There is something I am wishing for the New Year for me. Actually it is the removal of something not an addition. It cannot be gift wrapped. No one can actually give it to me. But I know this will be the thing that will change my life completely. I have been working all around this for the past year. It affects everything I do and I am not aware that it is even happening. But my body does. I am learning to be more aware of it. I want it put in a place that I can handle on a consistent basis. See, I have to have some of this as it would be very dangerous not to. But unfortunately for me, I got an abundance of it. I learned to get sunk in it, without even being conscious of it. My body reacts even when my brain say all is well. The thing I want control over is my fear. I am not sure how I got as bad as I did. And even saying that, I know I have come a long way from where I was. But I still have way too much and I need to lose some.
There was a time when things happened as a child that I had no control over. I was raised in a cacophonous household that veered to violence too often for a sensitive child to understand or embrace. What some would have gotten through left a mark on me. As I reflect on my siblings, they all have marks, albeit each one is different. One brother shut down his emotions; one became a dreamer with no sense of financial caution, one abandoned a safe family for a fast life, and my sister is just a train wreck. Somewhere in the mix I developed a sense of escape and caution that got me through. But as I get nearer to “old age”, I think….. what if I could have….. but I did not because something stopped me. And this is what I want to get rid of for the New Year; this imaginary boundary that I created and I allow to shackle me.
I have been working on finding the root causes for my fear. It helps to understand but it does not always eliminate it. I have worked very hard with wonderful guides to help me train my body not to react to fear, especially when the fear is not in the present moment. But I still have a reaction to cues triggered by old memories that I think I have gotten rid of. My mind can handle it, but not my body. I have a cellular reaction which causes pain and other physical reactions. I am frustrated with this process not being as successful as I think it should be even thought I understand that it took a long time to get like this. But it adds to my burden because I feel like I have failed the process. I cannot shout loud enough…. “I GET IT.” But still my body cramps up, seizes up and freezes. Even when I do everything I am supposed to do. And the thing that sucks the most about it is that it happens and I am not even aware of it until it is too late. Because in my mind I am not afraid, I am not mentally reacting…but my physical being certainly is. It is not until I am total wound or bound up that I realize I am in that state, and then it is too late. It is very hard to undo. My goal is to stop the reaction before it takes over.
I have done a lot of thinking on this. I know that we can retrain our body to do a lot of things. I know I have come a long way from feeling like a trapped animal with unbridled fear. There are times I still feel that hopeless and ensnared. But I can work myself out easier and faster now. But this is tricky because I do not realize the source of the input. So I walk around like a magnet attracting and reacting to the smallest of threat. I am fearful….period. I think in my head, I can prove to myself to some extent that fear is only something that is manifested out of falsely conceived bad expectations. And that they only come to fruition because we expect them to. I have learned to expect the worse and my body prepares by putting myself into a state of fight, flight and, for me, freeze. It is automatic because it is what I know or I have learned to react as such. I need to learn to not always fear the outcome. If I can embrace that, I can learn to have less fear of whatever is setting me off. I know that there are certain things that trigger me that I can get better at. There are things I need to do to help the physical become retrained. I have had great help so far in that process but I am not done with that work at all. But it goes beyond simple training.
It is accepting challenges and participating in life as a rich array of experiences that are to be enjoyed and not feared. That is all I am going to say about it for now. I learned to become afraid because of the physical and mental ramifications of things that were bad in my childhood and earlier life. I used to joke that I was born afraid, but I wasn’t. I learned to become fearful. And if I learned to be afraid, I can learn to not. I have not figured out how I am going to achieve this, but it is “All I want for Christmas.” Maybe by this time next year, I will achieve victory over this.