I’ve always played it safe. No matter what it was, I was never one to take chances on the unknown. It could be people, places or opportunities, didn’t matter how much greatness I was destined for… I stayed in my lane. For years, I blamed it on my fears. Fear of failing myself, my family, my hood, my friends, my race, my gender. I carried nothing but needless weight on my shoulders. The safest chances turned out to be the worst bets.
But where did the fear come from? I learned as a parent that we come into this world unafraid and unaware of the dangers that await us. Kids are so bold and fearless. So how do we become these adults who are afraid to take chances? Why are we scared to take those leaps of faith? Even if they merely small steps towards something better, why do hesitate?
I learned that it was not the fear I instilled in myself nor was it a lack of faith. I was groomed to never simply try. I was fashioned into believing that I could and would fail. Well how can one fail if they never try??
It took me four decades to learn that I was never going forward because I was not only afraid of failing myself but those that came before me. I inherited generations of I can’t & I couldn’t and eventually they manifested into I won’t & I wouldn’t. I was more afraid of letting everyone down at the expense of myself. I feared more than my own failures, their unrealistic ideologies that I had something to prove. I either had to prove them right or wrong. I found myself fighting constantly between what I was meant to be and who they wanted me to be.
I found myself attached to emotionally unavailable people because I, in turn grew up chasing the emotional unavailability of my elders. I was more worried with what they would think of me or how I would make them look to others.
My own happiness sacrificed.
I couldn’t even revel in my achievements as I felt like when I did something right, it was the bragging right of my elders. My success was never my own. Yet if I failed, it was the result of my own shortcomings. That and only that was my own.
My parents constantly fought over me but not in the healthy way I saw on sitcoms. I was constantly reminded of their failures and faults as if though they were my own. If I fucked up, I was my father’s child or my mother’s daughter. If I succeeded I became the trophy but if I failed, I was shamed. Not coddled. Not loved or reassured.
This was the bridge I found myself trapped on. Between their expectations and their fear. It wasn’t my trauma that held me back, it was theirs.
When a child lacks the recognition of any kind, they later manifest that trauma into a series of letdowns. We gravitate towards the only thing we ever known and seen from our elders.
But one day when I found myself mentally at my lowest. I found the courage to burn those toxic bridges. I learned to love myself. I learned to heal. I learned to forgive my parents. But importantly, I learned to forgive myself. No longer will I resent my parents for allowing their pain manifest in me. I learned the whys of the mistakes I made in chasing and choosing toxicity so that I could relearn the hows of not repeating them. So instead of being broken by my fears and mistakes, I became stronger as a result of them.
And thus I learned to not only build a better, stronger bridge… more importantly, I finally found the courage to cross it.
This bridge… is one of courage of being unapologetically me. A bridge without fear. A bridge to value for who I am to myself, not for being valued for what I can do to be valuable.
Read that again…
…value for who I am to myself,
not for being valued for what I can do to be valuable…
This life, this bridge is mine to build. Not theirs. Not anyone else.
I no longer fear failure. I embrace it as a tool of learning. If the greats of our time could not only learn to master fear and failure but mold it into confidence and success.. then why couldn’t I?
I’m no less capable so why should I be any more afraid to be as great as they are?
So here I stand at the bridge of healing, hope, love, confidence and curiosity.
Growth is changing fears into possibilities and failures into success.
I no longer fear the unknown, I embrace it.
I now welcome those possibilities that lie in wait before me. I welcome and manifest my greatness. I allow myself to set healthy boundaries. I allow myself to no longer be governed by unrealistic expectations of me. I allow only what is positive energy. I allow myself to build bridges to love, success, healing, positivity, light, hope, possibilities, higher frequencies, optimism and my higher inner self.
My bridge is built. My best me on the other side.
Until Next Time Kiddies,
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