I just came across a very heartfelt stream of consciousness that I recorded in an old journal. I was wrestling with my aversion to confrontation. I was questioning why I got so anxious at the thought of disappointing others. I was pulling at the roots of my prior people-pleasing tendencies.
Here is what I discovered as I coaxed myself deeper into the subconscious inquiry:
Why am I so uncomfortable with contention or confrontation?
Because I don’t like it when things aren’t going well between people…
Why don’t you like it when things aren’t going well?
Because I am afraid people will leave me.
What am I afraid will happen if people leave me?
I will be alone and scared and have no support.
What will happen if I am alone, scared and have no support?
I will have to do things all on my own … and/or … reach out to strangers for help.
What if I reach out for help?
Then people can hurt me, when/if they don’t care enough about me to help me.
What if they don’t care enough to help you?
Then I will feel rejected.
What if I feel rejected?
Then I feel worthless and insignificant.
What if I am worthless and insignificant?
Then I am nothing.
What if you are nothing … ?
If I am nothing – no thing in particular, then maybe I can be anything.
Ha! My stream of consciousness just took a sharp, very unexpected turn. Upon deeper inquiry …. the blessings covertly tucked on the other side of my fear are rendered visible! If I am no particular thing (nothing) ... then maybe I am at liberty to consciously create myself into something … and perhaps … that opens the doors for me to be anything.
In order to claim that prize, I can see I must be willing to step out of old patterns of belief and behavior. As Carl Jung so wisely contended “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become”. As a people pleaser, I developed a pattern of trading truth for safety. In order to feel safe, I contorted myself into the most pleasing, sweet and endearing child … always. All ways. I can see that I did so (in order to minimize the probability of rejection) because I was often at the mercy of leaning on a teacher, a friend’s parent, or a stranger.
BUT, that was THEN and this is NOW. I can choose differently. I have access to resources and supports I never had as a child … and I can take care of myself. Mostly. And, maybe … even more importantly … maybe at this point in my ‘all grown up’ life, it could be quite safe to risk be rejected. Perhaps, in being brave enough to risk the rejection of others, I could quit rejecting myself by ‘going along to get along‘. Perhaps that has been the greatest violation to my soul in my patterns of the past. I have been unwittingly rejecting my Self when I trade truth for safety.
So, I am seeing that the ultimate gift in risking rejection is the opportunity to be authentic and real. I can go along to get along … or … I can be real, raw and truthful to my Self. I can do one or the other, but not both simultaneously. So, let’s bring on the confrontations … eeek. I say that knowing that they give me a chance to step out of old patterns … and … claim the opportunity to be something closer to the real me … 🙂
There is so much light hidden in the dark … if we dare ourselves to look deep enough, Karen
P.S. I wrote this journalling years ago, and drafted this blog quite some time ago, but I never posted it. It’s likely no co-incidence that since then, I have taken several bold opportunities to be real and risk being rejected. It’s actually been quite an interesting ride … I think I’m going to hold on and keep doing it. Much to my surprise, being ‘real’ feels really safe in a whole different kind of way … really. Nothing could be better than stepping out of old patterns from the past.