I’ve come to realize recently that I’ve made most of the decisions in my life from a place of fear.
I’m not an overly fearful person, I’m not a worrier really, so trying to wrap my brain around this adjective as one that describes me has been an exhausting journey.
I guess the best way to describe it is as a tree.
Fear is the trunk, but the roots are more systemic. They are the foundation of my fear and the cause of this life lived in fear. The roots comprise of lack of self esteem, lack of belief in my talents, fear of rejection, allowing others to tell me that something is “too difficult” or that “the odds are not in your favor”, listening to girls who made fun of me in high school for the way I was shaped or my voice or the way I sang or the way I danced, allowing other people’s superiority complexes affect my own inferiority complex.
These roots run deep, deep into my soul and this fear trunk I now have is solid and unwavering. It causes me to have years long periods of paralysis. It has caused me to leave my dreams at the door and enter into my own life down safe, well-lit hallways that ended in deep, dark, dank spaces. This fear trunk has led me to my mid-thirties reeling from a litany of decisions that were guided in lies.
The branches of my tree are brittle and it seems that every time I try to climb out onto a limb, it breaks and I fall right back to the hard ground where I feel I belong. I fail over and over again at my own ventures and can’t seem to pick up the pieces when I get back up. These brittle branches cause more fear and once I get to the bough of one, just before I fall, I feel like I can conquer the world, but I find myself clinging to the branch, unable to go where the fruit exists – the good stuff. I keep myself in this safety zone that isn’t actually safe, but very uncomfortable and lonely. It’s not where I want to be.
I have a tendency to start strong and then stop, but I can’t tell you why. I am my own worst enemy with war constantly waging in my head, fighting hard with my heart and the energy inside me that knows I am capable of being more than what I am. I doubt my abilities, I doubt my schedule, I doubt my support system. I heap expectations upon my own head and am incapable of climbing out of the wreckage when I collapse. I feel lazy and useless and I cock block myself right out of success and into failure.
I want to be at the top of the tree reaping the fruits of my labor, but I seem to stop myself before any labor can be carried to fruition, or I fall from my very own fear sending me plummeting to the ground.
Instead of being happy and free, I’m sitting at the trunk of my tree, on top of the roots, below the barren branches that provide no shade. I’m aware of the roots breathing and rooting deeper below me and of the sparseness of the branches above me and I’m unsettled. I want more from life. I want to never worry about what’s in my bank account again. I want to know that I’ve made a difference. I want to know that people have read my words and enjoyed them. I want to know that my efforts weren’t for naught and that I’m successful.
Instead I sit here and suffocate under the weight of my own fear and the paralysis of the roots becoming intertwined beneath me, and I don’t know how to get up and make it happen – whatever “it” may be.