Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fear vs. Fear

          Fear is a funny thing. It can cripple us, or motivate us.  It changes our reactions, and our thought processes. It causes an instinct of survival that leads us to realize our unknown strength, or how cowardly we can be. 
         One night when I was in high school, my closest friend and his buddy drove me and another girl, let's call her Katy, deep into the woods. He stopped, and told us to get out of the car. It was dark, really dark. He handed Katy and I a brown bag of snacks and said "share it, but be careful, you'll be here a while so ration it."  He then threw his keys deep into the woods. The only light source we had were the headlights on his car, which were off inside his locked doors. Of course, katy and I looked at each other speechless. She ran up to him yelling. I stood there, scared. Scared of what my parents were going to do when they found out I wasn't where I told them I'd be. Scared of what these 2 boys were going to do and for how long. Scared of what was lurking in the dark woods. Katy fought. Fear motivated her to get out of this situation. I remember listening to her cry, and the boys laugh, while not being able to move. Her instinct was to fight, and I was standing so still and quiet that no one was paying any attention to me.  I remember looking into the woods, drowning out her cries with the silence of the forest. I could have ran, though I had no idea where we were, it was pitch black, and I didn't want to leave Katy. I sat down and looked back towards them, my best friends and this girl in two very different states of emotion. She wasn't as used to these situations as I was. I pulled her back and told her, "It'll be ok. They're messing with us." The next few hours went about the same. She was upset and fighting. I was quiet, and hopeful I'd get out of those creepy woods before too long.  The boys kept telling us to get comfortable as we'd be there for days. 
          As I'm sure they had planned,  with just enough time to get us back by curfew, the driver pulled his keys out of his pocket and jingled them. He had thrown a fake set into the woods. We were shortly on our way home, and made it by the time any parents knew otherwise. I was reflecting on this story this week, as I have been trying to switch the result of fear within a present day battle. I hate being a slave to fear. I want it to drive me to fight, not cower. I've tried therapy a few times, each has ended as fast as it started for various different reasons. Looking back, though some instances were out of my control, I'm certain I could have tried harder, or gone longer. I don't think I knew it at the time, but I have realized this week that though I knew I was scared each time to go, I didn't know the depth of that fear. I don't like opening up in person, mostly, I thought, because I don't know what to tell. I don't have a lot of memories from when I was a child. I don't know the source of my sadness. I've been telling myself that for a long time. I think I've been hiding behind it. My thought processes seem to hit a brick wall when I try to think further than the superficial fear of a face to face conversation. 
          I think He has been telling me this week that there is something there to discuss, and I need to figure out what it is. When I reflected on the situation in the woods, I thought about how frightened Katy was versus how frightened I was. She didn't know this was their idea of "fun".  I was scared, but she was petrified. I am scared to talk with people face to face about what goes on inside my brain, but I am petrified to talk about why it's there. When Katy was petrified, she fought. I need to fight. I don't think I really want to remember whatever it is that He thinks I need to, but if anything, it's made me realize what I've been doing.  What separates success and failure? Courage. Courage to fight, knowing you might fail. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

He's Everything

         I keep picturing myself running full force into a brick wall over and over again until I collapse from exhaustion. I hope that brick wall that I'm beating myself against is Him. I can only hope He's as immovable as that wall.  Can I break Him? Let's say each sin is a rock, will He shatter if I throw too many at Him? I'd like to think He's standing with his arms stretched as a football linebacker would, not letting me knock Him down. Waiting until I collapse so He can catch me.  
         "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Does it? Or does it grit on you you until you're too tired to fight it? You can only stretch any object so far before it breaks. And here I sit, in the same spot I've been so many times. I'm human, and imperfect. I've been beating my head against this brick wall for what feels like forever. I stand up, and I sit down. I break, then put the pieces together, then break.
          Today... I'm angry. I'm angry at all the hurt, depths of despair, pits of darkness, and water too deep to tread. I'm angry that it covers the earth. I'm angry at what I can't control. I'm angry at my heavy body that won't move, and the tears that won't come. I'm angry that I can't even figure out why I want to cry! I'm angry at "it" for taking so much life out of millions of really good people. "You're not alone.", "I've been there.", "So many others suffer like you." Ok, maybe I'm alone here, but does hearing that make anyone feel better?? Why do I want anyone to feel this way?!? I don't want know others suffer. I want to know there's still happiness out there. That He is letting people feel the joy He's promised. Ok, I get it, I should be comforted by others knowing where I'm at and "getting it."  Truth is, I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Knowing it's sucking the life out of others makes me wonder more where He is. Sometimes it seems there's so much more sadness in the world than happiness. People are stressed, don't have enough time for half of what they need to do for others let alone anything for themselves, treading water that they're slowing sinking into, life is crushing them. We go to church and follow commandments because that gives us hope that we'll get to a place someday that all these things that are making us sink will be gone. 
        Maybe He let's us sink so we fall into Him. He's the water? The muck that makes the pit? That wall? So He can surround us when no one else will or can? Maybe. When I think of it that way, the anger dissipates a bit. He's everything, the edge of the cliff that we're holding onto with the tip of a pinky, so He can look in our eyes as we try not to fall. We may be about to let go, and think He's nowhere, but really it's Him that we're holding onto and we don't even know it. Maybe?