Before walking this path I was afraid of the truth. I was either to fearful to ask the questions I should have been asking or I let my ego tell me I already knew the answers before asking them. Either way, not asking the questions was unsafe. Most of the time I was too afraid to ask them because I always thought the worst, or had done something that someone may have found out, or just thought of myself as an unlovable and worried that others had figured that out too. I walked around with a lot of question marks, and a lot of knots in my stomach. My solution, back then, was magical thinking, that somehow I could just wish the answers I wanted into being, and I would look for tiny bits of evidence to back up the answers I wanted to believe were true until I could collect enough to almost convince myself they where, but really, I knew I was just seeing and hearing what I wanted to fit the narrative I wanted to tell. The truth scared me, probably because I wasn’t truthful back then, and it’s difficult to believe people are open and honest when you’re not with yourself, or asking for it from those around you.
When I made a commitment to get better I made a commitment to be rigorously honest with myself, and over time I began working with a counselor to help me put all the pieces together and help me get an accurate picture of my past, why I did the things I did, and who I actually was. When we talked about the people in my life and I didn’t have answers to the questions he was asking, those knots in my stomach would return and I would get nervous. I was asked why I wasn’t asking the questions I needed to know from those people, and I would retreat and say I didn’t know. The real answer finally came out, it was fear, I was afraid to ask people what their intentions where, who they were and who I was to them, I was afraid in the past because I, for the most part, wasn’t being honest or forthcoming about myself in those areas, so it made sense I had fear asking someone else to do the same. But what my counselor said to me, which I still live by today, is that when we know the answers we are safe, until we know what those answers are we are not safe because we don’t know the truth about the people in our lives. He had said that even if the answers are not what we want to hear, we then know the facts, and can make a decision about what is best for us. Once we have done that, we are safe. It made sense, but even though it made sense didn’t mean it was easy to put into practice at first, but the promise of safety got me motivated enough to start, and even though all of those answers weren’t what I wanted to hear, they allowed me to make decisions for myself that made me feel safe. And, I could then make informed decisions for myself that kept me safe and built up my self-respect and self-esteem.
Asking the questions we should be asking, especially when we invite someone new into our lives, isn’t’ always easy, but not asking, and not knowing, puts our well-being in jeopardy and may set ourselves up for heartache at our own hand. We can’t control if the answers we are getting are the truth, but sometimes just the act of asking will flush that truth out. Anyone worthy of being in our lives will be honest, and will appreciate our honesty in return, those who don’t may be giving you the answers you need just by their reaction. Never apologize for the answers you need to feel safe. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you ask the questions you should be asking to feel safe? If not, why not? What are you afraid of? List an example when you didn’t ask the questions you needed to and were hurt or disappointed as result. What can you do to make sure you’re asking the questions you need to? Don’t let fear stop you from taking the action you need to for your own emotional safety.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you