Facing Fears and Being Free

candle

Sometimes the best thing to do is stand up for yourself. Part of being a good person is being your own person. Whatever fears you may face is ultimately worth it to be free.

I haven’t solved all of the problems of life. I haven’t gotten rid of anxiety, worry, and fear. But I can face all of those things on equal footing now.

I’m grateful for the clarity that makes my life feel real. I don’t have to apologize for existing. I honor my creator when I love myself.

Sincerely,

G.B.M.

GBM Podcast Episode 12

GBMPodcast

In this episode of the GBM Podcast, I talk about :

  • Aligning with my True Self and being mindful
  • Facing fears and letting go of resistance to self-expression
  • Being inspired by Howard Stern when I was younger (and other childhood memories)
  • Following my enjoyment, and other self-improvement topics

Duration: 28:39

Daring to Be (Open and Vulnerable)

yellowlotus

I hope you’re enjoying A Tale of Misplaced Loyalty, which I’ll return to in a bit.

These days I’ve been feeling so emotional it’s hard to think straight. Now I’m working on reframing my perspective on things. I’m good at that; putting a positive spin on the situation. I’m equally good at avoiding painful emotions, but now I find myself facing them.

To reframe the matter, I see that it’s ultimately healthy for me to face my painful emotions like fear, sadness, and anger. Due to my temperament and environment, I felt these powerful emotions while growing up, but didn’t have a way of expressing them. Then I put all my efforts into making sure I’d never feel them again (which didn’t work).

Sometimes I don’t think I’ll be able to handle the emotions, but somehow I get through it, and emerge with more resiliency. Now that I think about it, an amazing thing has happened. I don’t have that sick, empty feeling anymore, which always felt like a perpetual loneliness that lived in my solar plexus.

Daring to be open and vulnerable,

at the heart of the emptiness I found courage,

and the confidence to be myself.

~ GBM

image credit:
morguefile.com

Little Shadow

suntall

I finally faced my deepest, darkest fear — that without someone to love me, I am nothing.

Facing this fear was excruciating. It brought forth a host of inner demons. During the onslaught, my stomach felt hollow, chest tight as a fist, head buzzing with frenzied thoughts, hands and feet far away.

They call this “emotional vulnerability”. Maybe it was a “dark night of the soul”. It was a crisis, but this time I didn’t run away. I stood my ground. I rolled with it, fell down, and gently picked myself up. I fell down some more, recuperated, and got back up again.

I reached that most vulnerable part of me, the one I’d been hiding for so long. The one with tears instead of rage. He was a ball of sadness, fear, guilt, and shame, Little Shadow was.

Today, I’m able to say to him “Hey there, kiddo”, and he trusts me.

I’m amazed by the way adversity has the power to destroy, yet also renew.

I don’t know what happens after this. My problems haven’t magically disappeared, but now I’m not trying to solve them while desperately running away from myself. Lots of old habits remain, baggage to be thrown out, damage to control, but now I can face the future — not as someone else — but as me.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Little Shadow

Metamorphosis

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This is an incredibly challenging time for me emotionally and relationship-wise, and I’m thankful I have a platform like GBM to voice my concerns and have support.

When you’re an emotionally sensitive person, and your emotions are all keyed up, it’s tough to see things clearly. It’s easy to blame yourself and others, and over-react to everything.

This is where practicing mindfulness really comes in handy. From the calm, still center within us, we can breathe and see the swirling emotions and racing thoughts, and remain who we are.

We won’t get very far attacking and defending ourselves at every turn. At some point we must face what we fear most; abandonment, worthlessness, helplessness, egotism, hate.

Jung called it The Shadow. To face The Shadow will feel like your psychic skin is being pulled apart, but if you’re prepared and trained for it, you will get through this metamorphosis.

~ GBM

image credit:
Wikimedia

The Structure of Ambition

I think I’m a structuralist at heart. I like to figure out and study how things are made, all the bits and pieces that go into different kinds of systems. Aside from curiosity, I study the structure of things in order to improve myself.

Thanks to my deductive powers of self-diagnosis, I suspect I have some kind of mood/personality “disorder”. I hate the term disorder, because I don’t (want to) see myself that way, but I’m accepting it. I’ve spent years avoiding reality and the problems I face. This is a good place to begin facing my fears.

We all need structure in our lives. Even our DNA has structure. But I dislike accepting structures that have been created by other people just for the sake of tradition. Maybe it’s my insatiable curiosity, or just plain rebelliousness, but I’ve always questioned established power structures.

I realize “life” would be easier if I just followed the rules, painted between the lines, go where I’m supposed to, do what I’m told, but to me, that’s not a life. Life is about having adventures, going on journeys, learning and understanding things, creating, building, experiencing, expressing, and walking the path of greatness. Greatness isn’t about being a neat, tidy, easily categorized, and well behaved little person who stays in his cage.

Never apologize for ambition. If you have the fire of passion within you, protect it like it’s your last source of light. Don’t worry about humility, because life will humble you. Great people know the sting and pain of failure; it’s something they go through all the time. Failure is a rite of passage on the way to greatness. Those who can face the fear of failing have the chance to be great. Those who run away from fear will never be great.

There’s no excuse for mediocrity. It doesn’t matter where you are in life. If you can understand what I’m saying, you can walk the path of greatness. The first step is always the hardest, and guess what, they’re all first steps.

Thanks for reading, and remember to make today a better day!

~ST

Facing My Fears

I’m having a tough time once again. The cycle of up and down moods continue. I’ll get these “flare ups” of highs and lows. I get the feeling these are my depressed months, with dashes of manic energy thrown in. It’s with great trepidation that write this blog post. I’m encouraged by the fact that I’ve done this many times before. There’s poignancy in that. I don’t have much to say, or rather, I have too much to say; my thoughts are all jumbled. I’m writing for the sake of writing. I decided to list some fears I’m currently having in my journal. Here it is.

Fears that I have:

  • being authentic
  • being inauthentic
  • being true to myself
  • expressing myself
  • making mistakes
  • being wrong
  • being worthless
  • being mentally ill
  • failing
  • succeeding
  • being ugly and stupid
  • being criticized
  • being lonely
  • being anxious
  • being depressed
  • being manic
  • being poor
  • being angry, sad, and afraid

It feels good to get that out of my system. There are more things I could list, but that’s good for now. I’m already analyzing the results. One, I notice a lot of “being” type fears. My “intuition” (I’m still not certain what that is) tells me I have issues when it comes to my self-concept, or ego, as I like to say. I have a fragile and insecure ego, and that seemed like such a problem until I realized that the root of the problem was the fragile and insecure ego itself.

The personal development work I’m currently doing has evolved. On the one hand, I approach it from a psychological standpoint. I work on developing my mind, but I see that there are bugs in the software. Not everything that’s been put into my mind is mine. Other people, and nature itself, have programmed parts of my mind. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I do know that some of the programming is helpful, and some of it’s not helpful. It could take me a lifetime to re-program my mind. I love working on that, but I doubt I could do it in one lifetime. I’ll keep working on it, of course.

Another approach I take is a spiritual one. Being, presence, mindfulness, heart, and soul. From this perspective, there’s no effort, nothing for me to learn. All I know is within me, and in every cell and molecule of my being. I call this wisdom, and maybe that’s what intuition is; a knowing that knows no words.

One approach emphasizes creating, making, and building. One approach emphasizes receiving, surrendering, and letting go. On one scale I judge, on the other scale I forgive (this is my Libra nature speaking).

Before I go, here’s a list of things I’m grateful for.

  • myself
  • my girlfriend
  • my cat
  • my home
  • my mom