"What are you, or were you afraid of?"
I used to be afraid of a lot of things. Now, I am only afraid of one. But, it took me a long time to both identify and understand my fears. It wasn’t until I began to question everything about myself, like "why do I think the way I do?" or "why do I do the things that I do?", that I began to truly understand that not only was fear controlling my life, but it was also destroying it. So, is was at that point that I made the decision to declare war on all my fears, and began to look within myself.
The purpose of this internal-war was not just to control my fears, but rather the objective was to eradicate all my fears. But, in order to do that, I first had to identify every single one of my fears, which meant that I would have to be brutally honest with myself.
Then, once the fear was identified, I could track it back to the way to its origins. As it turns out all of my fears originate from early childhood traumatic exposure. I grew up in a home that a mother that was a strong believer that if you 'spare the rod spoil the child'. So, for a young anxious kid with too much energy, that was a serious problem. I can easily remember the countless times that my mother hit me until she got tired of it. It seems to me like violence was my mothers one and only option to not only discipline her kids but also her way to release her own frustrations due to her own shortcomings. As a result of that, not only did I become extremely afraid of her, but I also developed the fear to any situation that could lead to violence.
I hated confrontation. So, first I would avoid it by any means, even if it meant allowing myself to get mistreated by others. I went on like that, for years, just allowing other kids to bully me and I would just repress all the emotion and pain inside.
That is, of course, until the day that I realize I had a very high tolerance for pain. I realized that my biggest bully, my mother, could no longer hurt me, as I was now, much bigger and stronger than her. At that very moment, I made an agreement with myself that if I ever felt threatened in anyway, and I felt that someone was trying to hurt (be it emotionally or physically), I was going to hurt them instead. That led to a life full of pain and suffering not only for myself but all those around me as well. The way my mother treated me consequently led me to become a man extremely afraid of getting hurt. Whether it was physical or emotional pain, I wanted nothing to do with that.
In conclusion, I used to be afraid of confrontation, I used to be afraid of rejection, I used to be afraid of failure, amongst many other things. In a nutshell I was afraid of everything.
But now I am only afraid of one thing and that is the reverence I feel towards God that is the one and only type of fear that I have in my heart now. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that although my mother had tough methods to discipline us, I know that she meant well, and did the best she could. I love her, and in my heart, I harbor no animosity toward her or anybody else.
Jose Arroyo G23451