On Trusting Myself

19 10 2009

In this area, I am broken. There are, as with any big problem, many causes for this. One reason is that I happened to be born with an intense fear of feeling foolish. It manifests in the obvious things like being wrong about something. But also in ways that are less conventional – costume parties terrify me, as a child I hated to be observed while playing or making up songs, or getting too “into” a role. This deep hatred of being foolish, or stupid, or wrong, has affected every single part of my life significantly. I am trying to deconstruct this aspect of me, keeping it intact only when it does not injure me. The other cause is, of course, society’s message to me, to us, that we are not worthy of our own trust.

Recommended to me years ago, by multiple sources, is Gavin De Becker’s book, Protecting the Gift. It has finally come into my hands and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. It’s fabulous in every way. He is respected by all mainstream sources (works for high-ranking government, in fact), and yet he speaks of intuition and the “wild brain” in a way that empowers one to accept herself as a trustworthy source, even in supposed absence of logical reasons to feel a certain way. He points out that nature is deeply invested in us as a species and has given us intuition as a way to protect ourselves, he uses animals to illustrate this. And, for some reason, making this scientific in the way that he does, allows me to grasp it and use it. My spirituality has been wounded, and through this book, I think I may find my way back to things that are less black and white.

In the first chapters, De Becker speaks of fear – but not as something negative, rather as a tool. Fear will direct you when needed. He also speaks of worry and he differentiates between the two. Where fear is a reaction to an immediate danger, worry is useless. He points out that seeing a volcano erupt doesn’t cause worry, it causes running. The fear tells you exactly what to do: get the hell away.

I’m only into chapter five at this point, but each chapter gets better; more empowering, more informative, more important. I’m going to make The Husband and the MIL read at least certain chapters. And I’ll keep posting here as I work my way through the book (and through my brain and subsequent issues). In the mean time – go buy a copy if you haven’t read it yet!