Last week, coming home from a short trip to New York City, I had a chance to “review” the journal I have kept somewhat inconsistently for the past 7 years. It holds many thoughts and confessions that are hidden from the world. It also contains some of the the most depressing personal contemplation I have ever written. It has record of my spiritual journey, my struggles in coming to terms with myself, issues involving my private relationships, and a lot of emotion.
Sadness, anger, doubt, loneliness, frustration, determination, failure, more failure, fear (much fear), pepper most of my entries. I have to admit I was somewhat taken aback at the depth of sadness weaving its way through some of my entries.
Something else emerged from these words. I saw patterns, patterns of stagnation, patterns of procrastination, and patterns of words without actions.
As each old year collapsed in the new I observed that while I was making new discoveries about myself I apparently was refusing to do anything about the patterns in my life that held me chained to the previous year.
Two words, two links in this chain, seemed to have the greatest strength in binding me. Fear, and doubt.
Fear of making decisions, commitments, choices, failure, people, and the future. This emotion has caused the most damage and has contributed greatly to my inability to be happy, and to grow into who I am meant to be.
Doubt is a close second. Doubt in my strengths, abilities, and my knowledge has made me draw back from life in so many areas. It has stunted me, and caused me to believe that I have nothing to contribute to others, and to the world and to withdraw from fully enjoying life.
After spending some time thinking about this I began to feel another emotion try and take root, regret. Regretting the last 7 years. If I nurture this seed, it will just draw me back into more inactivity.
Seeing myself in this light has made me reflect on where I want to go in 2016 and where I want to be at the beginning of 2017, God willing.
First and foremost I want to follow through with the things that I need to do for me. I am beginning to realize more and more that I am worth something, that I have something to contribute, and that I deserve to be happy (wow, writing that last thought gave me a bit of angst). God did not create me to wallow through life just existing in self loathing and pity. I am meant for more.
Secondly, I want to stop being fearful, and defaulting to catastrophic thinking. To finally be free of fear will open a door to a freedom I have longed for but never embrace.
I am starting a new journal this month, Why? because it is time to close the book, and cut the chains of fear and doubt that have held me back and explore the rich, glorious, wonderful life God has placed in front of me.
Pray for me if you think about it, as I step into my unknown.