A fear to mess up. Fear that I am incapable. A fear of the "What-If"...
As an example of these thoughts, the distrust of myself, our daughter was recently next in line for a government provided behaviour consulting service. We needed to fill out a bunch of papers about her after our first meeting with the consultant and they sat there. I had filled out the names and phone numbers, and then they sat there... (Silently mocking me.) I felt like filling them out was too hard. Like I wasn't capable of completing a bunch of forms about my own child's behaviour. Was it the time? No. Was it the lack of desire? No. It was the fact that I didn't want to answer the questions wrong. Like it was some kind of test- which it wasn't. I have years of these types of examples piled up in my past. Each one adds another layer of insecurity and distrust in myself.
Going beyond my personal "safe" boundaries is incapacitating. Why has it become so daunting to me? Even when it's something vitally important? I can sit, dumbfounded, frozen. Not wanting to move forward for fear of failing.
A fear of failure. A fear to dream. A fear of the "what if".
I recently completed that personality quiz thats been going around. The enneagram. My husband had been after me to take it, as for him, it had been SUPER accurate and a handy tool. So finally after months, I sat down for the 20 minutes of questions. Family who'd taken it thought they had my type pinned. But in fact, I was not what they thought. I tested as a 6 with a 5-Wing.
As I read what that meant from the source I had taken the test with, I felt myself shrivel inside of my skin. I felt almost sick. Not only with the accuracy of this test, but with how bluntly they laid out all the things I had been feeling for so long. I found this first description of a 6 to be very negative and disheartening. All of the other numbers seemed to have a pro and con side but mine seemed very focused on the cons. Inside, I felt like I had failed yet another "test" and that this test was calling me out on all of my failures and my deep internal fears.
A 6, for those of you who don't know, is "The Loyalist". Yes, that doesn't sound so bad, to be loyal. But encompassed in this "type" is someone who is suspicious, anxious and responsible. Ok, the responsible part I have been known to pride myself on in the past. But it also makes me a very rigid person as I am constantly questioning EVERYTHING out of fearful anxiety and suspicion of the what-if's in my life and those I love around me. Here is a write up from the Enneagram Institute that had me internally jumping up and down yelling "THAT'S ME!!!!", while also fearing the fact I was coming face to face with a tool, yes, but a reality.
I had been "called out".
"The committed, security-oriented type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and trustworthy. Excellent "troubleshooters," they foresee problems and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive, and anxious—running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion. At their Best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.
Basic Fear: Of being without support and guidance
Basic Desire: To have security and support
Enneagram Six with a Five-Wing: "The Defender"
Enneagram Six with a Seven-Wing: "The Buddy"
Key Motivations: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity."
After a nights rest, I woke up re-reading the test results in other areas of the internet and with the fresh perspective, I knew I needed to realize this was a tool. It did not define me. It does not write what I do with this information. And in the past 2 years, I can tell you I have moved up the scale from a very unhealthy 6 to a more middle of the road 6. I still have lots of areas to grow in and become stronger, but I also know that I am making progress.
Have you found yourself lost inside your own life like this? Had all the plans and they never actually happened because God allowed things He knew would help you grow into a Best version of you? How did you cope? How did you get through and not feel completely lost? Or, did you feel lost, but work your way through?
Well, I can say from my experience, I had plans for my life. The picture in my head of motherhood and wife-life. And two years into motherhood it all fell away. I waded through those dark times feeling helpless, sometimes completely crazy, and all I could do was cling to God. Even being so angry that my plans weren't the ones happening, and even acting like I hated Him, I still ran to Him. And I learned that no matter how angry I was at Him, He could take it. It built a relationship with Him that I have only begun to understand and one that I would not have found otherwise.
If I try to think what life would have been like without my daughter's cancer and epilepsy. I can't really. There have been so many twists in our road, I really don't know how a "normal" or "average" life would have played out. What I do know and have to trust, is that there are so many pieces of personal strength I would be without today. Stepping out and actually speaking about the positives in my life, the growth. I am coming to see that this is not vain of me. It is truth. And I hope that, even in some small way, God can use my personal stories to help you know you are not alone and so much more capable than you realize.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.