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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Self-Inflicted Friendly Fire

Friendly Fire is a term which makes me cringe. I first remember hearing of it in my TV Guide many years ago and then discovering it was a soldier who was accidentally mortally wounded by one of his own men. Considering the ways military offensives are carried out, as well as those involving police, it is amazing more events like these are not known of. But perhaps they just have gone unreported. I have been engaging in a dialogue with a friend i met via blogging, and we both share some very similar experiences as well as emotional,spiritual and relational issues which connect in a meaningful way that we can both share about. One of the insights we have gleaned in sharing is how the roots of our struggles often have a degree of self-inflictedness too them.

I have shared alot about my ongoing battle with fear. The aspect of fear i battle the most is the intangible one, of something happening suddenly like a major health problem or some form of disaster or accident. It is ironic to me that I have experienced both these things, and yet still the lurking presence of the fear has persisted. In high school I was hit on the head by a huge beam of wood, very heavy and huge. Some thought it had killed me, but it merely gave me a concussion and the Dr told me it narrowly missed a major artery which, if it had been struck, would have killed me instantly. At a summer camp I worked at for the Salvation Army, I dove in to the pool from atop my lifeguard tower-bad move-and struck my forehead hard against the cement bottom of the pool,causing lots of bleeding. I came away with a concussion. I could have easily broken my neck or smashed my skull. I have had 3 *silent* heart attacks, as well as had an angioplasty requiring a stent along with congestive heart failure. Hmmmm, the very things I let cause fear to wrap itself around me happened, and I came through them fairly well, thanking God for being with me and seeking to have a sense of humor about them.

Part of me still sits back and thinks, *well you didn't have your heart stop or your breathing stop so you weren't dying which is the real root you know". True enough. I wish I had been older to witness and really get a good handle on how my dad dealt with knowing he had a terminal illness. He had cancer which kept spreading on him, even after chemo,radiation and a few surgeries. He was a boisterous and unfazed man, for lack of better words. We went on a big vacation the summer before he died,and i have many very great memories, which were captured in slides, thinking back on that trip. He lived life and enjoyed it, not letting the reality of death being near prevent him from doing so. I think this is what bothers me the most. I HAVE let fear steal enjoying life from me on and off whenever i brood about it. I just have never been able to understand why??? As i started to write this post I laughed at myself realizing the way I had faced the fears I dreaded so much and found ways to laugh in the midst and be aware of Gods presence. Why do I let fear and pain and any other stuff get in the way of just resting in Gods Presence moment by moment??? Why have i not been like my dad who really HAD a life threatening illness and didn't just worry about eventually having one happen???

I think this is where my self-inflicted wounds happen in relating to people as well. I have always had a pleasnt demeanor. I am even-tempered and I really like to make people laugh and smile, I like to find ways to compliment and encourage. I like to be able to listen and be helpful in reflecting back when consulted for advice and stuff. I am all too aware of these inner negatiuve aspects though. My fears do not get displayed openly- thank God!!! LOL unless I have an anxiety attack or something. But I find it hard to embrace and act out the compliments i get or good advice because the inner voices sabotage and disrupt what i hear and know my friends,family and others are saying. Times when I have tried to act in ways that fight against my fears and shyness I have found I react physically. I turn red, my voice shakes, I get a tic on my cheek and just feel shaky. This is usually when trying to be assertive and keep anger under control. I just bury anger and let sarcasm or other ways of using humor to deal with it or just act as if its not even there.

Any of you find a similarity in any of this??? I just want to learn to surrender my self-sabotage tendencies, always like sharing on here to further myself along. It is very odd to look back at alot of my writing of my struggles and to see that yes, i am a fully functioning working human carrying on day by day with all this inside. Guess that is what we all do, who truly knows all the craziness under the surface of any one of us unless we decide to share it??? Thank you all for sharing yours, and stopping by to view what i share of mine.


At 5:27 AM, Blogger Awareness said...

Robert...we never know the full bodied story of others or of ourselves...I believe that our journey in life is as an explorer or a miner...and if we are open to digging deep inside and looking beyond ourselves we continue to learn and to understand why we are made the way we are.....
we are fearfully made aren't we? we all have deep dark secrets we tend to keep to ourselves. as much as i appear to write on my blog my inner secrets....there are many i hold dear, and many i am struggling with that i only ever share with God.
The one thing i have learned through writing and reading and finding my faith again is that I am not my experiences or my roles or labels, and I am not my feelings or my thoughts...I am the essence of God. As you are my friend...YOU are the essence of God.

Happy Easter to you Robert.



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