Tag Archives: acceptance

Does the fear ever go away?

That’s the question I was asked. “Does the fear ever go away?”

It was an inquiry on my website from an ex-Moonie. I get them periodically. I love getting them. I devour them as soon as I notice they’re there, and then I reread them a few more times. My next step is to, usually, forward the emails to my older brother, and to then sit for quite some time with the fact that someone reached out to me again.

Finally, I’m at my computer to a) thank them for connecting with me and b) answer their questions as well as I can.

Over the years, I’ve had numerous requests for information – any information – about Jacob House and what it was like to be a kid there. Those requests are usually from kids whose parents left them at Jacob House. I invariably also get them in touch with my mother. She often remarks to my older brother and me about the pain those kids are in because their parents left them.

I get “hello’s” from members who remember my brother and me and also from some who don’t. I’ve heard stories of painful times in the Church and traumatic paths out of the Church. I’ve had a few people share with me their good memories as well.

This former member who found me – thanks to the blog post on How Well Do You Know Your Moon – told me her story of pain. Pain in the Church. Pain on leaving the Church. Pain since leaving the Church. Unfortunately, I think that’s the common journey.

And then she asked me, “Does the fear ever go away?”

Does the fear ever go away?

In my experience, it doesn’t go away. At least not fully. At least not yet. But in my experience, it lessens.

It lessens in how often it overtakes me and how badly it overtakes me. I am wracked with terror or waves of shame much less often, and when they wash over or through me, I’m more quickly able to recognize what they are and call them out for being false. It’s like I can stand outside of myself while also being with myself, and remind myself that it will pass, even as much of me is caught up in the turmoil and fear that it will never pass.

Does the fear ever go away?

When it comes over me so strongly that I can’t see – or know – anything else, I know to get help. I know to reach for the phone. To call someone who loves me. Someone who will stay by my side and talk me through the fear.

And then it passes. Sometimes quickly. Sometimes much too slowly. But it passes. While I used to live my life in near-to-constant low-grade fear, more of my days are now spent in love and joy. In peace and ease. I have the wherewithal to realize that many of my fears are irrational, and I have the tools to take care of myself when the fear feels so real again.

“Does the fear ever go away?” she asked. “Not yet,” I answered. “Not all the way away. Not yet. But it’s so, so, so much better.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Daryn Stumbaugh on Unsplash

Categories: Recovery, , , Tags:

I am not in control

I am not in control. That may not come as a surprise to you, but somehow it’s always shocking to me. Even as much as I know that nearly everything is out of my control, at times I think and act like I’m in charge of everything.

Or at least like I should be.

I don’t really think I know better than everyone else, but sometimes I think I do. Or I think I do for a few moments before I realize how crazy that is. I don’t really think I always have to run the show, but sometimes I think I do.

Sometimes that immediate response kicks in – and into high gear – without me realizing it. At least for a few minutes. Sometimes I’m acting as if I’m still geared for saving the world – and everyone in it – whether or not it wants, or needs, to be saved.

The truth is that I’m not in control. I’m not in control of you. I’m not in control of the outcomes. I’m not in control of what happens. I’m often not fully in control of myself.

I get triggered, and my emotions surge. I can’t always (ever?) control that. My emotions surge, and I lash out (or run away). I can’t always control that yet either. I’m trying to, but I’m not all the way there yet. I lash out or run away, and I notice it and apologize or step back into the moment and/or the relationship. That one I’m – a bit – more in control of.

I’m not in control of whether or not a yellow bird graces my day. I’d like to think I am, but I’m not. I’m not in control of whether or not Danny (my dad) decides to let me move him to a nursing home closer to me to make my – and hopefully his – life easier. I’m not in control of how well my book sells or doesn’t. I’m not in control of how happy the people I care about are. I’m not in control of how you feel or how you act or what you do. I’m barely mustering control over how I act and how I feel and what I do. That is my responsibility though (unlike the others), so I’m working on it.

But the rest of it? I’m not in control. And there is something freeing in realizing that. There is something freeing in letting go of responsibilities that we never really mine to begin with.

I’m letting go of my sense of control and of my sense of needing to control. I’m slowly but surely prying my fingers off of whatever it is that they were clasped so tightly around. My false sense of control probably soothed my soul – and maybe, at some points, saved my life – all those years ago. But I don’t need it now.

And I don’t have it anyway. I don’t have control. I’m not in control.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: My Story, , Tags:

Lean into the suck. Embrace the s—t.

I live my life (mostly) trying to find my light and ease. To look for what’s working and what’s good. To bounce off of my struggles and soothe my heart.

I live that way. I write about it. I teach it.

Then there are times the only thing – or best thing – that has eased and soothed my heart and soul has been to lean into the suck. To acknowledge it and admit it.

Years ago I was in a very difficult place, struggling with a physical ailment that was knocking me to my knees. Over and over again. But I fought to find the good in it. I fought to stay positive at all times, to see what was right in my stinking situation.

Until a friend asked me how I was doing (as she drove me to our joint destination, as I could no longer drive due to my physical condition). I gave her all my platitudes. I pointed out all I was learning and how I was growing. I shared the rosy side of what was going on.

“But doesn’t it suck?” she asked me. “Why don’t you just admit it sucks?”

“Oh Lin,” I said. “It sucks. It sucks so, so much.” With that admission, my pained lessened a bit.

I’ve learned that while – for me at least – it is a best practice to find lightness and positivity, there comes a time when admitting my struggle and pain releases a bit of my struggle and pain. Perhaps because it takes so much energy to “be positive” when I feel anything but positive. Perhaps because my trying to be optimistic is lying about how I actually feel, and this self-dishonestly hurts. And hurts me.

There are times – for me at least – to lean into the suck.

There are also times to embrace my s—t. it is what it is. I am who and how I am. I may be on a lifelong journey to be my best self and to live my best life, but when I admit my foibles – when I own and even welcome my blemishes, faults, and the yucky parts of my personality and behavior – I again free myself.

I can still put too much pressure on myself to be my best self. I can still get lost in trying too hard and needing to be too perfect. I can still want to walk away from my humanness and, I guess, be without fault.

None of those habits work, and faultless isn’t true. Or possible.

When I can, instead, be human, I’m human. I’m real, and I’m happier.

When I can lean into the suck and embrace my s—t, when I can stop putting so much energy behind being perfect or fighting the truth of how awful I feel in the moment or trying so hard to reach some ideal that I learned (or made up) all those years ago, I am somehow more at peace. With less suck and less s—t.

Go figure.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Tim Graf on Unsplash

Categories: Resilience, , , Tags: