Fear. I let it control me too often. It can control what I do and do not do. It can even consume me, if I let it.
I’m scared of bugs. I’m afraid not OF the dark, but what could be hiding IN the dark. I have little fears.
I think we all do.
But I realized this past week that I have a Really Big Fear that I’ve left (basically) unspoken for years. YEARS. And to leave it unspoken (for much longer) would be wrong, because it’s just fear. I’m letting fear control me.
I’m going to share my Really Big Fear. I don’t know how, but I’m going to give that fear a voice. But I’ve gotta work up to that first, because I’m well…I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m fearful of the fear.
Kind of goes against the entire point of this week, huh?
But I’m gonna give it a shot. I’m SO hoping that you’ll stick around each day this week and read about my fears. Connect in the comments. Possibly share your fears there, too. Community. Together-ness. Getting-over-fears-ness.
Here goes nothing.
Day One. Giving my fears a voice. I’m only on Day One, not even my Really Big Fear and I’m struggling to find the right words to explain. To give this fear a voice. To get it out there, willing to be judged and looked down upon, in the hopes that it will encourage just one person to know they aren’t alone.
Maybe that person is me. I don’t know.
I do know that I had a plan for which fear to share today. My smallest fear out of my top five. Scary, but not as bad as four others.
Then I realized that today is Valentine’s Day, and I knew it needed to change. Not so we can celebrate the holiday here, or talk about chocolates and flowers, although those are really nice and all. But because of one of my very very very biggest fears.
I’m afraid of love.
To put it most simply, I’m terribly afraid of loved and loving others. It scares me so bad, I don’t know how to relay how big that fear is to you.
If you knew me in real life you might not ever even suspect that. Because I really do love my friends, and I try to show that. Random gifts, little notes, hugs, “how are you’s” (and really wanting to know the answer)…those all show love. Those are all done on a regular basis.
But it’s not me. Not completely.
I have so much more love to give, and no where to give it. Even if I had a place to give all my ‘extra’ love, I don’t know if I would be able to give it away.
I’ve been burned. I’ve loved and I’ve lost.
I’ve been told countless promises and “I’ll never stop loving you’s” from my very closest and dear friends. From my brothers and sister. My sister. My best friend. My other half, split at birth.
And then, one by one, they all left me.
Try to love after that. Try to love deeply and unconditionally, without questions or fear welling up inside every day of your life. Try to never think “will they leave me, too?” “Are they using me?” “How long is this ‘forever love’ really going to last this time?”
What’s more, try to accept love from others after everyone you ever loved deeply, and were loved deeply by, up and left.
Promises broken. Love suddenly…gone…
I stood in the bathroom last night looking at the mirror when this thought crossed my mind:
Alone on Valentine’s Day. Again. Who do I have to love? How am I ever going to love again?
And I promise you as soon as I thought those words and looked at myself in the mirror, I realized I had been right there February 13th of last year thinking those exact thoughts.
Deja vu. Freaky to the max. But I promise you it’s true.
How am I ever going to love again?
I know this post is long, and most have probably stopped reading. But I can’t stop. I don’t talk about this fear, and now it all is just spilling out. I don’t know if I’m making sense, rambling, or both. But my fingers keep click-clicking away and so I will continue in this jumbled manner.
I still love them. Does that surprise you? It never really fails to surprise me, and at the same time nothing would surprise me more if I DID stop loving them.
The thing is, I love deeply. When I love, I really love. It’s no half-way thing. No matter what someone does or doesn’t do, no matter how they make me proud or shatter my heart, my love remains.
I still love them.
I can’t stop. Believe me, I’ve tried.
If I didn’t love them I could move on and never look back. I could be done with it all, leave it in the past without a second glance.
But I still love each of them, though not a single one of them loves me in return.
The people, my people, who told me more times than I could ever recall “I love you.” “You mean the world to me.” “I can’t imagine not being friends.” “I love you so much.” “I love you more.”
Those people, my people, loved me one day and left me the next. They don’t love me, and I truly with all of my heart don’t think they’ll ever love me again.
Because love lasts. Love sticks around, it doesn’t take flight.
Which leaves me to wonder a question that has haunted me for almost two years: Did they ever really actually love me? If love just up and left, was it ever even love?
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know, though I think they did love me for a while. But where does that leave me? How do I know who to love and who will leave?
How am I to love again without the fear of it all being a scam, a big joke, fake?
How am I supposed to hear the words “I love you” and actually believe it.
How in the world am I supposed to date and find the man I’m going to marry – and actually marry him, believing that 10 years from now his love won’t fade and he won’t leave just like the rest of them.
I don’t know. All I know is that not one single persons love has always remained in my life but Jesus. Every person has left or stopped loving me. I don’t know how to accept love, believe in love, or simply love people.
I want to love deeply. I want to passionately love a yet-to-be-known man.
But I’m terrified of love…because love has burnt me and scarred me so deeply that the wounds of broken love and promises have still yet to scab over almost two years later.
Two years and I’m still terrified of love.