i made an art project last week. you can see it here. it's supposed to be a place where i put all the things i'm afraid of and then add to it the TRUTH. so i've been facing some of the fears i've stuffed down. here's some examples: i'm afraid of people i don't understand. (you know, the one's we turn away from because we are "too busy" to engage them in conversation or those at church that you've seen but don't affiliate with because _________) i'm afraid of what people will say. i'm in uncharted territory and that's scary because i don't know the outcome. will it be bad?
so. here i am. facing my fears. listening to what's in there. it's a good thing. why? because all my life i ran away from them. actually it's impossible to run away from them. i really just stuffed it down. unfortunately, doing that causes major problems. it can (and will, if you let it get too far) cause health problems! when i was little, i got myself so sick to my stomach about going to school, that i couldn't eat breakfast. i was so worried about what the kids at school would do/say to me. i was a very quiet child, very shy. i was afraid of so many things, including my teachers. i tried to stay on everyone's good side and be in the shadows as much as possible. i didn't want to stick out and get attention, good or bad.
now i'm able to ask myself what it is i'm afraid of. just looking at it, at first IS scary because fear puts a big face on. but as i sit there with it, asking questions about why it's there, i find roots that go back to when something did happen or i thought would affect me. for instance, with the fear "i'm afraid of what people think of me" i placed my value in what my parents thought of me. what kid doesn't? my perception of myself in life was "you don't measure up" and/or "keep mom and dad happy". a big part of that is a first-born thought. i think parents place a lot of pressure on the first-born child because they don't know what to do! everyone is new at it! so these are walls of fear in my life that i struggle with. as i look at them, they get smaller. especially when i know there are others around me also looking at their fears and finding out THEY CAN BE CONQUERED! what a blessing and freeing thing that is! as i look at them, i place them into God's hands and tell him they are his to work on. as he works on them, he's causing me to step out into unknown realms.
right now, i'm wanting to take pictures of things. i don't know why. i'm getting some kind of eye for beauty i never had. i didn't enjoy art. art galleries bore me. i like to quickly look at things and keep moving. i don't stare at art for hours. something in me is changing. i don't know what it is yet. but i like it. it's new and it's fun and i smile. i love God more. i love my family more. i feel like i'm really living.
how about you? what are your fears? do you face them or stuff them?