A glimmer of hope in the darkness of despair

I could spend a lot of time outlining the beliefs and attitudes that caused me to cringe however that is probably more suitable for a confessional.  I had to think about blogging the other night, a good friend of mine thought that my blogs must be quite cathartic for me. This comment triggered a fight or flight response in me. Recognising this then triggered another approach, it signalled that it was time to sit and think about what I was doing.  Why do I mention this?  What has it got to do with emotional illiteracy and fear?  Read on and I will explain.

In my last entry I was sharing about my entry into the world of academia.  Being exposed to thinking that was outside of my realm of knowledge was not too difficult.  I could read and learn something new.  It was only when we got into subjects that I thought that I knew something about was when it became harder.  I would be presented with a view that was outside of either my beliefs or my understanding.  My first response was to dismiss such learning/knowledge out of hand and to attack it as vehemently as I could.  This was a learned response that was enhanced by the behaviour that it usually elicited.  Outside of university such a response would lead to the changing of the subject or a begrudging acceptance (seemingly) of my point of view.  Either way I was winning.  You see my concrete belief system enabled me to be stuck in a set of behaviours that were self fulfilling.  Even though I was desperately unhappy the thought of taking a good hard look at myself  was overwhelming and to be avoided at all costs.

Why, why why?  I guess the answer to that question is obscure to anyone who hasn’t struggled with any need to change at all.  Deep down I was afraid, afraid of the consequences of change.  Afraid  of the fact that I may have to admit that I didn’t have the answers,  afraid of the possibility that if I took a look at myself I may not like that which I saw.  I clearly had little or no self esteem so I was not prepared to alter or take away any of the remaining props that held up the façade of a normal life,  Fear is a very strong bind and it was fear that I needed to address if there was any hope of redemption from my quotidian life of mediocrity and under achievement.  It was out of this fear that a change occurred in my life that turned out to be serendipitous and started me on my journey of self discovery, so I guess the old adage of a silver lining to every cloud became true for me.

I was doing a psychology degree and I did not like the individualism focus that clinical psychology relies upon for it’s authenticity.  Whilst talking to a friend of mine they suggested I do a paper that was bog easy and that I could get a B grade  in no problems.  The paper was called self awareness and personal development.  Well it scared me stupid but the idea of gaining a B was a strong motivator so I signed up.

More next blog,

Paul

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