This is the introduction to my book ‘Breaking Radio Silence’
Leaving Fear to Find Questions and Answers
For a lot of people, if asked to visualize Fear it would be a huge monster with blood dripping off its’ fangs as it towers over you and blocks out all the light.
For me, Fear is a monster, but it’s a monster with an enormous cloak that envelops me in silence. It’s a retreat that’s always there for me and it’s always welcoming. But I can’t stay there forever, nor can I let Fear guide me in my life.
So breaking radio silence is leaving Fear’s embrace to live my life to the fullest. It’s about not running back to Fear’s embrace when something scares me or hurts me in my life. It’s about finding the strength and courage to do what I want to do and keep doing it for the rest of my life.
I won’t lie to you and say that I’m not feeling scared right now.
What am I scared of?
Anger, ridicule, doubt, good intentions.
I’ve always been scared of people getting angry at me. I’m very sensitive emotionally and since anger is very powerful energy I feel it at a very intense level inside me. My own anger scares me so much that I’ve repressed it more than anything and I don’t ever want to give in to it. But I’ve come to realize that anger is a part of me and that I don’t need to repress it when I can find ways of dealing with it constructively.
Ridicule is something I’ve dealt with as far back as I can remember. I was a very shy, fat, awkward, and klutzy child, which I’ve always said is not a recipe for social success. I’ve tripped, stumbled, and fallen on my ass both literally and figuratively so much if I had a dime for every time that happened I’d be richer than J.K. Rowling. But I also tell myself I’ve always managed to pick myself up off the ground and keep going though mostly in silence.
Doubt and good intentions go hand-in-hand because every time I’ve stepped out of my quiet little role wanting to do something I’ve never done before, people have asked me the following questions:
– Do you know what you’re getting into?
– Have you thought this through?
– Are you sure you can handle this?
The answer all three questions is ‘no’. These questions have always caused me to doubt myself in every way possible and when I challenged that, I was told those questions were being asked for my own good. And the reason I call them good intentions is because they’re not if they create fear and doubt in someone.
All my life I’ve felt like people have been so terrified of seeing me fail at something they’ll do anything they can to keep that from happening. I honestly don’t know what inspired this over-protectiveness other than being a fat, shy, klutzy kid because whenever I did fall on my ass I always tried not to sit there and cry about it. I always felt like I had to get up and keep going and keep trying to figure things out for myself, and do things for myself, too. Maybe it was that odd combination of independence and klutziness that some people just couldn’t understand or handle.
I will freely admit here I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I’ve learned on the job more often than not and had to think on my feet and solve problems pretty quickly. And if I do make a mistake now I don’t beat the living shit out of myself like I used to. I’ll apologize and make amends, but I’m not going to wear my mistakes like a lead weight around my neck for the rest of my life.
And that’s something I really want people reading this book to understand: it’s okay to make mistakes and if anyone claims to have all the answers to call bullshit on them even if it’s only inside your head.
Because as I’ve begun to look back on my life I’ve begun to ease up on myself. In fact, I’ve looked back on my past self with a lot of kindness and compassion. I see a person who somehow managed to get up off the deck and keep going no matter how hard life threw her to the ground. I’ve been told I have a shit-ton of pride stuck up my ass, but I will say that pride kept me going when nothing else did. The only bad thing was that stubborn pride kept me silent when I shouldn’t have been. That’s something I’m learning to overcome here now.
So breaking radio silence and leaving Fear’s embrace is about living with strength and courage that I’ve always had, being kind and compassionate to myself and the world around me, and living my life knowing I don’t have all the answers and never will. Life is learning experience, and I believe we learn by doing.
I’ve been silent for too long. And in homage to the television show ‘Doctor Who’, my silence will fall when not only do I ask the questions, but I find some answers, too.
No one should be silent, or feel they have to live that way. Because although Fear can be a warm and quiet place, it’s not somewhere you want to live forever.