Friday, August 03, 2007

Fear

Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.



After watching Akeela and the Bee, Marianne's quote inspired me but as these things do, it kind of retreated to the back of my mind. But a lot of things have occurred around me in the past year that have caused me to remember the quote from time to time.

My strong beautiful ladies. When it comes to men, some of us just carry too much fear around with us and its just plain ugly. Fear causes you to compromise on your ideals, to make choices you wouldn't normally make, to look desperate, or to act a fool.

Scenario 1

Guy is very much interested in Rita. He runs through fire, jumps hoops, crosses the seven seas to get you. He succeeds, Rita falls. Suddenly Rita starts doing all the chasing. She cooks, cleans, buys presents, worries, cuddles, pets Guy. Sometimes she wants to go ballroom dancing but decides to do what Guy wants. When did the balance tip? Rita feels that she has to do all these things to ensure that Guy doesn't loose interest in her. She's afraid that being herself isn't good enough, she has to do all these extra things, not from her heart but for fear that he will leave her. Then Rita gets frustrated and upset. Guy doesn't appreciate the things he does for him. Guy probably doesn't recognise the exciting girl he knew Rita to be. The one who had such a full life with hobbies etc. Suddenly she's choking him and nagging him, making him feel inadequate.

Scenario 2

Tope is in love with Dotun. Whenever they quarrel be it Dotuns or Topes fault, a pattern repeats itself. Dotun sulks around and doesn't talk to her. He maintains a cold war and in the end shes the one begging for forgiveness. She cooks a nice meal which he may not eat. She calls him 100 times a day, she writes letters, she agrees she was wrong. Dotun sulks till he is ready to announce the end of the cold war. Tope is afraid that if she doesn't beg before its too late, Dotun might break up with her.

Scenario 3

Chichi really likes Emeka. They have gone on three dates and shes in Emekas house now and nobody is home. She wants to wait until she is married but Emeka is telling her he really likes her and is trying to convince her to sleep with him. She's not sure what to do. If she tell's him she's not ready, he might not go out with her again like the last guy she told besides he'll probably think shes old school and strange.

The problem here is that Rita and Tope and Chichi doubt themselves. They don't think that its enough to just be. A lot of us make the mistake of losing ourselves when we enter into relationships. All the confidence you once had in yourself and how brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous you are seems to evaporate. Rita tailored her life to Guys and then became resentful when she should have maintained her own hobbies and given the relationship some breathing space. Tope has entered into a pattern of emotional blackmail when all she needs to do is let Dotun get over his sulking, if he loves her fabulous self, he'll get over it and apologise if he is wrong. But if he knows she'll come begging, why should he? That is not an ideal relationship anyway. Chichi wants to compromise her beliefs for a guy she feels might not respect them. She's afraid that she will never have a relationship because of this decision she has made. If you don't believe in yourself then why will others?

This brings me to another quote

Bonaro W. Overstreet:
Perhaps the most important thing we can undertake toward the reduction of fear is to make it easier for people to accept themselves, to like themselves.

I recommend Boundaries, When to say yes and When to say no to everyone especially women. Its a very good read. Click on the link to read some of the chapters.

I'm not a guru in these matters oh, I'm just sharing thoughts playing in my mind. Feel free to share your philosophies :)

37 comments:

Belle said...

that was deeeep. yeah a lot of us are trapped because of fear...
add an asshole of a man to that, and it's a catastrophe!

**why comment mod?!

Onada said...

I agree with you Tauren, the fear is just plain ugly! i've come to find the fear stems from insecurities like

"omg i'll never find another man"
"i dont want to begin the man hunt all over again" or just simply..settling for less that you are worth as a woman...

nice post lady...I CANT BELIEVE IM SECOND!!

naijacutie said...

So on point Tminx..How so often do we go thru these issues not just in relationships but other aspects of life. Fear is a terrible thing. Someone once said: FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.
Very nice post.

naija 4 lyfe said...

Wow, it's so funny because I am going through something kinda similar to this with my BF. I read on someone's blog not too long ago(can't remember whose it was) that a woman should know how to fall in love without loosing herself. A lot of us women are guilty of this. We need to realize that if you are not confident in yourself in a relationship, the man sees this and then treats you as such. I have made up my mind and let it be known to him that I would not let fear or doubt rule my relationship. If you can't get with the program, please move on, next in line please.

Anonymous said...

While l cant believe l m 3rd

temmy tayo said...

Fear is a killer disease!

TaureanMinx said...

@belle, because some anonymous commenters were causing problems on peoples pages including mine.
@Onada, its true and i'm sure we all have our insecurities but we can't let them take over our lives.
@naijacutie, it does apply in many different aspects of our lives.
@naij4lyfe...this yes and no buiness is very tricky. Most times we females are the ones to blame..playing games, overstepping boundaries, not creating boundaries etc. Sometimes we are not to blame...You should talk to him and let him know what you think.
@anonymous..5th :)
@temmy, hi hun. It's good sometimes..warns of danger coming.

ziariz said...

funny enough i was reading about that this morning and the very same scenarios which you painted came smack back at me, it happens all the time, i think the major problem stems from the fact that many women try what we call the "i'll teach him to love me" philosohpy, we become so afraid of losing a guy that we practically tighten our grip and start dwelling on negative thoughts, which all boil down to if we don't do all within our power to make a man love us which includes jumping hoops if he says so, then we'll lose him. we fail to realise that fulfilment only comes from within just like naija 4 lyfe said, Men sense when a woman is trying too hard and it takes the fun out of the whole relationship for them, the nagging, the drama, the tears, the sulking... they have seen it all before so they know what it all means and it turns them and us off, they interpret it to be weakness and insecurity and that instant attraction which they initially felt in the beginning begins to dwindle because they know that they can turn and twist us to suit their needs. The first thing i have noticed though is that women should just stop trying, we should know that whatever it is that we are doing that doesn't bring results is what we should just stop doing, yes.. we should just stop trying so hard and enjoy ourselves for once. Its hard enough being a woman, what with pregnancy, child labour, child birth, stretched skin, balancing motherhood and career and still having to look like a babe in the midst of all this.. its hard work, lets just enjoy life... and let the men try and appreciate us..

ziariz said...

oops... sorry about the epistle...

catwalq said...

I saw a Nigerian movie with my aunt (who does like to watch them with the same stereotypical views of the average Nigerian). The title was UNDESIRABLE.

SCENARIO: Guy and girl are married. Girl has a school daughter who comes to stay with the,. Guy does not like school daughter (she is in UNI, BTW). He gets transfered to PH where school daughter is. They start an affair. Guy becomes cruel to his wife especially after school daughter (with whom he is having an affair) informs him that Girl is also having an affair (lie)
Long story short, he comes to realise after a near death experience that School daughter is only after his money and that Girl has given birth to his son. He goes to beg her armed with a priest and his family members. She takes him back without any wahala (in fact, his begging was like one sentence long) and watch this...APOLOGISES FOR NOT HEEDING HIM WHEN HE SAID HE DID NOT WANT SCHOOL DAUGHTER AROUND. So in short, she is responsible for his infidelity and ill treatment of her.

Pardon this long comment o, but wait. I was now like (to my aunt) that God forbid such a thing happens to me. I will do this, I will do that and I will work out. To which my aunt replies by asking me to please show her my boyfriend or husband with all the noise I am making. I kept quiet gbam! Cos (like one of my best friends insunuated when I challenged her for having unprotected sex becoz her BF said he likes it bareback) I have no right/ reason to suggest how a woman should act in a relationship cos I am not in one myself.
I guess, that is why I am single, cos I will not take nonsense at all. (I might end up with a white guy that worships me and effect my mother's heart attack for real.)
Too sad, cos women who ought to support each other contribute to each other's loss of self. I mean picture each woman telling themselves "If I leave, he will not change and come back to me. He will replace me with somebody else and I will be all alone and never find anyone else."

Anonymous said...

Taurean, I truly needed to be reminded of that tonight, God bless you coz this post is for me.

boorish male said...

as a person with no insecurities, I am never ruled by fear and the scenarios you wrote about are truly worrying. as far as i am concerned, any person with self esteem issues ought not be in a relationship, because the chances of them being sucessful are very slim.

I would suggest that such peple ought to spend more time looking inwards and conquer their demons before attempting to find happiness in another person. We all need to truly FIND ourselves and not take life at face value......

Anonymous said...

@catwalk u sure say we no b d same person? C mi c trouble o! Na so dey just nak abuse on my person when i give same advise.

We r so conditioned that a man is what will complete us. To tell d truth, i no know if na true or lie! Despite my "ultra feminist views, me too want bobo to hang on my every word.
Maybe dat is d problem. Women r trying 2 b goddess/idol dat man can worship. We need to stand in d reality of our faults.We seem to think dat being worshipped will somehow mute our faults.

It is unfair for us to demand from another human d perfection which we ourselves lack. I have come to the conclusion dat men are blessed/cursed witha short attention span,like dem talk, 'man no b wood'.I'm not advocating serial cheating o! But d decison to abdicate/sample one babe for another(s) is d bobos own to make.
Refurbishing may keep him for a while but u can't prevent him from doing what he has decided 2 do. What i'm trying 2 say (not sure if i'm succeeding) iz dat my desire cannot control his own desires.

A person's choice reveals their character and is not always a view/reflection of myself.

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

thank u so much for this post..
fear is a monster....

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

can i copy and paste part of this post on my blog....

O.šeyï said...

Minxy!!! preach on sister girl! :)

Every girl goes through this stage in all relationships. Its often when the honeymoon stage is over and good ol'boy is getting comfortable. I say, why should the dynamics change. When you start acting stupid, he'll treat you stupidly.

We also ignore the red flags. My benchmark is once I start feeling insecure and inadequate, I either talk to you or i bounce.

A good healthy relationship empowers you; it doesn't make you think you're the worst thing to roam the earth. Take the hint and move on. If you can make it work then do, but NOT AT ANY COST TO WHO YOU ARE.

Understand yourself then you can appreciate others. Be honest with each other and always maintain respect.

As women, we need to be reminded of this ever so often 'cause it gets tough.

Good blog missy!

TaureanMinx said...

@zairiz, Yes...its essesntial that the fun is maintained. He may enjoy the initial bending over backwards but no one is able to maintain it and it soon turns to resentment on the girls part. The key is to do only what comes from your heart and that doesn't need rewarding. You can't buy love
@Yes i'm single too, doesn't mean I haven't had experiences or that I can't learn from other ppls experiences. The idea in Nigeria is that you are better off with a husband anyway so you should take him back since he showed some sort of remorse and even go as far as blaming yourself for being part of what caused him to stray. Like we are responsible for other peoples actions.
@anonymous, God bless you too
@boorish, no single insecurity? Isn't that part of the human element? I can't say I don't have any but they don't overpower me so much that I let others treat me badly because I don't feel good about myself or confident in my skin. The solution is definitely not in another person.
@anonymous...I don't really get some of what you are saying.I don't believe that 'body no be wood' because my body isn't wood either. Women are just as sexual as men. Giving excuses for them is part of the problem we have...especially Nigerian women in general. Those excuses stem out of fear of being alone which we have been conditioned to believe is some sort of crime. Its wonderful to have a family and a husband but not at the expense of my sanity.
@mystoriesmytestimonies, no problem. Thanks for reading.

Nilla said...

Love your post...and so true.

Btw, that Marianne Williamson's quote is one of my favorites.

Cheetarah said...

Self ACCEPTANCE is the be all, once you have that all the insecurities melt away. I did a post about my self acceptance when I started blogging in Feb, Nize1 im sure this post will help somebody out there coz u neva no who ur words touch.

Minwhile Lol@ ballroom dancing,lol!Have a good weekend girl

onyx said...

i totally agree with you.Sometimes we find ourselves doing things that in the subconcious stem more from fear than love.It's a reminder to me that i am special and i WILL get a good man without compromising my personality and ideals

Rinsola said...

@boorishmale, i don't agree when you say you don't or have never had something you were insecure 'bout. But thats your opinion and i respect that.
Truth is, the fear of the unknown in a relationship is what keeps us trapped in it, but when you've had enough, can't take it any longer and your mind has been made up, the last thing you'ld have on your mind would be fear.
Nice post.

Nwanyi Ocha said...

*Fear*

I've been going thru something similar lately and this has re- afirmed my decision

thank you

geisha said...

we all know the answer to the problem, but it's so hard. i would in a second say, 'never.. women are so insecure.. it's so true.. ' and such and such.
but we all know this. we all know not to take his bullish, we all know not to stand for the disrespect, we all know we are equal(if not better lol) and all that other women-empowerment stuff, and yet the same women fall.
fall at his whim, to his dictates. why?
primarily it is our insecurity. but insecurity is so deep rooted that we dont even know when it is planted until it has already borne fruit!
i dont want to do the preacher thing, but there's so much i can say to/about this.
we are weak and insecure. we fear our inner strength because we think it might hurt us - or we might hurt ourselves. it is a valid fear. our nigerian men dont like to be disagreed with, and we want our nigerian men to love us. we fear the shame, embarrassment, the 'i-told-u-so's, the sneers, the 'she's-not-good-enough-for-him's. we can be strong, but we will hurt when attacked. we fear that attack, and so we shield ourselves, hide away, cower under the pressure of society, family, and self. we become shells of ourselves. but guess what?
society approves.
family approves.
he approves.
and we live with it, cuz we have to. our choice=our bondage.
and we wouldnt have it any other way.
we hurt, but the option to fight hurts even more. and it's SO hard.

Abi said...

Very well spoken Tminx....don't need to add anythn else.

Abi said...

@ catwalq, pls hold onto ur views and do not buy into that horrible naija mentality.
I thot i was d only one dat felt that way..watched one naija movie dat for d 1st time I felt was very well acted till I got to the end...the title was "Time to love" or sth like dat...after dis man had battered,abused and had an affair with this woman...under d guise of being christian, the wife took him back; his apology too was very annoying infact story is long...ofcos there were some other twists in d movie...have to watch it to understand...it was very well acted i must say but d end..arrgh!!!!still pisses me off thinking abt it..
I am thkful to ve a man that's nothing like the average man and he's nigerian so they r still some good men out there..trust me on dat one:)

loomnie said...

You are right TM.... But we should not forget that it works both ways - I mean with the guys. There are guys who are in the same situation as the women you described, and I think the same way of dealing with issues of fear, insecurity etc applies to them too. Just making sure we remember our fall(en)(ing) guys....

Bella Naija said...

I soooo agree..
I love this post...
We need to let go of those insecurites and hold on to our confidence...I think this applies not just to boyfriends but friends as well....
Oh well, your blog makes me reflect me once again

UnNaked Soul said...

we all got one :-)
cos even the fear of fear itself is called fear. and na who no dey fear fear?

the bond between people in relationships can be likened to a candle exposed to the wind. it takes the effort of parties involve to make sure it doesn't go out... by putting hands together.

nice piece girl *wink*

JJ said...

True. Personal experience too. There should be no fear in love at all. If we find ourselves at the mercy of our partner then there is something terribly wrong with the relationship and it needs to be addressed!
My insecurities became pronounced when he started cheating and i thought i had to go an extra mile to prove my love for him and why he should choose me (when i think about it now i cringe!). But slowly i came to realise that i'm worth way more than that!
Fear stems from our insecurities which is tied in with inferiority complex.
When people start to think more of themsleves and don't give anyone the consent to make them inferior in a relationship, their partner will start to appreciate them.

omohemi Benson said...

I love love that film Akeelah and the bee, especialy that saying. thanks for sharing.

kokolette said...

so true...
and the funny thing is that the guy can see thru all those insecurites and he'll keep playing on them!
personal experience: used to date this guy...he came across as very "tush"...ok, maybe he was...but me i like my Naija movies (especially the yoruba ones), ok, maybe a lil too much! lol
anyway, when we started dating he told me how badly he couldn't stand them and even kept convincing me to stop watching them...for where? i continued o and sometimes it'll even be on when he was visiting.
we were talking the other day and he told me he thought I was very real...I asked why...he said because I never tried to "form" like most girls would have, just to keep him around...I was like hmmm...interesting. So a guy does want a girl that can stand her ground and be herself no matter what!

African Gem said...

wow....Bravo! well said....it really all stems from one single word "fear".
I believe a lot of women despise being in the mode/phase of "single and available", but what a lot of us females fail to realise is that good things take time to come, we will definetly "kiss a lot of frogs" before we find Mr. Right....and by frogs (...since that's the general term used) I don't think it's necessarily a bad think. I think it's all part of the learning experience...hey as they say: 'if it doesn't kill u, it will only make u stronger'. Great post girl! truly inspiring.

mofi said...

this is an amazing post, plus and including all the comments. i will print and keep. it is especially helpful for me, because i just started talking to this guy who is way older than me and knows what he does and does not like. i find myself holding back or refraining from revealing the true me or trying to apologise for what i do reveal, again all for fear that he wont like me or he will leave me before anything has even started. i know i am an atypical girl-woman and unleashing myself on anyone without warning is not good, but im wondering if i am doing in it too small doses. anyway as my infinitely wise baby sister says, why should you put yourself in bondage just so he will stay...as if you will be happy then.

women, our own sef sometimes its too much. i resolve from today to be myself. i am not saying i am perfect but i know what my deal is and i am dealing with my issues slowly but surely. i will stop apologising for my childhood and the way my parents raised me.

Anthony Arojojoye said...

And I read the extract to the last letter
And I was whole.


Thank you

demola said...

Solid Post Tauren!

kuest said...

men, this is surreal o. i so feel u o.but these are just words o.trust me its hard to keep ur head when ur heart's not cooperating it takes something divine,it takes a lot, i am struggling with stuff rite now and its driving me NUTS, i hope i am successful. i hate that i cn be so obssessive ,compulsive.aaaargh. so many voices..........in my head..........aaarghh

Through these eyes said...

Hey girl, thanks for this inspirational piece. I just ordered the book. Looking forward to a good read. God bless you and keep you.