not just a little, by their families. I wonder if family really does anyone more good than harm. Yet, I envy families who appear close. Who travel together. Who celebrate holidays and birthdays and events together. I recognize that "the grass is greener" may just be an illusion, but there is a part of me that wants that illusion so much that I can feel the physical ache of the wanting. Family is complicated - and I don't yet have the answers. Family is a crucible for change, the furnace where true treasure is refined. But right now.... the fire feels a little hot.