I am in good spirits these days. It's a been rough the last few months, but I do think I'm growing and have a healthy mindset about what's happened in my life and what's to come.
A major feat I'm undertaking these days is letting go of fear. According to a book I've been reading, the process has three steps:
- Admitting your fears
- Accepting your fears
- Moving through them
Lately, I have to keep reminding myself to focus on me — not in the sense of being selfish, self-centered or self-righteous — but in the sense that right now I need to address issues and take care of myself. And, as every blog or book I read keeps saying, "You have to love yourself," before you can conquer fear or love someone else.
Now, how to implement all these theories and pieces of advice? I'm not quite sure. All I know is it's an uphill battle.
I will start by laying out my fears:
- I am afraid love is not nurturing like I thought it was and in the end, brings pain and disappointment.
- I am afraid no one wants to be my partner.
- I am afraid I won't ever love someone as much as I loved Juan.
- I am afraid I won't have another opportunity to love someone else.
- I am afraid I will never find a perfect match or the kind of love I want.
- I am afraid I'm incapable of maintaining healthy romantic relationships because I'm too careless, selfish and not good enough.
- I am afraid that no matter what I do, catastrophes will descend on my life and ruin everything.
- I am afraid that I will never live up to my potential as a writer or journalist.
I'm not the type of person who stays up at night (Thank God!), but I do wake up in the middle night with a feeling anxiety that is typically associated with one of those fears above.
The thing about fears is that they probably would seem crazy and irrational to everyone except yourself, and the truth is they are irrational and crazy, but they are nonetheless real.
Now, on to acceptance.
I'm already beginning to feel better and more empowered about my life just by telling myself that not only is it okay to be afraid, but I will find a way to master my fears.
I attended a writing workshop last June during which the instructor said something I hadn't heard before, "Writer's block is your friend." She explained that having writer's block means something is off and you must fix it before the writing will start flowing.
I re-read my notes from that workshop the other day and made the same connection with fear. At its core, fear is just a warning.
Well then, hello, fears. Time to put you in time out so you can get out of the way!