The L of Living Imperfectly: Losing Yourself In Fear #atozchallenge

OK, so I know I’m not perfect. The past week of commitments has meant that I had to let the Challenge slide. It’s the first time in 3 years I have done so and whilst I would have preferred to be putting up my “O” post today like the rest of you, I am content to be back at “L” and continuing my Challenge journey. I’m looking forward to catching up all around, on the reading on the writing and on the commenting.

All of this is just to prove that I don’t pre-bake my Challenge posts. If I was that perfect I would have written them for the week and programmed them to magically appear. Whilst that’s a great idea, I prefer my posts to reflect what I feel on the day.

What’s a Challenge without a challenge, right?

L Challenge Letter In my K post I commented briefly about being held hostage to another’s fear. This is something that is always a possibility in a relationship. In our strive to love someone and make someone else happy, we can take on their fears.

When my kids were younger and invited their young play mates over to our house, it was always interesting talking to these children because  more often than not, at that age they are a reflection of their parents. A veritable transmitter of their parents’ fears. Now, everyone has the right to raise their kids the way they see fit so this is not about judging anyone’s parenting style. But it wasn’t long before you could see what grown up fears and ideas had been transplanted into these young minds.

The fear of catching a cold or of becoming messy were the real obvious ones. But there were others like fear around certain foods that were not for medical reasons or fears about activities that were perceived dangerous, something like walking on the sand at the beach near the water.  Of course, as the parent of the host child you listen, adjust and respect the visiting parent’s/child’s values.But how many of these kids were missing out because of their parents’ fears? How many of these kids would end up losing themselves because of these fears? And how many of them would transmit these fears across the generations to their own children?

In adult relationships the same thing can happen. Your partner has certain fears. For ease, let’s use dancing. How many of you have stopped dancing because your partner doesn’t like it? You go to weddings and other celebrations and you don’t dance because your partner fears looking like this and getting this reaction:

dancing

 

Dancing is a relatively straight forward fear and probably most of us can get by without dancing if we have to. But what about those more complex fears, the ones that go to your core, your passions, who you are? They can’t be sacrificed so easily without losing your sense of self.

The loss tends to come incrementally until one day the light goes on. So what do you do at that point? Do you keep losing yourself for the sake of the relationship or do you make changes in your own life to reclaim the lost parts of yourself?

The choice is not easy and there are a whole lot of complexities to sort through, particularly if the happiness of the other person is important to you. The bottom line though is that you are just as worthy and your happiness is just as important as that of your partner’s and no-one has the right to force their fears onto you. Acceptance does not mean total conformity and losing your identity. A true equal relationship is about both people being free to be able to be who they are.

Reclaiming who you are is not about being selfish. True selfishness comes from requiring someone else to live by our standards alone.

Dare to be imperfect, dare to be you.

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

8 thoughts on “The L of Living Imperfectly: Losing Yourself In Fear #atozchallenge

  1. Interesting concept. I’ve always tried to make sure not to openly show my fears to avoid having my children take them up, but I never thought of anyone else’s fears holding me back. Wonderful food for thought.

  2. It’s important to reexamine our own fears periodically too, now that you mention it. We can hold ourselves back if we just accept our perspectives as fixed (and rational).

    I am so impressed with your attitude about falling behind. Catching up the way you are doing instead of any of the other alternatives at your disposal is inspiring. I especially like the “challenge” you mention of seeing what each day brings instead of having things done in advance. I struggled with that concept myself. How much easier my life would be this month if I had really given this more thought and even written a few ahead. But I struggle each day to make the deadline, and it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one. Thanks 🙂

  3. I think I would rather not lose myself if my fears. Though I do dare to be imperfect every single day. I appreciate your willingness to continue the challenge and not letting the imperfection of being a letter or two behind get you down. Great attitude. I hope others who have fallen a little behind will continue to plod along. I started out behind and that’s ok. Hurrah for imperfection. Enjoy. maria from Delight Directed Living

  4. I didn’t even know about the challenge until the day before it started, so I’ve been “pantsing” the whole thing. Like you (and Deb, above), I struggle almost every day just to find a topic that “wants” to be written–I do have a list of possible topics for most days, but for some reason, when the day arrives, I don’t feel like writing on any of those! Argh! The stress of it all!

  5. I didn’t know you had been blogging for 3 years. I have been remiss in commenting on some of your posts and also others as life is so damn hectic right now. I will dance like no ones watching now. I related my fears on to my girls, especially to the eldest and her hate of roller coasters, or spiders. I am pleased to say though my light still burns but perhaps not as brightly as it once did. Writing on the ‘day’ is to be admired for spontaneity is part and parcel of the challenge you have committed to. How you feel on a particular day before you write. Pre writing wouldn’t be the same. I don’t think I have made any sense really, as I’m exhausted, so I am closing the door on my way out. Hugs x

  6. This post really resonated with me. First, your attitude about being ‘behind the pack’ in the Challenge and just soldiering on. Being a runner who is ALWAYS far behind the main pack, I instantly had my own visual on this feeling. The difference of course is that you can eventually catch up 🙂
    Then there is the concept of influence – how we are influenced and how we influence others, whether we intend to or not. It was a powerful statement about the risk of losing ourselves and the light eventually going out. In any relationship over time, there is always that danger isn’t there?
    Well said!

  7. Judy, great post. Our house is imperfectly wonderful. We used to shine up a lot for company, that by the time the got here, we were exhausted. Now, we love our managed chaos. Cheers to living and be less afraid to offend. BTG

  8. Trying to be who someone else wants you to be may seem to work for a short time, but if it’s a long-term relationship… ‘pretending’ just won’t work without a growing discontent and even anger eventually… No relationship should really ‘be’ if the other person won’t accept you and attempt to compromise as you do also… that’s the only way it will work …. Diane

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