Facing Your Fears

Whenever you take a step toward change, you will feel resistance. Call this resistance whatever you like—laziness, procrastination, anxiety, worry, discomfort, pain—but at its heart is a thing I’m intimately aware of, and that’s fear. Sometimes I even call it Fear with a capital F, for when it’s being a real bastard. That’s when I give it a capital F U right back.

You see, fear is like spiritual gravity. It contracts your soul. When your spirit reaches forward, fear pulls it back. Accept that this will happen. Know that it will happen, and you can learn to transcend it. Think about all the things you’re scared of. Scared isn’t even a strong enough word to use. What are you afraid of? What are you fearful about? Can you sense how far down your fear really goes? Can you sense that somewhere inside you, there’s a central place where all the fears you’ve ever had gravitate? That’s the source of your fear, a primal instinct to be afraid, very afraid. Every cell in your body knows this feeling. It’s built into all of us.

If you can face a small fear, you can face a big one. It’s just a matter of degree and time. One thing that will trip you up is the fear of fear.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

How true is that? Are you afraid to admit that you’re afraid? What you don’t admit to, controls you. The first step in facing your fears is to admit that you’re afraid in the first place.

Imagine that all this time you’ve been running away from a phantom. You know something’s behind you, but you don’t know what it is, and if you stop running it’s going to get you. You’ve been running through a maze, turning left and right, until you don’t even know where you’re going anymore. Have you gotten tired of running yet? I have. I decided to stop. Just stop. What if I let this fearful phantom catch me? What happens?

Well, I’m here today, writing to you about facing your fears.

Believing In Yourself

I want to talk about what I mean by “believing in yourself”. I say this a lot, to myself and others. To me, it means being your own best friend, being there for yourself, not turning on yourself, not belittling yourself, not hating yourself. It can mean loving yourself, but if you’re not up to that point, it means accepting that you are who you are, warts and all. It means having faith in yourself, which implies that believing in yourself transcends any reason or rationality. There are no “reasons” to believe in yourself. You’re alive, so believe in yourself. That’s good enough.

Every cell and molecule in your body knows what it wants, yes, even the “bad” ones. Everything is either moving towards love and creativity, or fear and destruction. This is necessary in our world. We can know that this is happening. We can be aware of different perspectives. We can even be aware that there are things we don’t know, things that are missing from our perceptions.

Back to believing in yourself. That’s my message for you today. Think of it as a safety net. The integrity of your safety net will determine how often you move forward towards creativity, or stay back because of fear. Do a gut check. How much do you believe in yourself? 100%? 50%? Maybe only 20%? Don’t worry if you find that your self-belief is low. Mine was terribly low for most of my life, but I can say with all honesty that today my self-belief is 100%. In fact, I’ll even say 110%, because I don’t need rationality to know I believe in myself. It’s a matter of faith.

I’ll talk about this some more, because I enjoy writing in small chunks. Maybe it’s ADD.

Believing in yourself is the seed from where motivation grows. You’ll be amazed at how you grow, and what you can accomplish, once you plant this seed.

Keyboard Confessional 12

I wake up today with manic energy running through my body. I choose not to lie in bed and ruminate. I can’t help it. I ruminate a little, but nowadays my thoughts race with topics to write about. I’m excited and anxious; two sides of the the same coin. I want to write about self-esteem, personal development, that kind of thing, but that takes time. I’ll work on it little by little. I decide to write a Keyboard Confessional instead. I feel like it would be the most honest thing for me to do.

Honesty and truth are important to me. I’ve kept secrets all my life. Secrets have a way of warping a person’s soul. It plays tricks on the mind. I think about how I can create something of value with this blog, and I believe by being honest I can build trust between myself and my readers. It’s a small, basic step, but important.

I think about importance, too, which leads me to thinking about values. I’ve done the self-improvement exercises, the character building routines, writing down my “core” values. Language is funny. I use words like core values and it acts like a hypnotic suggestion. Immediately it conjures up images of structure, hope, optimism, power, selfishness, self-absorption, corporate bullshit, anger, excitement, strength, sheep, stupid, shame, self-esteem. Why would anyone want to read this? I don’t expect anyone to want to read it. I think there’s too much to read anyway, but I do think if someone were to read this, then they deserve honesty. So my point is that truth is a core value for me.

Maybe I’ll call my self-help book “The Manic Depressive’s Guide to Self-improvement“, sub-titled “Using your bipolar disorder to achieve success in 7 easy steps“.

The Path of Greatness

The Road Less Traveled

Today I choose the path of greatness. I choose to take the path of beauty and excellence. I choose the path of love and courage. I choose the Golden Path. I choose to walk down the road less traveled. I choose life.

I haven’t been as comfortable in my own skin as I would like. I’ve sometimes felt like a stranger to myself. I thought of these things as I took a shower this morning. I’ve been manically working on my website, and showers become infrequent. It’s true that the best insights can come from doing mundane tasks like taking a shower. I was mindful of showering, of cleaning myself, of the water, the routine, the ritual, the chatter that took place in my mind. All of this was me, was happening to me, was being done by me. I love this mindful state.

Today I’ll meet with friends so we can work on the Artist’s Way together. I want to have a blog that describes our adventure. The anxiety I feel is usually an unwelcome guest, but today I welcome it. I’m tired of fighting myself. There are great things for me to do. Beautiful things for me to create. Making peace with myself is vital. I can work on seeing things in a new way. The warring parts of myself don’t have to agree with each other, they just have to see that there are bigger and better things to focus on.

I go forth with courage today. I observe myself with calm benevolence. I choose to love. There is always something for me to love. Maybe it could be me. Maybe I could be the source of love. Maybe love is already within me. I feel a warmth in my chest at this thought, and a cold heaviness of doubt over that, but the self-doubt can’t drown out the love.

Keyboard Confessional 11

shadows, burnside bridgeI feel like I’m finally getting unstuck. “Stuck” meaning depression. I can feel worn down by the repeated cycles of depression. The most basic things in life, like joy, can feel impossible. I’ve had to be more creative when it comes to life. I’ve had to learn about other values in life besides quick fixes, avoiding pain, and self-deception. I’ve had to learn about self-awareness, facing fears, and accepting things. The truth bubbles up to the top.

I confess that I feel angry when I tell my so called friends about what I’m going through, and don’t receive any words of encouragement. I tend to turn this anger in toward myself. I look for the things that must be wrong with me. I’ve realized that this is low self-esteem, and have been working on it. I see that it’s possible that people are insensitive. They may also be insecure about their own lives. There are things I could change about myself, too, but that’s my default attitude. I’m learning to let people be who they are, and I’ll be who I am.

I have fear about being myself. Somewhere inside, I distrust myself. This is a shadowy thing. Somewhere inside me is the fear that I can’t trust my own thoughts, feelings, opinions, and decisions. I can’t trust myself. This is such a gut-wrenching fear that I unconsciously try to avoid it. I try to shove it into a closet and hope it doesn’t come out. I’ve created a persona to get me through my day, but I suspect it’s a “false” one. It’s false in the sense that maybe, by shoving away the “dark” side of myself, I’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Maybe there was something valuable mixed in with the shadow.

To face and accept my shadow, I’ll need to have, no, I’ll need to be courageous and compassionate.

photo credit

Keyboard Confessional 10

It’s time for another confession. I’m writing this with no pants on, which is beside the point, but it wouldn’t be much of a confession if I didn’t admit that. I can’t let my daily posts start slipping. I wouldn’t want to let my faithful followers down. I notice that I use sarcasm as a way of blunting the utter loneliness and nihilistic despair that nip at my heels. That was my armchair psychoanalysis for this beautiful morning. I suspect it’s a beautiful morning, because I can hear birds outside. I’m somehow blessed with this great backyard full of trees and birds. There’s even deer! What a change from where I used to live, where all I ever heard was the sound of traffic.

I’m waiting for a cup of Starbucks coffee. They should call that stuff mania juice. I should avoid over-stimulating myself, but I keep doing it like a lab rat. Sometimes it seems like mania is the motivation behind what I do. I’m looking for my manic fix. That could be the name of a band, “The Manic Fix”.

I’m starting the Artist’s Way again. Soon. This time it’ll be more social. I’d like to go through it with a couple of friends. I’ll blog about it. It seems to motivate me to blog about things. Part of it is that I love to write. Another is that I feel better when I write. Finally, I’m egotistical.

Ah, my mania juice has arrived. I’ve been working on a redesign of my website for the past couple of weeks. It’s going to be the best site EVER! I still approach these kinds of projects in a manic way, but I’m improving. At least I know I’m getting manic. I have to admit that the final product does make it seem like it’s worth it to be manic.

A Letter To The Younger Me

Hey younger Sedone,

What’s up? Listen, I’ll keep this short, because I know you don’t like this kind of thing. First, I want to say that I love you. You are loved, not just by me, but by other people. I know you don’t believe that, and that’s okay. It’s just for you to know. Second, you have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. I know you feel guilty and ashamed that I’m even writing this. I won’t let anyone hurt you. You can be yourself with me. Yes, I know you don’t believe me right now. That’s okay. I’ll always be here. I’ll prove that I’ll stand up for you. I won’t let anyone threaten or hurt you, or make you feel bad for being who you are. I don’t care if I have to write a thousand more letters like this. I don’t care if everyone in the whole world thinks this is stupid, or no matter how anxious I feel about doing it. I’ll still do it. I’ll still be here. That’s a promise. Okay, I’ll let you go now. It’s tough for both of us to trust anyone, but I’m always here for you if you need me.

Love,
older Sedone