It came up in a discussion today how many of us have patterns of holding back out of fear of judgment, that we developed from childhood, some of us having had parents who were alcoholic as a contributing factor. My parents weren't alcoholic, but in my early childhood my mother was under a lot of stress and would often go into anger and spitefulness toward me in moments where I was experiencing something like a need or a want or having a 'negative' experience like feeling sad, so I developed a pattern of 'hiding', where I'd literally go and hide, in order to not ‘cause’ a reaction in another, because I didn’t want to ‘hurt’ anyone, and wanted to avoid conflict. As I’ve been walking with this pattern over the years, I’d finally gotten to a point where I thought I could no longer take/handle any conflict, but really it was that I could no longer accept my experience within/toward it, could no longer take being a victim to it and trying to ‘protect’ myself and others from conflict, taking it all in into myself, like a sponge that has been absorbing and absorbing and just can’t absorb any more. Cause for all this holding in and avoidance, everything still fell apart anyway. So what did I have to lose? Everything. And I couldn't bear that.
So it’s been through some moments of conflict that felt like literally ‘the worst’, that I was losing everything, that I was given opportunities to ‘prove’ myself to myself, to not give up or give in and to find a way through no matter what. To realize that there is no more hiding from conflict, there is no escape, that trying to avoid it doesn’t make conflict end. That I’ve got to turn and face the conflict, and become the solution.
Like in the story of The Last Unicorn, where she is being driven into the sea by the Red Bull, where he has already driven and trapped all the other unicorns, and is about to do the same to her, she has no choice but to face her fear or be trapped just like all the others, the end. So she turns and faces the fear of conflict flaming and menacing before her, despite her fears and doubts, and the doubts of others that she has any chance against what seems to be impossible, and she drives the bull into the sea, and in this sets herself and all the others free. Cause what we correct and change in ourselves, we do for all of us as well. Some really specific symbolism there.
And now that I’ve proven/shown to myself that I can face and walk through moments of conflict in myself, what’s opening up for me is to really see how holding back out of fear of conflict is a protection mechanism that prevents me from having these moments of opportunity to face and work through things that come up in my experience, to work through points of misunderstanding and judgments and all the stuff that I am holding within me, or that another may be holding in themself, but fear to face. Cause these opportunities don't just benefit me but I can in these moments be an example for another as well, and show how conflict doesn't have to define or consume us, but there is a way through. We can drive that raging bull into the sea to quell its flames and set ourselves free.
For me it took walking with/within myself taking the points that came up within me in moments of conflict here and there over the years and using the tools of writing and self forgiveness and, investigating who I am/was within those experiences, working through the layers, to get clear in myself to even be able to stand in moments of conflict now. And now that I’ve done all that self work, I am working through this point of holding back, because I want to do all I can to support others in this as well. It ‘served’ me for a time to introspect and get clear on things to build trust with/within myself, and now that phase has come to a kind of ‘end’ and so a new beginning is here, where I can walk in that self trust and vulnerability to face the things that come up and out, where as I’ve stood up to my own ‘bull’ as fear of conflict in myself, I’ve created and nurtured a ‘safe space’ within myself to face what comes up in me, so I can create/be/become that for my outer world, to create that much needed safe space for us all to face our demons and bring them into the light instead of keeping them hidden in the shadows.
So in posts to come, I'll look at how to share more about how I face the fear of conflict in myself. Like Mommy Fortuna's carnival in The Last Unicorn, where all the scary imposing creatures in the carnival were actually just illusions, so too are the fears and judgments that we allow to hold us back..