I seem to be afraid these days. A lot. Not of the common stuff like public speaking, death or creepy crawlies – though those fears pop up sometimes – but of having nothing to say. Of having absolutely no words to write and no thoughts to share.
Apparently, it’s become a bit of a cycle in my life. I write, then I feel amazing, as if I’ve finally shared a part of my soul that was longing to be seen. Then I get busy with everyday chaos and become disconnected from my inner voice. Then I stop writing until things calm down and I can reconnect. Then I want to write, but overthink everything I start to say.
And though I get frustrated and wonder why this keeps popping up for me, the reality is – when I’m honest with myself – I know the answer.
It’s because I want to feel accepted for who I am. I want to be liked and understood. I want to feel like I belong in the places I “play in”. What if what I say doesn’t resonate with anyone? What if it’s not good enough? What if it doesn’t make any sense? What if I sound stupid?
Because of those subconscious fears, I get in my own way and stop the flow.
It’s crazy how the emotional hurts, fears and worries from our tender school-age years become so deeply internalized that they pop back up in our adult minds, even when there’s no longer a basis for them. And then we go into self-preservation mode. At least, that’s what I’ve been doing.
There were times my young heart was broken by would-be friends and others. I subconsciously built walls around it for protection, but I wasn’t consciously aware those walls were there until recently.
Now that I’m aware of them, I can start dismantling them, brick by brick. I know it’ll take time, patience and practice, but it’s worth it.
I’m worth it.
How am I going to tear down those walls? By loving myself more. By reminding myself that my voice has value. By stepping forward even when I’m afraid. By reassuring the little girl in me that she’s loved, safe and will always be valued – by me.
We fortify our hearts to protect ourselves from things that may not even be a threat. In protecting ourselves, though, we shut out a depth of joy, connection and love that would be a privilege to experience. For me, it’s just not worth it anymore.
I’m done with the fortress. I’m getting out of my way.