Monday Musings: Vulnerability and Veritas, Part 2

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Two weeks ago, I talked about how I admitted to myself that things weren’t going as well as I’d hoped in my writing process. I also admitted that I was afraid of a few things and discovered that these fears of mine were perfectly normal to have. I also hope that you wrote down your Veritas as well or have it in your mind.

Because now, it’s time to take the first step to embrace it.

Meditation and Intimacy

Making a List

Here’s my Veritas again:

I’m scared of becoming the bomb-tastic adult I know I’m meant to be. I’m scared of messing up my taxes when I first do them. I’m scared of learning how to get affiliate income for this blog, because it means I’m in the game. I’m in it for the long haul, and I’ve got to assume new responsibilities. And I’m scared that I’ll get no money at all from affiliate income. I’m scared of finding myself in a ditch as well finding myself on an uphill climb to Golden Days. Zero is comfortable to me. Zero feels safe, and I’m afraid to become a plus or a minus on my graph, because it means change. And change is new. And change is scary to me.

And that’s okay.

Alright, there’s a lot going on here, and there might be a lot going on in your Veritas, too. But for me, I’m going to pare it down to a simple list:

  1. Being a “bomb-tastic adult”
  2. Messing up my taxes the first time
  3. Earning affiliate income
  4. Not earning affiliate income
  5. Assuming new responsibilities
  6. Finding myself in a ditch
  7. Finding myself on an uphill climb
  8. Change

Alright, so I have eight things I’m afraid of.

Wait… Wait a minute.

Is it really eight?

Let me go back.

Checking It Twice

  1. Being a “bomb-tastic adult” = success
  2. Messing up my taxes the first time = failure
  3. Earning affiliate income = success
  4. Not earning affiliate income = failure
  5. Assuming new responsibilities = success/failure
  6. Finding myself in a ditch = failure
  7. Finding myself on an uphill climb = success
  8. Change = success/failure

Thought so.

Usually, when we’re afraid of something like getting a new job or getting a new haircut or going out on a date with someone, there’s an underlying, deeper core fear that is at the basis of it. If you’re scared of being in a new relationship after being in a painful one, you might be more afraid of the possible pain you’ll incur than the relationship itself.

The same goes for fictional characters, too 😉 . Harry Potter wants to go to Hogwarts because he doesn’t want to be stuck with the pain and loneliness of being at the Dursley home. Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz wants to go somewhere over the rainbow, because she wants to be happy. Our external motivators usually hint at what’s going on internally.

Psychologically, it appears that the external fears I have — being a “bomb-tastic adult,” making money, and not making money — correspond to the fear of “success” (5) and the fear of “failure” (5) in a dead-even tie.

Now to ask the real question: Why those two fears? Why those two extremes? And what can I do to meet them and get to know them more intimately?

Listening to Myself

For me, fearing both success and failure isn’t new. Success and failure are two halves of the same coin called “change,” which I’ve feared for a long time. To give you an idea, I was the ten-year-old girl that ate an individual cheese pizza rather than the pizza with pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms that my family ate night after night.

I mean, just the other day — not even in the past — I was trying to find movie theater tickets online, and noticed that the theater changed itself to one that did reserved seating instead of first-come, first-serve.

And I was in shock. I was stuck at the screen. The theater that I’d been going to forever changed on me without notice. And I had a hard time processing that.

You might think it’s silly, but for someone like me — for someone that isn’t spontaneous very often — things like this can impact me to a great extent.

And it’s clear to me that Change is the root of my Veritas. I fear change that is thrust upon me without my knowledge, change that I thrust upon myself, change that will potentially alter my being and make me forget who I am…

So… now that I have this knowledge, what do I do with it? How can I make myself less afraid of change? How can I change the way that I perceive and react to change itself? What is one small thing that I can do within these twenty-four hours that will get me closer to embracing my fear of change?

Well, my Veritas would know something about that, wouldn’t it?

Bringing it Back

If I am afraid of not making an money from affiliate income, maybe I should read one article about how best to do it today.

If I am afraid of being a bomb-tastic adult, maybe I should try one guided meditation today to build my confidence.

If I am afraid of selling the music I write, maybe I should watch a YouTube video on one aspect of music theory that’s bugging me.

If I am afraid of writing something poorly in my writing session today, then maybe I should just write one word and call it quits.

If I am afraid of something, I should take one small step — any step — toward that fear.

In Chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu gives us this proverb:

A journey of a thousands miles begins with a single step.

All thousand-mile journeys begin with a “single step.” Not a mile. Not a foot. A step.

In the same way you can’t expect a dog to not pull on its leash or lunge at a tree the first time you go on a walk, you must take learning new things one step at a time.

You Can Do It

Your Veritas list might look different than mine. Maybe you have a greater fear of death or a greater fear of failure for all the points you find. But whatever your Veritas is — your inner fear, you can embrace it and move past it. I am no longer the girl who eats an individual cheese pizza each night watching cartoons. I am no longer the girl that wears my hair straight and long, but short and curly. I am no longer the novice that I was at writing.

I have changed, and I have come out on the other side with successes and failures to boot. Some of the steps that I’ve taken to get to the other side were small, and others were large.

But I kept moving. And the world kept moving.

We’ll keep moving. Together.

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