Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Scaredy Cat

Scared, fearful, worried, anxious...these are the pieces of the fear puzzle that sometimes takes over my mind.  Broken pieces.  I hate feeling out of control, out of sync.  Generally, I am happy to roll with the punches, weather the storm.  However sometimes fear, pain and worry creep under the radar when I'm not looking and threatens to overwhelm me.  Its the emotional stuff that gets me every time.

I can be super strong when I am fighting injustice, batting on behalf of someone else.  I can shoulder others emotional pain without becoming over sympathetic or gooey.  It's my own emotional pain I have a problem with.  I don't really like to look too hard at it.  Sometimes I am forced to.  I also become very agitated when a loved one is suffering from EP and I'm unable to help them.  Learning curves, learning curves......  I become fearful when I see my kids pain.  I start to look at 'what if's' in dark corners, convinced unseen demons lurk, waiting to strike when I take my eye off them.  Perhaps this is a mothers thing rather than a nature thing.  Perhaps not.

I recognise this is of course all stemming from my own 'unsafe' childhood..  Without sounding like a martyr, victim or feeling sorry for myself, I do realize sustained childhood sexual abuse is not an easy one to recover from.  Nor is mental and physical abuse.  People who love us are supposed to keep us safe as children.  Care for us.  Make our world secure.  Maybe that's why I find myself doing all I can to make safe spaces for my kids.  Safe for them to talk about their feelings, to rest in, to undburden and to recharge.  I still get stressed though when I see them hurting.  What do I do with my stress?  Breathe my dear friend advises.  Indeed I try hard to remember to just breathe - and wait for the answers and the light to appear.  I must remember to remember.  I could take a leaf out of my own book and make a little reminder, wear a little cord around my wrist, have a little bell sound throughout the day.  

Perhaps that will break the stress cycle that grows so quickly when we all buy into it.

I'll finish with a reminder from Julian Sleigh; he talks about the demons in our lives who make us 'shrink in fear and revulsion'.  He reminds us that underneath their beating wings, we'll find hidden gifts.  All we have to do, he instructs us, is to challenge them and make them yield up their gifts, they will then be satisfied that the right gifts will be with the right owner and fly away, leaving us to benefit from what they brought.

Whether we have caused our own problems or have been caught up in the traps of others.  Whether we are caught in the headlights of a sudden crisis or have been running away from one for a long time, Sleigh reminds us that we only really have 3 choices:

1.  Ignore it and hope it goes away.......it won't!
2. Try and live with it........Not forever!
3. Look for the gift within our fear and benefit from it.

When we do number three we emerge on the other side of life, surprised by joy.

What's the hidden gift been in a fear of yours?

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