Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Wow. It was really hard to start this post. Even now, I find my gaze wandering around the room as I type. My defense mechanism is doing everything it can to keep me from thinking too deeply about why I shouldn’t think too deeply.

Because if I think deeply, things might change, and that makes me afraid. I might get what I want, and that makes me feel guilty. I might fail, and then I’ve let everybody down. I might be imperfect--in front of everybody, no less--which is unacceptable. Every active step is another step toward upending other people, and this is unforgiveable. So I stay where I am.

Except, to stay where I am means I must distract myself, so I actually can’t stay still for more than a few minutes at a time. I must have plenty of projects going at once. That way when I finish one I can move right on to another, which leaves no time for ponderings that might lead me down another path. When I solve one problem, there’s another waiting. Thank God I’m doing such a good job with the distractions, because otherwise I’d have to admit that writing is my calling after all, and I’m really just scared.

And you know, this is all pretty silly, because it’s nothing I haven’t figured out before. The surprise is how strong the roots around my ankles are. Why has it come to a head now? Maybe because the roots have grown bigger than I realized, and they threaten to strangle me. It’s fear, all right. Fear of success, failure, change. Fear of meeting myself, of imperfection, but most of all, fear of emotion. Fear of losing control, of hurting someone or myself with those pesky emotions that seem to always be at odds with my surroundings. Why does it have to be so hard? I know what I want to feel, what I should feel, so why can’t I feel it?

I’ve been stuffing my emotions for so long now that I can’t comprehend what I’ve just written. Trying to edit the previous paragraphs would strip them of all meaning, if you can understand them in the first place. This is raw, just like the fear that I am only beginning to allow into the light, and this post might not be here tomorrow.

{ 5 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. even if this post isn't here tomorrow, you did the most important part- you wrote through your fear.

  2. You know, I think I understand all of that, on a lot of different levels. I get it. I know that's meaningless and useless, but...I get it.

  3. Saw this today and thought of this series of posts. Just things to ponder.

  4. I just want to let you know I've appreciated this whole series of yours I can rate. Very much. I think it's a very common thing with women, unfortunately. But I do hope you can use all of this introspection to your advantage. I'm rooting for you!

  5. First thing to do is wrestle the fear down to something that makes it seem not so huge anymore. Bad mouth it, bitch-slap it, kick its ass.

    My kids used to be terrified of storms, always afraid they'd turn into tornadoes and kill us all. Finally one stormy day I started yelling at the storm, daring it, threatening it, and then I flipped it off. My kids started cracking up, and "siding" with me. Suddenly the storm wasn't so scary anymore, not with mommy daring it to come get her and it couldn't even open the window.

    For the most part, it seems to have worked. Once in a great while now the little princess gets a bit scared but nothing like they used to.

    Decide to be more powerful than the fear and you will be. :)

    Most of the time. ;)


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