"Living your life terrified of failure and fearful of being a disappointment to the ones you love, is not living at all."
In one of my religion classes, back in the day at "Southeastern", I read a book about how individuals view God differently. The book suggested that we each view God the way we view our "authority figures"-mainly earthly fathers and often mothers. If a person has a loving relationship with their mother/father, if they feel safe and supported, then odds are they will view God as a loving Father who protects and provides. What happens when a person grows up being mistreated or abused? They may view God as a dictator who is just waiting for them to "mess up" so He can strike them down! Honestly, that is how I used to view God....NOT because I came out of an abusive home (I didn't!)....but I think because the stress I put on myself to "preform" to a certain standard. I felt like if I didn't, then I would be "punished" by God. Let me make one thing clear, THIS is not what I mean when I speak about my fear of disappointing people I love. That kind of fear is a fear of consequences, the kind of fear I feel is not a fear of punishment or anger, but a deep despair that I will lose the love and approval of the people I care about.
Here is an example, in May, I went on a cruise. I had just completed my first college degree and I was in crisis-with my marriage and with my family. Up until I left for my cruise, I had been able to "keep it together" fairly well, but only because I HAD to, so I could finish my degree! Once I stepped foot on that ship, I felt an immediate decompression to the point where I could literally feel the pressure release in my BODY. That week, I let "loose". I never drank a drop of alcohol, but got accused of being wasted everywhere I went-THAT is how much I let loose! :) I had so much fun and I left my worries on the shore! One night, when the waiters/waitresses were preforming (as they did every night at dinner), our waiter asked me to come up and dance with all the waiters/waitresses. I did (after all...my motto is "go for it"!). I never touched anyone and it never crossed my mind that it could be considered inappropriate in any way...........but, after seeing the video on facebook, someone I deeply love was very disappointed in me. (BTW-it was NOT my husband! He saw the video and said he didn't think there was anything wrong with it.....and I honestly wouldn't have thought twice about doing it if my husband was sitting at the table with me!). It crushed me, devastated me that this person that I loved so deeply now viewed me in a different light....over something that was so "innocent" in my mind. That is the kind of disappointment that I fear most.
The problem with living with this fear that I have is that, no matter what I do, and no matter what I don't do, I am always going to find someone is disagrees with my choices. So, sometimes, when you "GO-4-it!" you win...sometimes when you "Go-4-it", you lose.....and sometimes when you lose, you lose miserably. I am gonna make mistakes-it is a promise. I just need to learn to disassociate approval and love. I may not earn your "approval" when I make decisions (esp with my "go for it" attitude!), but I pray I never lose your love.