Fear and anxiety have been the words that have stood out for me today. Recognition that I feel both. Final acceptance. I don’t like to admit that I am afraid. I don’t really suppose anyone does?
A lovely friend gave me a brilliant little book called ‘Start where you are’ for Christmas and it is full of little exercises alongside positive or thought provoking quotes. I scribbled through a fair few of them in Africa, opened my mind to my dreams, of plans, of travel, of the future unlimited my anyone or anything.
Today the page fell open on a different page.
“Fears are paper tigers.” And the adjacent exercise had two outlined lions and inside of each tiger I had to write 3 of my biggest fears. Once done, admitted, accepted and out there on the page, I had to colour in the tigers so I couldn’t see my fears. Gone. Easy as that. Paint over them, with bright colour. The fear, just a thought on paper.
I have a tug of war, or many tugs of war going on in. But the common denominator is fear against courage. The mind against the heart.
Fear. Fear of it being too soon to forgive him again, let him too close again, love him again.
Courage. Courage from my heart to accept dinner and movie, a cuddle on the sofa.
Fear. Fear of being hurt again, fear of finding out more hidden secrets and lies.
Courage. Courage to see his remorse, his tears, hear his words and see them as truthful and real.
Fear. Fear of being alone, a lonely sad and bitter spinster, bitter and ugly.
Courage. Courage to allow myself to have fun, be happy, to do what I love doing, be with who I love and just to be me.
Fear. Fear of being together, just because on paper, in spreadsheets it is the right decision for the best future for the boys, but in reality, being unhappy and dejected.
Courage. Courage to take steps to find my own bolt hole for the time being, just the 3 of us to give me confidence on being alone.
Fear. Fear of loving again. Fear of being in this heartbroken pain again.
Courage. Courage to know that one day I will be able to trust again. One day.
Fear. Fear of never knowing what choice to make, fear of always being undecided and ‘in limbo’. Courage. Courage to know that one day, I will wake up and just know.
My heart pulls him in.
My mind pushes him away.
One day, my heart will win. Either because it still loves him, or the love is all gone. Until that day, the battle will rage. And I will remain in state of anxious annoyance. The one where I live in the moment, focussing on seeing all the good around me, in him now, not then. The one where I run as fast as I can to outrun the pain, the anger, the frustration of why? How? WHY?. The one where I lie in bed and count my breath in and out to focus my mind away from the chatter.
And I take hope from my passage in the ‘Get Happy’ Book.
“Hold hands with anxiety.” It says. For it motivates us. “…learn to see it as a friend or scared child and hold its hand.” Doing anything new, working through any change will always bring with it a certain level of anxiety, but recognition of the fear, acceptance of the fear can help you perform beyond expectation, by keeping you on your toes, heighten your senses. Fear can be a friend.
And overcoming fear (your head), with courage (your heart), makes you brave.