Fear, can I take the wheel and drive?
Inspired by Jen Vermet‘s lead and excerpt on Elizabeth Gilbert, I’m writing a letter to an emotion who’s always stirring up stress and discontent in my life. This letter is dedicated to my too often perilous leader, fear.
Thank you for your desire to protect me, but it’s time to redefine our friendship. I can’t handle the stress that you and guilt put me through together. You slow me down by questioning my every action while guilt lords over me for not following through or doing enough. This relationship is not healthy, nor has it been for a long time. We need boundaries.
For starters, we need to start communicating regularly. We can’t just keep meeting around those awkward hot and sweaty corners. I hate feeling physically ill with my stomach in knots, my chest hammering, and my face heating up every time you’re around. I’m not even allowed simple things like calling people I know or providing honest feedback to my wife without having to put up with more than your two-cents worth. Can you have some faith in me?
If something’s wrong, we need to be specific about the problem. I’m tired of wondering what triggered you. It’s usually not justified and that’s not okay. It hurts me. I want to live my truth. I want to be the authentic me. Yet, I feel ashamed and unworthy when you’re around. It’s exhausting. The world might rough me up every once and a while, but that’s okay. That’s what life is about, taking our lumps and growing stronger. It’s time to loosen the reins.
Now, I know we’ve had some positive moments. Our common thoughts of failure have helped fuel me to success in impossible situations beyond what many reasonable people would’ve risked. But, other times I kept up an unhealthy level of obsession where I’d almost risk everything to make you happy.
All I’m asking for is a balance. Protect me from the things where I might suffer long-term harm, but trust is the key to all healthy and productive relationships. When we’re unsure, let’s talk it out. We’re forever connected and I’m grateful for your protection, but allow me to the person we both know I can be inside. Allow me to make us both proud.
Your Ride or Die,
Cover Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash