On my other blog, I’ve been writing a lot of memories about the decade I spent living in Japan, and I realized that I’ve been belatedly processing some feelings that I had kept bottled up inside from that time period. I know, I know, I should have processed them a long time ago, but that’s not what happened. Some of these feelings that I’ve kept inside for so long have caused me to behave in ways that kind of fueled a feedback loop. Basically, I felt unlovable, and because of this, I have found ways to either keep certain people at bay and daydream about relationships with people who were unavailable. The upshot is that I haven’t really been in a relationship since I divorced in 1981. That’s a long time! My fear is that I’m unlovable, and so I structured my life to “prove” that, as it were, by living a life devoid of any true relationships. In other words, I’ve been living my fear.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t want you to think that my life has been a total waste. It hasn’t. I taught English as a Second Language in Japan for ten years, then came back to the United States and taught Japanese for four years. Then I went back to school for my Master’s degree in education and taught English as a Second Language for nearly 20 years. I loved teaching, and I think I was a good teacher. I still am, even though I’m retired now.
And since I retired in 2011, I have been writing. I’m now writing two blogs daily and I’m working on my second children’s nonfiction book. Not too shabby. In both of these careers, teaching and writing, I’m living my dream. The writing is just beginning to take off.
It’s the living my fears that concerns me now. I have realized that I need to stop living my fears, because by focusing on what I’m fearful of, I am cementing it into my life. Basically, I’m creating my own fears. And that needs to stop!
Getting out of this predicament is going to take some time and some inner work. It’s not going to happen in a moment. And it’s not going to happen automatically. I have to choose to deal with and process the fears, and let them go. This time, letting go will be key, because if I want to fill my life with love and joy, I will have to make room for it. I will have to let some of the sadness and self-pity go, forever.
This is a work in progress. Perhaps I’ll have more to say about it in a future blog. For now, I’d like to challenge you to assess your own life. Are you living your dream, or your fears? If you are living your fears, what are your fears, and why are you stuck in a life based on fear? What can you do to acknowledge your fears, then release them? What is your dream, and how will your dream replace your fears?
The ball’s in your court! 🙂