Here goes some conscious-stream writing:
I am sitting at my desk listening to Billie Holiday sing out her soul. I have two or three papers to write tonight and I have not started any. I have wasted an entire day being tired and just allowing my heart to ache slowly.
I wonder if any of my readers have experienced a similar sentiment. As if his or her heart is in their stomach. As if they want to cry but their ducts are sealed shut.
And this experience which I feel more often than I would like to admit. Leads me to something to actually talk about. Fear.
Specifically fear of the unknown…
Now I am not talking about being afraid to swim in a lake because you have no idea if their are leeches or a crocodile under all that mud.
What I am talking about is the fear of what you can never truly know on your own. I think this encompasses two main categories. Relationships with people and a Relationship with God.
I am going to focus on the first category because it so easily connects to the second.
Have you ever been afraid to take a risk? Afraid of commitment? Afraid of what someone else might be thinking?
I find this hilarious because, before I get ahead of myself too much, earlier today a very dear friend of mine confided some thoughts and fears to me. I gave this person solid advice. Then I proceeded to share with him my fears which are similar in that they have the same antidote. As I think back on this conversation I kind of chuckle to myself to think that fear can control us so thoroughly that one minute we can offer advice to another and the next be lost in the woods concerning our own fear.
I find that humorous. Sorry if you dont.
So this solution. This antidote for this fear. This unending and heart wrenching fear of vulnerability.
Isnt that what fear of the unknown truly is though? Being afraid of being vulnerable. Not knowing something takes away our individual power and strength. It leaves us confused and disoriented.
It leaves us vulnerable.
The question is are you willing to be vulnerable long enough to find out the unknown.
Discovering the unknown in relationships, to me, is a fair example of growth and progress. It takes time. It takes change. And it is scarier than almost anything else.
So let me reiterate. If you are afraid of the unknown. You are afraid of being vulnerable. If you are afraid of being vulnerable it is simply because it makes you fragile, susceptible to pain. To hurt.
What do you have to do to be vulnerable though?
You must TRUST.
So if you are afraid of being vulnerable and of the unknown, you are surely afraid to trust.
I do not think that I can explain it more plainly than this.
To make this conversation a little less convicting let me share with you how I deal with my trust issues.
I personally analyze everything and use all of my immense prowess and wisdom to read minds. I step away from trust and put words in other people’s mouths. I make up their minds for them. Nine times out of ten I go prepared into a situation with every possible outcome. I refuse to be caught vulnerable.
No surprises for me. I have life by the reigns as well as our relationship because I have made your mind up for you already.
The TRUTH is though, that honestly I still have absolutely no understanding of the unknown. Some friends catch me doing this more than others, and I have been called out. I am grateful for that beyond belief.
To be honest, to give some trust to my readers, half the time I am unaware I am using these coping mechanisms until it is too late.
Prior hurts have made me so deathly afraid of the relational unknown. Whether that be my guess at another person’s critique of me, my pursuit or interest in the opposite sex, or just understanding another person’s brain at all times. It is honestly a compulsion at some points.
So what I am proposing is that these guards that each of us enlists to protect/prevent us from trusting others are disabling to us all.
When I pray to be content. This is what I am talking about. I am praying for trust. More trust in my loved ones. More trust in my God. Less trust in myself.
It is one thing to trust yourself to pass a test it is another thing to trust yourself to see every perspective and not become consumed with your own perspective.
I fail at the second horribly and I know plenty of others that do as well.
So in plain English what I am saying is: TRUST. Be VULNERABLE. Allow others to be themselves. Release your power over situations that you cannot ever plausibly control. Live each day. Do not miss opportunities as they come your way.
And when your trust is broken. When you put your heart out there and it is broken and stepped on. When you take a risk and fall flat on your face.
Use those moments where your vulnerability and trust lit your heart afire to grow in strength and courage.
I promise that the times of broken trust and hurt will be dots compared to the shinning force that comes with opening your heart to vulnerability.
Allow the unknown to be just that for a little longer. Let it become known at the appropriate pace. Patience and love my dear friends. Do not rush what is yet to come.
Do your best to love others, love yourself and love God endlessly.
To do those things. It requires TRUST. VULNERABILITY. and a large dose of waiting through the UNKNOWN.
I truly hope you can trust me my friends.