I often sit down, reflect, pray and ask myself and God some hard questions about where I am in life, how I feel and confront areas that I like to call “blindspots”. What I mean by that term is that we often have areas of our life we don’t really see or understand because they are hidden from our consciousness but they greatly can affect our lives. To put it another way, there are things we know we know (like I know my name), things we know we don’t know (I know I don’t know how to build a car), but also the things we don’t know that we don’t know. *
It is in that last area (the things we don’t realize about ourselves, how things from our past truly affected us, assumptions and distortions we don’t realize we tell ourselves) that when we begin to tap into and discover what those things are and how they affect our decisions, what we do, how we deal with situations and other people that we can begin to transform areas of our lives where we feel un-empowered.
Like many people I know and I’m sure many of you, I’ve dealt with a lot of joys, success, pain, loss, and lessons that have transformed my life. I began to ask myself recently “what if anything do I still really fear?”
Though you may think I am used to it, I often get a lot of interest from men. I’m grateful that God made me an attractive woman and even more so a beautiful and loving person inside. However, I still get a little uncomfortable getting hit on in the grocery store, asked for my name & number walking down the street, or even the occasional friend that is trying to ‘hook me up’. I don’t date. I never have been one try and look for a guy or get hooked up. It’s always felt weird to me to go out with a person to SEE if we will like each other. I’ve always been more at ease in a situation where I’ve met or got to know each other more organically because of life circumstances. Personally, I’ve usually encountered friendships/relationships as a result of growing up, going to school, working with someone, or as a result of how we met, naturally there was a mutual interest that developed, not because we or one was trying to hook up.
I say all that because, recently when men have expressed interest, I’ve been asking myself if there a “blindspot” in my life that is possibly holding me back. First to be honest, some people I may just not be interested in. After beating myself up about why I don’t just get out and have fun, I had to say how I feel is how I feel so don’t force myself to do anything I don’t want to. If I’m not interested, I’m simply not interested. But I repeated that question…”Fredi, what are you afraid of?”
And I had a small light bulb moment. One thing I did come to realize is a great fear of mine is hurting other people. I am pretty comfortable with being vulnerable, and have had a lifetime to adjust and learn (though I don’t like to be) how to deal with being hurt. It can be excruciatingly hard. So the idea of laying that kind of pain on someone else or being the cause of someone else’s hurt, is my biggest fear. I avoid that like the plague. I know how I feel when I truly like, have an interested in, or have feelings for someone. And what I realized is that, when someone expresses interest that is not mutual or if I’m not sure if I am or even would be interested, I distance myself. I don’t want them to create an expectation where they may get hurt because I may only see them as a friend or just an acquaintance. It’s my way of trying to protect them.
So, I’m trying to challenge myself to simply express that. Instead of fearing hurting others, understand that I’m not always responsible for how someone may feel, as long as I’m honest about where I am. Something as simple as that allows me the freedom to be open, to not have to be distant, and simply be me.
Whew, I kind of feel like a weight is being lifted. Ok, so you may or may not be able to relate to my specific situation, but my question to YOU is “what do YOU fear that is holding you back?” And if you can’t get to that answer right away, try these:
– What do you do that has you holding back or frustrated?
– Why do you think you do those things?
– What action(s) do you think you could do differently that would allow you to be more free?
– What do you think could/would happen if you did those things?
I pray that in sharing this you may find in whatever area of your life your feel restricted (i.e. work, family, relationships, friendships, school) and may discover something that may be holding you back. Challenge yourself to step into a renewed space to be able to freely LIVE & LOVE OUT LOUD!!!
*From the Landmark Forum