In my group meeting the other day, someone shared this beautiful writing she did as part of her Step Six. As Fear is such a universal part of healing from Betrayal Trauma, I thought her words were a gift that would speak to all of our hearts. Thank you to this “SAL fellow” for being willing to share her beautiful words with the SA Lifeline community.
Step Six: Were Entirely Ready to Have God Remove All These Defects of Character
Fear used to serve a purpose for me…maybe still does a little, but I am done with it. I see its lack of usefulness and the roadblocks it creates in my life in staying in a peaceful, happy, helpful, content place. This is what I think “entirely ready” means to me. I see fear now as just a facade of safety, a nuisance that is impeding me from becoming all God intended for me to be instead of the false protective qualities I used to think fear had.
I would like God to replace my fear with Trust in Him. I believe that if I have utter and complete faith and trust in God, and I have placed my life in His hands, then whatever comes my way is ordained of Him. I no longer have to live in fear because I trust my life to be exactly what He needs it to be to create the most growth and progress. Peace also comes to mind. I believe that a life void of fear is a life filled with peace.
For many, many years fear kept me safe, or at least I thought it did. My fear kept me on high alert and always ready to run or fight. I think I needed this for most of my life because I was in abusive situations and didn’t have the tools to know other ways of responding. I now have boundaries, self-respect, safe others I can reach out to, and new, clearer ways of thinking. Fear is no longer useful or necessary in my life.
The price of fear is high. It strangles me and my relationships and threatens to control every conversation and interaction. It makes me competitive, unsure, overcompensating, overachieving, proud and unable to be truly vulnerable and intimate with anyone. It is not something I can turn on and off–it is just a way of living and it permeates every relationship in my life, including my relationship with God.
I have tried to change my own behavior for a long time–to not be fearful and to change my interactions with people. It hasn’t worked. I am always on guard, ready for someone to say or do something that threatens my intelligence, abilities, safety, and worth. It is a terrible way to live. It is isolating and demeaning. Fear puts my very worth on the line all the time. I am now willing to give my fear to God. Completely and utter willing to let it go to make room in my heart for higher, better, more useful and productive traits. I know God is the only one who can and will do this for me. It is not something I can do on my own. Once again I am reminded of my beautiful dependence on my Higher Power.
I am grateful for all of this pain and the trials of my life that have brought me to this point. Without them I would not know how to depend on God like I do now. I would not know His character, love, and compassion or see His hand in my life. I would not know my Savior without these trials. I can honestly say that I have Gethsemane written on my heart because the Atonement was the only place to turn to overcome the pain I have gone through. I now have a heart filled with compassion instead of judgment. I have experience, strength, and hope I can share with others who are suffering. I can now be truly useful to God and others. For this I am truly grateful.
There are not words to express the gratitude I feel for the peace and wholeness I’ve gained the past two years. When my husband flails, I no longer have to. I feel liberated by my new ways of thinking and living. Peace, while neither perfect or constant, is my most treasured blessing. To feel whole and at peace is such a miracle to me–something I never thought I could have in this life. I’m eternally grateful to a loving God for these gifts.