Freedom · Hiding · Inspiration · Life Story

MEMORIES AS A FEARFUL CHILD

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One, two, three….long pause & I open my mouth to sing. My lips stretch, my tongue stabs at the air but no words come out, only halting gasps; short, silent cries for escape. My eyes dart back and forth searching for a familiar face, a nod of approval, a smile even from a stranger. Anything that will give me the strength I need. But none comes, only blank stares and raised eyebrows. I am on my own then?

I rock back on my heals and resist the urge to fall back in a dead faint. I could fake it, pass out and be carried from this torture I willingly placed myself in. Perhaps the looks of sympathy that have slowly turned into awkward stares would come to a halt. Maybe they would feel shame for judging me. But no, people have no shame.

I see only two options, run in terror or stay in terror. If I run, I will never forgive myself because although I can outrun this moment, I am not fast enough to outdistance the shame. Yet if I stay the shame could be far worse, judging by the color creeping into my cheeks and the frowns being sent my way. I will not walk away with my head held high. In the end I think I will be ashamed of myself whatever I do.

I swallow hard, hoping to dislodge the fear in my throat. Maybe it worked because suddenly sound is being made. Is that my voice? That quivering, shaking vibration that sounds more wounded animal than human? Is THIS my version of a song?! Is this how I will inspire the masses? Is this all I have in me?! If it is, maybe it is better to have nothing at all!

One, two, three words, a strangled tune and the buzzing, untuned strum of my guitar. Then a few more. I see a few smiles, whether they are in support of me or just having a good laugh at my expense, I will never know. But I press on. Nine, ten, eleven…the music (or whatever this sound is) is flowing rapidly now. Twenty six, twenty seven….I am singing! Not gasping, not choking and not passing out, no longer frozen in fear…I AM SINGING! Perhaps not well or even very pleasantly but there it is!

And I no longer see the people in front of me- whether they smile or frown, laugh or judge, because in this moment I have faced my fear and I am free. I am not ashamed though I have things to be ashamed of, I am not embarrassed though I have good reason to be, I am happy! I have looked into the eyes of my own failure and found it can not own me or strangle me any longer. I have searched for approval, found none and realized that it’s okay. And I sang!

Looking back on these memories, I realize that our greatest freedom is most often encountered in the places where we face our greatest fear, where we come to terms with our terror and we embrace the risk. Our successes are not always found in succeeding, but are ALWAYS encountered when we shake hands with our weakness, wrap our arms around our fears and let God whisper in our ear “It’s okay. I’m proud of you.”

So don’t let the fall stop you from jumping! You may just find yourself landing face first in the best place you could ever be- free.

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5 thoughts on “MEMORIES AS A FEARFUL CHILD

  1. The Course in Miracles states that there are just two primary emotions in life – fear and love! As you think about negative emotions you can almost always relate them to “fear” and our most positive emotions are always love and connection (which are really the same thing). I do always wonder how we “forgive” ourselves. I hear that a lot from reading counseling books and listening to teachings and sermons. Always wondered how you do that and not sure I have ever come to a valid conclusion. Since you used that concept – tell me what you are thinking.

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    1. I absolutely agree with that. I think fear of pain is usually what we can trace all negative actions to.
      As far as forgiving ourselves….I don’t think we have a right too. On our own. We can not justify ourselves or forgive ourselves when we are guilty. Only Jesus can and He has! So it comes down to truly accepting HIS forgiveness. And if He has forgiven who are we to not? Of we don’t it’s kind of like saying His death was not enough. I think forgiving ourselves stems from realizing we already ARE forgiven, we just have to accept it.
      What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully well-written and such a testimony to the graphic nature of fear, anxiety, self-doubt, and realizing that sometimes the only solution is to flat out go for it! Thank you for writing and sharing this post, I found myself very immersed in the details of your writing, relating to you despite not being you. I could practically see where you were and what happened, making it all that more relatable and real. Keep up your writing! You have a gift! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and feedback! The funny thing is that unless you were in my head of just read this post, you’d never know how terrified I really was. And I think a lot of all people trapped in fear…that no one would ever guess about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I very much agree and relate to that. I can only imagine how terrified you were! And that created the space for the details of your post. You make a very good point about so many people being lost in that unhealthy mental state that we aren’t even aware of. Such good observations!

        Liked by 1 person

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