Fear – Chatter: Stepping into the conversation
I have never liked ordinary.
The word ordinary sounds too much like the word beige.
Nothing extra. No descriptors. Just plain-blah-beige.
I am sure that some will argue with my next statement. So, here goes!
“I don’t think there are any all-inspiring descriptors for the words beige.” It just shouts ORDINARY to me.
Shades like sangria, cerulean, mulberry or even marmalade instantly take my mind far away from the ordinariness of beige; to a world of color, design and endless possibilities.
A satisfied extra-ordinarian
My husband is a satisfied “ordinarian”. He loves vanilla ice-cream. He is satisfied with brownies without the nuts. He drinks coffee just-plain-black and is happy with a minimalist wardrobe of the same few shirts, two pair of well-worn jeans, and a much-used leather belt.
Yet interestingly, beyond this, I see only extraordinary qualities about him. Traits that I have observed and at times, have even been ridiculously jealous about.
He steps into life with a confident stride. His self-assured posture keeping him from having to fight against the debilitating fear-chatter, that so often incapacitates me.
With confidence he places himself in the conversation without feeling any personal threat from what he shares at the table. Able to be a learner as well as a contributor.
Yet, all-the-while I watch from the side lines. Longing to be a part of the conversation. Chomping-at-the-bit to enter the fray. Holding back what I think is of value.
Why do I watch from the side-lines? All because I am too afraid to take even one tottering, risky-step, towards center-stage.
Watching from the side-lines
Despite my fear of being thought of as an “ordinarian” I often stay hidden. Too afraid of being seen, yet terrified of remaining unnoticed.
Terrified of blending in and becoming invisible, yet somehow fearful that I may do something well and just possibly, stand-out.
There is fear in being thought that you will remain unseen and yet there is fear in being seen and celebrated. How can this be?
The fear of rejection
How often have I timidly raised my hand, mostly under the table where no one can see it? Why do I do this? I know I have something to say; but the fear of rejection so often silences me. So, with this, my hand falls soundlessly into my lap and I somehow fade away from the conversation; regretful and often resentful that I cannot force myself to enter in and be heard.
If perchance I do enter in, I also know that once the spot light is on me and every eye looks my way, that whatever I have to say; “Better be good!” This is a voice of my past that interrupts me, whenever my desire to enter the conversation gets the best of me. I am not sure of its origin, but it comes with heavy requirements.
The following questions barrage my thoughts. Almost as if my fear-chatter knows I am going to do something ridiculous like ignoring its logic and exposing myself by entering the conversation or stepping out onto center-stage.
As I take one feeble step towards center-stage I am instantly barraged with:
“Are you sure you want to risk being this vulnerable?”
“Is what you’re about to say worth the threat of possibly looking foolish?”
“Are you sure that what you are going to say is significant enough?”
“What if you step out; but no one pays attention to a word your saying?”
When the risk feels too great and the fear-chatter gets too loud, I most often think it is better if I just stay silent. So, I do.
When I do manage to speak, just as all eyes turn toward me, I instantly freeze under pressure, not sure if I can pull-it-off. So, most often I let fear-chatter achieve its desired end, and I let my hand fall decisively into my lap or I clench my teeth shut and let my lips remain silent.
Stepping into the conversation can feel like far-to risky a business!
Over the next few blogs posts, I invite you to join the journey of identifying what fear-chatter is and begin the conversation of how we can address it.
Giving heed to the voice of fear inside our heads
will keep us from authentically living out of our true-selves.
For those who long for their lives to flourish,
listening to fear-chatter will only cause a thriving soul to languish.
For those who long to genuinely enter center-stage,
giving heed to fear-chatter will shatter any amount of bravery.
For those who long for a life of freedom
attending to fear-chatter will keep you hidden behind masks of pretense.
Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design
Will you join me in prayer, asking God to deliver us from the incessant voices of fear-chatter?
God, you came that we might have life and live it to full abundance. Listening to the voices of fear keeps us from this rich, abundant life. It keeps us bound in chains of shame, secrets and undue stress.
When we are controlled by the dread and anxiety that fear brings, we often revert to the pain of the past and when we do this, we realize that we cannot live the liberated life that You sacrificed Your life-blood for.
Protect our hearts, O Lord. Guard us against listening and acting upon words that are fear inducing. Fear cripples and keeps us from being the people you designed and desire us to be. If our life exudes fear, this will keep the world from knowing the liberating joy and freedom found in Christ Jesus.
We pray this in the name of Jesus. ~ Amen.
It is God’s purpose to give to us a rich and satisfying life.
Not a life that is filled with a voice whose language is fear.
John 10:10B (NLT)
Photography by Linda Jane Dingeldein
Linda Jane Dingeldein celebrates the wonders of God’s natural world.