Smokescreened fears

I promised myself I’d write something tonight.

I have no grand illusions of it being well crafted or even well thought out. I would like to do more well thought out writing, employing more rigorous self-editing and/or peer-editing processes. But tonight, I simply write.

That was the disclaimer. You have been warned.

Fear is a funny thing. Some fears are obvious to us. Great phobias or maybe tiny irrational things we can usually reason through for ourselves. Often fears are wrapped up in the unknown. But my least favourite kind of fear is the one I don’t know I have.

Every so often (and likely more often than I recognise!) I get absolutely hung up on something. Sometimes I get stuck on some aspect of something, usually when trying to make a decision about it, and can’t seem to get back on track or shake it off. Now, I am definitely known by those close to me for my over-thinking and my analytical way of processing some things. (Not all things, though, which is part of what makes me absolutely fascinating.) I think this problem and this trait must somehow be related.

Whatever it turns out to be, that which I’m over-focusing on ends up being a smokescreen. This is news to me — I didn’t know that until this evening. (Thanks to the analytical thing, I do now!) But the pattern does follow back through a wearying timeline of events spanning over three decades.

So the crazy smokescreen goes up. For made-up example, “I don’t see how I have time for lunch. There is no possible time I can go out now for lunch. I’m not sure I feel like Chinese food today. “. And usually people look at me very oddly. But when it came right down to it, I had lots of time and I rarely pass up Chinese food. It turns out that it’s always about something else when I get in a state like this. So, following my made-up example some more, maybe it’s an underlying fear that the people going don’t really want me to go and I fear I won’t be comfortable. Or maybe it’s the fear of what somebody else will think if I do go, because I’m out for lunch again. Or maybe it’s the fear that I won’t have anything interesting to say if I do go.

Oddly enough, when things present themselves like this for me I don’t see it at the time. Ah, the unknown, underlying fears… fears that I would usually be capable of talking myself through, if not out of completely. But instead are somehow hidden by what pretends to be reason or thoughtfulness, or, even worse, as “making the tough decisions”.

Somebody stop me… I’m afraid I’ve written too much. ;)

Anyway, my big fear (which I fully recognise) is that I’m the only one on the planet who does anything at all like this (or is silly enough to write about it) and it just makes me stranger than I was before. But, ah well. Too late now.

Who am I not to be?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory … that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marianne Williamson
First of all, for me, this quote is referring to the Glory and power of God being shown through us.  There is no fear in His Light.  Therefore there is no holding back what He placed within us to share.
I have mixed emotions when I read or hear part or all of this.  I first heard it in the movie Akeelah and The Bee — totally worth watching, by the way!  I deal with a lot of feelings of inadequacy in a lot of areas of my life.  I can identify a number of these things as LIES but sometimes that isn’t so easy.  So it’s hard to consider that my deepest fears are not tied up in inadequacies…
And yes, I have moments where I feel amazing… on top of the world… powerful, strong, ambitious, brilliant, fabulous, even beautiful on a really good day.  But generally speaking, if I feel like this for too long I wonder if humility went out the window… or if I am overpowering… or any number of other things.
I know I want to help others along.  I know I want to be most effective.  I know a lot of things… and I know I like to feel those ways.  And if I don’t over think it (challenge #1 if you’re Donna Harris) I am actually the most myself when I am feeling free to be this person.  But how do we find the balance, where we can be great and also kind?