I have been contemplating lately what holds me back in regards to incidents and interactions in my life. The conclusion, which may be a result of my mind tyring to sort and organize and compartmentalize all my daily experiences, is that fear has a place in my psyche that can strangle my motivation.
Let me explain. Scenario: my church calling is to contact people and ask them to go talk with the Bishop so they can renew their temple recommends. The niggling thought in my mind is that most of those people are probably not wanting to go in for an interview and confess that they haven't paid tithing, that they haven't lived the commandments, etc. So I let the opportunity to fulfil my calling slip through the cracks because I fear to offend.
Yes, better to fear God and do his works than to fear man and do nothing.
So I am trying to face the fears, the small worms at the core of the issue, and act responsibly. Not that I am exorbitantly irresponsible by any means, I just feel like I can skate on by on some things--wrapped in a cloak of apathy or non-involvement. Again, please note this is a self-critical evaluation. I am a damn fine housekeeper and I am a major part of my children's lives. I write this lest some greater power believe I sit naked in front of the TV covered in cheetos and stale sweat. Let me re-iterate then that I feel I am an involved husband/father. I merely hope to be more connected.
I have plenty to worry about, between the kids being smartly dressed/fed/educated, spending time with my wife since we both work, and maintaining a good ethic at work. But on top of that all I worry about my book, currently rolling into it's fifth year of composition. I don't like to air out my laundry in public, for fear of folks realizing my underwear has holes in it. My ideas are my own, and not owned by anyone else. I fear the critic, and even fear the potential for shoddy work, but mostly fear the idea of never finishing this. I loathe the idea of living a life of punching the clock instead of being my own boss.
The resolution to this, for me, is to write. Everyday. I write the beautiful, mundane, daily stuff; breading and seasoning and cranberry accompanying the meat of my life. I write it down, force my will onto paper (or e-paper if you will), and face the fear of criticism. I thumb my nose at the face of the sneering critic & I write my words, brave soldiers they are, to fight the hatred of the sprayer on the forum. In the lines of my verse I beget hope to father life in the desolation of the opinion. My words are like a seed to me--full of potential, bursting with life and wanting more. They want to grow and take root and develop.
And these things fight my greatest fear; that what I do and who I am does not matter. Oh the great falsehood of that belief--the destruction these words have on my psyche! What a strange line of BS for a successful hard working father of three to have! The truth is, any of these steps I take to fight the fear in my heart make me a better husband, a better father, a better human. As I grow and fight the fear in me, it bolsters the belief that what I do matters. It fortifies the truth that fear and belief cannot coexist, one yields to the other, for they are diametrically opposed.
Yes, I know, compartmentalized thinking. I told you. My thinking of things as belonging in a box, of holding commonalities between them. But they do. And the trick in life for me is seeing how they are related, no matter how tenuous.