A Tough Call

I picked up the phone. I hovered my finger over the first button as if frozen in time. All of the words of my friends and loved ones rang through my head:

You have to end it with him. He constantly criticizes and puts you down. He doesn’t believe in you or have your best interest at heart. He holds you back.

He always has to take center stage when you are doing something big.  He keeps you playing small and dims your shine.  He holds you back.

He selfishly keeps you up at night. He ties you up and he won’t let you get out and meet new people or go the places that you want to go. He TOTALLY CONTROLS you. 

He even terrorizes and abuses you.


I replayed the loop of all of my rebuttals and meager attempts to make justifications for him:

He doesn’t mean to. He does it because he cares. He loves me and wants to protect me from getting hurt.

It’s for my own good.

If I don’t have him, then I will have to face the unknown. I may not be meeting other people or reaching my full potential in life, but at least I know that I have security and someone to protect me from what might go wrong out there.

I can’t imagine standing up to him and recognizing my own self-worth. It doesn’t seem possible that I could even exist without him.

I am not strong enough to have to take a stand and try to survive all by myself.

I’m worried I will fail if I don’t have him to talk any sense into me. I have to listen to him. In every area of my life, he knows better than me.

This is all I know. I don’t want to live without him. I would rather put up with his abuse and be shamed by him than take the chance of seeing how things may turn out without him in my life.

My heart hammered as I listened to the chilling sounds of three quick rings and then the muffled sound of his stale, heavy breath on the other end.

Fear is alive and well…

I hung up the phone.

Wow, fear looks a whole lot grimmer when you personify it, doesn’t it? This is what it’s like to nurture your fear, or figuratively speaking, maintain a relationship with it. Who would want to engage in a relationship with that jerk? And yet, we do. We allow this powerful, crippling force to essentially abuse us, keep us stuck, strip us of our innate powers, and prevent our actualization.

Can you see how detrimental it can be to our growth, yet at the same time terrifying to attempt to cut ties with?

Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What are some of the ways that you allow your fear to hold you back?

2. What are some of the ways in which you make excuses for your fears or, in other words, rationalize them?

3. What are some of the benefits that you may receive from clinging to your fear?

4. If you could clearly see how fear was holding someone you love back from making a decision that would be wonderful for them, what advice would you give them?

5. How can your hypothetical advice (question #4) be applied to your own life?

6. What is something you have always wanted to do but feel too afraid to attempt?

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