In the fever of the holidays, and the drained-dry end of last term in school, I haven't been really writing for the blog. There's writing and there's writing. Hopefully, here is some writing.
I'm thinking about fear, its ugly stepsister shame, and their role in motivation.
I'm beginning another -- my last -- quarter of school, which should result in a new career. And I'm understandably anxious over the big chunk of credits I'm biting off in order to get done faster.
But "anxious" really is a camouflage word for fear.
I won't fail in the coursework. Unless something really untoward happens, I will do well. Probably very well. But at what emotional cost? To me and the ones close to me?
I had built into me a high threshold for accomplishment. And in the years of my midlife crisis, that period from my mid-forties until now -- I am fifty-four -- I systematically, if subconsciously, dismantled a great deal of that structure that held me together.
A marriage, a career, societal expectations surrounding money, how you get it, how much of it you need, how you use what you get -- and societal expectations surrounding who I am to other people, how I value them, ways I behave toward them, what I owe to those I love.
I've posted before about being "in the dark room," that period I now believe I existed in for most of my childhood, adolescence and adulthood. A time in which one is so self-absorbed, but so unaware of the way one is actually perceived, a deep lack of understanding of one's actual behavior and its true repercussions.
The plus of entering the light after being in the dark is, obviously, you see a lot more. The downside is that a lot of protective ignorance is stripped away. You have to face more truth about who and what you are or are not, and deal.
This scares me to death sometimes. The rawness of truth. The bare quality of being authentic.
I am so fortunate to be with a partner who has achieved more authenticity in his life and in his self than anyone I have ever known. He is transcendant -- although he will roll his eyes when he reads this.
I don't know exactly how he got there. He doesn't talk a great deal about it, but he does guide me toward means of accomplishing more transparency in my own life. Meditation is a big part of that and although I struggle with it, I am doing better at going inward and finding a peaceful, quiet place where I am no longer afraid.
Because I know now that it was fear all along that drove me to whatever had been accomplished in my prior life. Fear and a great deal of shame-driven energy that helped me mask who I was and what I really needed from everyone, including myself.
I'm not willing to use energy that way anymore. Of course I backslide into "what will they think" and "I need to do this to make sure they know what I'm worth ..." -- both illusory excuses for facing the truth about who you are and what you need to do. In terms of yourself, in terms of other people.
I resolve to stay out of the dark room and continue to face my fear -- defuse my shame -- in the light. To continue the work toward transparency.
And I wish all of you, my dear friends, a productive and loving New Year. In the light.