Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finding The Source Of The Fear And Dealing With It


If you will remember in some of my past blog posts, I talked about fear and how it holds us back from accomplishing things and realizing our full potential. I vowed to figure out where all of my fear was coming from, and how to deal with that so I could move on with courage. This past week I had an epiphany, which really broke through in my mind after Jillian helped Maria in the pool on Biggest Loser.
You already know about my fear of the water, and how much I want to overcome it. I've had so much fear in my life, which I've come to realize stems from my childhood.
I was an only child, and my parents found out after me they couldn't have any more. They were very protective of me. Now, all parents need to protect their children to some extent, and I know my parents meant well and acted out of pure love, but they were actually OVERprotective. Besides the swimming issues, there were a lot of other things I was not allowed to do or try. They were always afraid that I was going to get in trouble or be hurt. Now, I'm not talking about things like letting a child jump off a building or walk through fire...nothing extreme. I'm talking about things like skating, horseback riding, and other sports. The most I was allowed to do was music lessons, and I am very thankful for that, since music is a passion of mine. Still, I would have liked to try some other activities as well.
What did this wind up teaching me? Don't take risks, even small ones, because it might put you in danger. I swear I wound up being afraid of my own shadow sometimes. I was a wreck when I had to speak in front of my class, and most of the time when I came up with an idea I wanted to try my first thought was that I couldn't take the chance of getting hurt. When we HAD to go skating for gym class, I clung to the rink walls and was too scared to venture out further. I kept a lot of feelings inside, being afraid to speak up for myself. Even when it came to career choices, I took the safe route. I was so scared of disappointing my parents. I remember a job offer I had down in the Southern US, and my mom saw it when it came in the mail. She panicked and cried, and told me I couldn't take it because it would break my dad's heart if I moved away. I did not take the job...I stayed here in Ohio. Would you like to know what the job was? Working at Fan Club Headquarters in Fort Payne, for the country music group Alabama. I think I still have that job offer tucked away somewhere, as a reminder of what I could have done. I can only imagine where that would have led me if I had accepted the job.
Now, I am happy that I met my husband up here and we have a great son, and would not trade them or the rest of my wonderful family and friends for anything. But...it is time to stop living in fear and start doing the things I've always wanted to do. A couple of years ago, my son's class went horseback riding, and I was a chaperone. After the kids rode, the parents and teachers were offered the chance to ride. Since I weighed almost 220 at the time, I thought they were kidding, but one of the girls that worked there let me mount her own personal horse, Richie, who was used to even larger adults riding him. We only went around the arena at a walk, but I felt so good. I know I want to ride more often, and that's one thing I WILL start again once I lose some more weight. This summer I will give it another go. By the way, my son and I visited the barn a few months later, and when I went up to Richie, he would not let me leave and stayed up close to my face. I believe we had a bond just from that first short ride.
They took pictures of us on the horses, and I showed mine to my dad. (I will post that one closer to summer to remind myself of my goal.) He told me that when I was 3, he and my mom put me on a pony and I cried so much that they took me off and never tried again. I asked him if this was why they wouldn't let me take riding lessons when I was 12 and really wanted to, and he said yes...they figured since I didn't like it the first time I would have a problem again and they were afraid to let me. Now, there is a big difference between a 3 year old on a pony and a 12 year old on a horse. My parents thought they were protecting me, but just wound up teaching me to be afraid.
I've been working hard at not letting setbacks get to me. I no longer curl up in a ball and get depressed...I feel the disappointment for a short time, think about what I've learned or could have done better, and move on. Through a lot of prayer, I've learned that those dreams are all still inside of me, and God is the One who put them there. Since He is the reason for these dreams and goals, I know He will give me the strength and courage to put them into action and complete them. I need to honor what God has put inside of me, and He will help me get there. Now that I know where all of the fear came from, I can move past it and do what I was meant to do from the beginning!

4 comments:

Sandra said...

Thanks for sharing your story Marie, hopefully getting it all out will help you move on from it.
Now get out there and get on that horse!!

Kristine said...

What a good story, Marie. I swear you and I are alike-- I was always afraid of swimming and always afraid of so many things. Thanks for being BRAVE enough to SHARE all this, that's special right there!

Debbie Alferio said...

Thanks for sharing, Marie! I, too, have a lot of fears and have a great deal of difficulty facing them as many have deep roots stemming from my childhood like yours. Reading this made me realize one fear I have is completing my third book because I'm afraid it won't be "good enough" now that I won an award with the last one. But I now know I must get past that and get it done because God gave me my writing gift, has blessed me thus far, and will continue to do so. I need to give Him the glory above all. Thanks again!

WriterMarie said...

I'm glad this post helped you guys too. No settling anymore! xoxoxo