Fear of living the dream

I never thought it would be easy, but to hit the wall so close to the end feels almost laughable. I could use metaphors, similies and stories to share where I am, but for once I’ll try and use my own words and keep the stories to a minimum. For years I’ve been on a journey - or perhaps it’s more a series of journeys.

At first it was owning and dealing with the realisation that something in my life didn’t feel right. The old ways of keeping score (nice house, nice car, well paid job, lots of gadgets) didn’t feel relevant.

And true, it didn’t matter if the house had thirty bedrooms or three – there were still only three of us; it didn’t matter if I drove a Ferrari or a Ford - the local speed limit was still only 30 miles an hour. And as for all those gadgets that I apparently ‘had to have’, well, I spent more time looking for them than I did using them. I realised with the help of MKP that there was some transference going on. I was using a variety of things to cover my unhappiness.

For me the saddest thing was the realisation that I was sad. All that energy and money being spent by me to deny myself a basic truth. Lots of activity at the surface of the lake to displace a monster that was hidden in the depths and, I judged, laughing at me (so perhaps it’s sadness and shame).

The next question was “If what I’m doing doesn’t make me happy, what will?” I started to look at the burden of responsibilities (both imposed by myself and others) that I carried and began to own how many of them weren’t relevant or true anymore.

I would, I believed, be slicker, smoother, smarter and lots of other words beginning with ‘s’ as I did this work. But, me being me, I didn’t realise how long it would take me to heal from some of this work and the hardest part was (and still is) giving myself patience, compassion and time to heal. I never realised how many messages I carried (and to some extent carry) and how little space I had for me on that pedestal created for me both by others and by my own unconscious self.

Fearfully, tentatively, I started to dream my own dreams and that pedestal didn’t feel such a lonely place as I prepared to unfurl my shining angel wings and fly.

Bam! Then it hits me and once again they have hold of me; the fear, the sadness and the shame (I name them with the hope and belief that doing so weakens their hold over me). “Who am I, what right do I have to dream these dreams, what if I make a fool of myself, what if the dreams I dream are just an illusion, or just wrong?”

Once again, I sit with anger, sadness and shame (a familiar trinity). For the first time I can own those feelings and the fact that I really don’t know what to do or what I really want to do. What if I take off from that pedestal and then fall and hit the ground or more scarily, what if I take off from the pedestal and FLY....?

I really don’t know which I want, one is so familiar, but I now realise not serving me. The other, oh, the other - so new, so exciting, and oh so very scary. Which is more enticing though: the fear of living trapped on a pedestal not of my own making or the glory of flying free?

Shaky S

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness; May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow; May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless; And may all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion, And live believing in the equality of all that lives. www.poetwarrior.org.uk