A brief history of ways I tried to keep myself safe

in the jar

Spoiler alert: none of these strategies worked.

The more I learn about fear, the more I realise it's a universal experience, but different people respond to it in different ways. Being a super self-aware Scorpio I've been doing an inventory of how fear has affected so many of my life choices and behaviours. I believe that recognising a pattern is the first step to breaking it. This list of ways I have tried to keep myself safe is by no means exhaustive, but it is cringe-inducingly accurate. 

  1. Clung onto rigid routines in my day-to-day life (predictability is a safety net).
  2. Tried to be less visible, less noticeable, less me at school in a bid to escape bullying (it didn’t work).
  3. Bullied other girls so I could feel higher up the food chain.
  4. Tried to be less me (often, and sometimes still).
  5. Kept close friends at arm’s length (I can’t be rejected from a distance).
  6. Ran away from relationships and rejected guys on flimsy grounds.
  7. Dropped out of uni after my first year (a pre-emptive strike against failure; you’ll be pleased to know I went back in the end).
  8. Actively avoided pitching ideas at work (over and over again).
  9. Slowly withdrew from a toxic friendship  (I understand the young people call this ghosting) rather than call her out on her bad behaviour and stand up for myself.
  10. Swallowed my opinions when confronted by domineering relatives, rather than insisting my voice be heard (to be fair, this is a necessary strategy for many of us when it comes to families).
  11. Participated in, or at least condoned, bitchy gossip sessions in workplaces (a somewhat futile bid to avoid being a target myself).
  12. Avoided utilising or sharing my abilities as a lightworker for many years (the ‘spiritual closet’ was a very comfortable place to stay).
  13. Preached or lectured to friends – quite aggressively, in some cases – who were making different life choices to me (converting or influencing others shores up our ‘rightness’ and confidence in our own path).
  14. Ostracised people who didn’t behave as I did or as I thought they should.
  15. Left the country, then returned home knowing full well this was the wrong decision for me. (It took me seven years to correct that mistake.)
  16. Threw myself at unavailable guys (if they’re not available, there’s no chance of a relationship… yeah, I know, I know…).
  17. Applied for (and sometimes got) jobs that bored me, because they were easy to get and do. (Big mistake. HUGE.)
  18. Blamed my unhappiness on the Universe, accusing it of dealing me a bad hand (blaming others meant I didn’t have to use my own power and make scary decisions).
  19. Dismissed or avoided conversing with new acquaintances instead of getting to know them.
  20. Put up with borderline sexual harassment at work because I wanted to look ‘cool’ and not ‘difficult’.
  21. Didn’t try (everything everything).

Ways I am trying to feel safe in an uncontrollable, unpredictable world, so I can show up fully in spite of ever-present fear.

  1. Telling myself every day (usually during meditation, sometimes just at random times when I feel fear rising) that I am enough and that I have enough of what I need.
  2. Learning to trust that nothing will be given to me that I can’t handle.
  3. Working at being OK with failure (still working on this).