This time of year, when the Halloween candy is gone and the turkeys are in imminent danger, one usually thinks of yuletide longings and pumpkin pie. However, my mind has been ferociously occupied with…fears. In my dreams, while I’m awake…I’m riddled with them. No amount of “fa la la” humming will make them leave. Perhaps you share some of the same fears as me!? Let’s compare notes, shall we?
Fear #1: I fear I will gain holiday weight
Yep, even twenty years after my anorexia, this is still at the top of my list. I don’t want to celebrate Christ’s birth while munching a celery stick and rice cake, but I do want to be free to eat the things that serve my body well. After my eating disorder, I became vegetarian and later vegan while reclaiming my health. I don’t eat fatty foods, either. I never want to offend one of my relatives who cooks, but I also don’t want to compromise. It’s always a bit of a battle within. And I’m always the one they tell to put more on her plate. Inner turmoil…
Fear #2: I fear being abandoned
I have been left before, by death and also by choice. I’m a bit of…oh, whose kidding, I’m a full-fledged INTROVERT. I could be content for days with coffee and a good book, ALL alone. I love time to ponder life and enjoy the sounds of nature. When I get in a crowd for a while I get the urge to flee! I’ve been known to hang out in the bathroom or running a needless errand far too long, just to get a few minutes of peace. I absolutely LOVE people, so it comes off as quite odd to others when I’m not as talkative as others or standoffish. Being newly married in a new family, I’m secretly terrified I will be unwanted after the introverted Lisa rears her quiet head. Will I hurt their feelings? Will he decide I’m not quite what he expected? Will I embarrass everyone? Will I once again end up alone…
Fear #3: I fear grief
No matter how much time passes, you still grieve those you love that have left you. Just when I think I’m fine and nothing will dampen my holiday, a trigger happens and I’m right back in the past, drowning in it. It comes unexpectedly, and only those who have experienced it truly understand. You can’t run, can’t push it away, you just have to walk through it. But how will others perceive it?
Even if your fear list differs greatly from mine, fear is the same experience for us all. It’s big and ugly and suffocating…and a LIAR. The only way I’ve mastered handling my fears is exposing them into the light and letting the truth cleanse them for me. Thus, we come to the healing in this post. I’ve given you three of my secret fears. Here they are, in all their ugliness. Let’s talk them out. Here are the TRUTHS that combat these fears:
Truth #1 I have the absolute choice to eat what I want. I am, after all, an adult. If I decide to indulge in the famous pie from my grandma (by marriage) I will not die. It’s pie, not cyanide. Lisa, enjoy life a little.
Truth #2 People should love you for who you are, not what they expect you to be. I will be my truest self, and trust others to love me unconditionally. I will have faith in them and myself.
Truth #3 Grief is a natural process and it cannot be put to a timeline or a leash. I will give thanks for ALL the parts of my life and go forth in GRATITUDE into these holidays. Those that love me will love me through the laughter and the tears. I need to trust that.
Well, I feel like I unzipped my soul a little to you. I hope you are good at keeping secrets! ;) If you are dealing with fears of any kind, I hope you will get yours out into the open, too. They grow in the darkness inside our minds. Get them out, talk them out, set them free. Send the liars packing! Feel free to list some of your fears and your "talk it out" truths in the comments or on the message board. I'd love to see! Let's win the fear battle together!
In my deepest love,