Healing oneself can be scary, terrifying even. It's difficult to realise how much power you have when you have learnt to console yourself of your own limitations.
When you've reached past the point of acknowledging past wrongs, of understanding where emotions, beliefs and ideas come from and how little of yourself you own - despite all human wishes to cling hopefully to the idea that you do own yourself - you recognise a freedom that you never before owned.
That's the freedom of empowerment, of something close to (my personal) definition of Eudaemonia. It is the point at which you have come to understand that what others send your way cannot and will not prove destructive unless you let it. You hold the keys (to be an extreme cliche) to your mental fortress and it is you who allows others to undermine your confidence and sense of self-worth. When you realise that who you are to others may not be 'who you are', that's when you can smile, nod and send them on their way. They can take their concerns about how you live your life and pass them onto others, but you have the power to ignore that and continue in your own life, carving a rainbow path of happiness to the stars and beyond.
This freedom is really terrifying. I've found in my life that other people and how much I care what they think about me is probably the one thing that has held me back the most. It's held me back in the sense of never being brave enough to fail valiantly in front of others. I've stuck to 'safety'. I've lived without my own carefully drawn confines. That meant I put very little effort into things I wasn't sure I was good at, and lots of effort into things I knew I was good at. These days I'd rather branch out, I'd rather take risks. My life becomes extremely boring without them. It's exhausting, but playing mental gymnastics is also kind of fun - however, I think it's only really fun if you know the end result won't affect you all that much.
This is why I'm trying to embrace change and risk. I'm trying to open up new avenues of communicative expression and hang whatever 'consequences' might rear their hydra-like heads. I'm done with feeling some Damoclesian weight in the air above my head. It's too boring. I enjoy the roller coaster ride that is life and I'm ready to embrace the possibilities of risk. Of people pointing and laughing and saying 'that girl failed'. Who cares? At least that girl put herself out there. At least she began the arduous journey of honing her skills.
I bang on and on about self-improvement a lot on this blog. It might get repetitive and boring, but the thing is that I write for me. I write because I have questions and concerns and I want to put them out into the world in order to possibly show other people who might have the same concerns (because I'm not naive enough to believe that I'm the only person who thinks this way) that they are not alone.
My message to others who might feel unsure is this, be brave! Become a forum for creative expression. Unite others under shared beliefs, put out feelers and find other like-minded people.
If you're frightened of failure (and who isn't!) Or being taken the wrong way, remember Friedrich Nietzsche and the message he gave to the people he loved:
"To those humans who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities - I wish they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether they are worth anything or not - that one endures." - Friedrich NietzscheEndure through it. Remember that a time will come when you will be unconcerned with these things and more understanding of the fact that whatever you were put on this planet to do is more important than the petty nonsense of others. Remember that to endure through whatever slander made at your expense, to keep moving forward (to quote Julia Gillard, lol), will mean that eventually those words will have absolutely no effect on you. Gone will be the days when you cowered at the thought of a person laughing at you. Gone will be the days when you were scared of putting something new and risky out there. Gone will be the days when you lived an average life full of fear and jealousy and you will thrive.
To endure is to be worth something, perhaps even everything.
*Sidenote: I'm highly pretentious.