Wednesday, March 07, 2007

it's just a duck

I'm coming to understand that many things in life are amoral. This is important for someone who struggles with guilt and fear continually. I was raised in a fear-based religious system, and my personality is one which exacerbates the consequences of such a system. The worst thing I could face is punishment, because it implies I'm less than perfect. Therefore, the more expectations, the more pressure and fear of punishment and thus, failure. This type of fear is paralyzing because the best way not to screw up is not to try, or to make something more than it is in order to avoid it, or attach morality to a situation where there really is none-it is just what it is.

This is all exhausting. I'm trying hard to find the dragon's tail, which reaches far back into the past and swings around to whack me emotionally in the present. I have to analyze what emotions are normal to a situation and which ones are exaggerated, inappropriate or attached to learned behaviors that have nothing to do with the present one. I tend to avoidance, minimizing and hiding, and this is not normal behavior. Once again the connection seems to be the quest for perfection, and the less I put myself in a position to be seen failing, the better off I convince myself that I am. This is wrong.

The thing is, nothing drains the joy out of life faster than fear. So many good things happen when we try, even if supposed failure or an unexpected outcome is the result. Risk is necessary to have good relationships, to reach out to others in need, to learn new things. It isn't evil to fail. It isn't a sin to make a mistake. It isn't wrong to need or want things and try to achieve them, even if it is just for ourselves. I have come to understand the reason for taking up a cross is to accept an invitation to a shared life between me and God. If He's always there, there's always perfection and love present in any situation. I can live with that alot easier than fear.


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