Ambivalence as Armor

It’s been a long time since I wrote here, getting close to a year. I suppose the real reason I paused in my writing is because I realized it wasn’t taking me anywhere. I wasn’t going to become a published author or spokeswoman for autism or mental health. Grandiose hopes that I laugh at now. Delusions of grandeur that Lithium just naturally abolished. Those realizations caused me to pause and break, because sometimes you just need to come back to doing something for fun or self-care or whatever reason you initially began doing it.

And I think I’m there now. I just miss the release of writing. Indeed, sitting here typing just feels “right”.

All of which brings me to what I am doing now. What am I up to these days? I’m back in school. After realizing that I needed a realistic track to career and employment and something for myself (not for my family), I took stock of what I really liked in all of the jobs I worked in previously. I found medicine interesting when I worked at the hospital. I loved working independently in various situations. I enjoyed a clean, clear work space. And a bunch of other things I won’t bore you with right now. Basically, what I am getting at is that all of the things, including what programs are offered near me, aligned with a program for Medical Laboratory Technicians.

And that’s what I am doing now! Exciting, I know….Okay, maybe it’s not exciting to you, but it is to me. Starting school again, with four kids in tow, one of whom I’m homeschooling and another with autism – well, it’s been stressful. Perhaps the most distressing piece of all of it has been my fear of failure creeping up like a stealthy giant ready to crush me. Previously, ambivalence had been my armor against this nasty ogre. Fortunately and unfortunately, going through years of therapy has made it so I can’t just ignore this fear. I get to *feel* it. Great, right?

Not so much.

The biggest thing I’ve learned about fear in life is that you can’t just make it go away. In fact, we were given fear to protect us. Right now, these days, my brain is screaming that I’m going to fail. It’s trying to protect me from the pain of failure. The problem is – if I listen to fear, I’ll never know success.

This brings me to the second biggest thing I’ve learned about fear so far. Most of the time you just have to do it, whatever “it” is, afraid. You heard me. Do it while afraid. So that’s what I’m up to these days.

I want to take the time to add one last side note about fear and it’s a spiritual topic (so stop reading if God annoys you). I hear a lot of talk in Christian circles about praying for God to take away fear or praying to be set free from fear. I think people get confused about where fear originally came from. Despite what is commonly thought, fear isn’t a result of sin nature or an influence of the devil. Fear was given to humans by God. You see, He wanted to make sure they ran away when a bear came at them. He wanted to make sure humans sought shelter when loud booms of thunder crashed in the sky. Without fear, we would get into a lot of trouble.

I think people get confused about fear and God, because the Bible has many times where God says “Do not be afraid.” The thing is there is a big difference between being afraid and having fear. Afraid is letting fear rule you. Having fear is not being afraid. So sit, do, win with the fear at your side. Don’t be afraid.

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