My relationship with him embodied my relationship to fear. I was afraid of him and I allowed that fear to control me instead of questioning it. When I found the courage to question it, our relationship fell apart because it had no substance and it had no wisdom.
Our relationship was a shell. A tiring cycle of narcissistic abuse and empty violent projections that I fed into. For one reason or another, I found it easier to deal with his fears than to take control of the situation and pull myself out of it.
When I left him I realized that a huge chunk of my life was missing and he couldn’t care less about what happened to me. Instead, he continued to invent stories that fed his ego with a complete and shocking disregard not only for me but also for reality.
I also found myself surrounded by a wall of overwhelming fear.
Overwhelming for two reasons – he inspired fear in me (it was his modus operandi) and at the same time the natural fears in me where being triggered. I couldn’t tell which fears were true and which weren’t which made the situation harder to manage.
I decided that the best way forward was to include my fears in my life instead of allowing them to collect on the sidelines, creating an artificial boundary between me and the rest of the world.
If my response to it was to turn away from it, then now was the time to turn towards it and really look at what it is. What was the raw material of fear that had so much control over me?
If in my ignorance and avoidance fear could sculpt me into something that I was not – maybe if I used it with intent, it could help me discover something meaningful about its purpose.
It must have a place in the flow of life and I wanted to find that place. To put it back in its place.
So I took all that I knew about building meaningful relationships and applied it to my relationship with fear.
I made a definite place for it in my life. With all its anxiety, and all its awful feelings, thoughts and sensations – I invited it in. I realized that fear had a voice and I listened to what it had to say. I questioned it in order to find out how solid it was and if it had any merit. Did it have a heart?
I realized that I would have to learn how to work with my goals and my fears simultaneously. I also learned that they are two types of fear – the fear of getting hurt physically and the fear of the unknown.
The fear of getting hurt physically is understandable by everyone. Fear of the unknown is a little more tricky.
We are conditioned to move towards that which provides security and a sense of predictability so that we can live happy lives. We are taught to consume as a way to avoid negative feelings and to create a sense of belonging. What we are not taught is how to be comfortable in the unknown and how to value the experience of it.
Working with the unknown is all experimental for me. I don’t know what I am doing but I am trusting my intuition to guide me and for my artistic skills to make something out of it. My intuition tells me that I should try to map my fears of the unknown and so I have renamed them as ‘places I haven’t explored yet.’
What I know now about the unknown is that for me it is a place of regeneration. It is the place from which I was born and the place I will die into. It is the place that reminds me that I am as ignorant as I am wise. And more importantly, it reminds me that I am part of a deeper mystery.
The unknown acts like a mirror and I accept it as a teacher.