That word has an enormous power over me. (The bit that follows is even worse).
In essence, my fears of uncertainty lead to avoiding writing the piece. For a considerable amount of time.
Do I sit and question all of the what-ifs? Where would that get me apart from keeping the weeds of fear fed and watered and encouraging their growth? How would I kill off these weeds of fear? When would I get round to writing a blog? What exactly is it I’m avoiding because I fear it? What is my terror about? Why am I so uncertain?
So I sat and thought, and thought and worried, and kept feeding my weeds of anxiety/fear/terror* (you could even add in your own word here to reflect your own patterns if this looks or feels familiar- which I’m sure it will).
The weeds took over and nothing got written. No flowers bloomed. the weeds strangled them. Oh I had plenty of topics and thoughts to write for a blog. Loads to be truthful. But none made it to a concrete form in front of my eyes. All were smothered like knotweed.
So here I sat, ‘phantasising’ about the outcome of writing in the public domain. And there was my issue. ‘It’ would be under scrutiny, judgment and possibly discrimination from other people. What they thought suddenly became my thoughts. “just” what would people say/think or feel about my writing? Would it be scoffed at? Would I feel rejected or even humiliation? Would I feel worthy? How would I cope? Would I feel safe in my own reflection? Would I be truthful? Would this expose me and my personality and who I am? Where would that put me in this hierarchy of worry? Where am I? Who am I? Who do I want to be? Why was I worrying about this? What is ‘it’ that I am worried about? What is my fear? Where and when did all this worrying start? I can’t remember where I started or where I wanted to go. Isn’t it funny how things can escalate if you allow them to?
Suddenly I realised I am a human being. I am no different to you or you, you are me and I am you. Whether you worry about these things or something different you also worry. We are sailing on the same ship. We are on the same road, same journey or whatever metaphor you want to or could use. We are the same. Yet indeed we are different.
I worry what others think. Fact. This is something I feel started in my childhood based on many grown-ups telling me so. I’m sure you know the ones… “What will your mother/father/grandparents think?”, “you can’t go out looking like that!” (Included here are neighbours and societies opinions), then come the subtle ones: “you did what?”, “Why didn’t you think about that before doing it?”, “tut!”, and even more powerful and hurtful the gestures and looks, the shaking of the head, the silence. Is it any wonder, that any child doesn’t have imbedded in them how others may react and feel towards them and grow with these fears?
This judgment that we absorb when we are tiny and vulnerable can begin to define some people and for others, they find a way to completely reject this. (I wish I was one of those people- whatever that actually means?), however, the feeling I think that seems to sit here with most people is shame. I feel judged, therefore I did something to be judged, therefore I deserve/warrant/must be judged and this, in turn, must mean its because, I, am bad.
When in fact I am not. Your opinion and judgement does not define me. But.. I do think about it. I would love to be able to actively choose to reject your assumptions, opinions and critical words or gestures. But I hear these from my childhood and they scare me. They are still there, like the roots of weeds that are just under the surface. In fact, they scared me so much for a while I avoided writing this blog. But now it’s written and now you are reading it. This is my fear, my worry and my anxiety but it’s still here in front of you. I did it. The how I did it is for another blog, one I’m currently composing. Yes, I am writing another. Go me.
I’m off to bask in my own bravery and courage for now… By writing about that very topic.