the gift of fear

Have you ever had a gift which you deeply feared, because you simply refuse to see or admit to the reality of your own heart? Today I had a really interesting conversation with a super-anyhow-but-not-so-anyhow guy.

I confided that I have a deep fear of my own gift, and also a fear of the ability to use this gift.

This gift of course is the gift of public relations, to make things viral at will, to sweet-talk/ talk authentically and sincerely, to reframe things so that things are to my benefit. In fact I feel a deep sense of shame about “sweet talking” sometimes, or the act of “reframing things”. I do the above so well that the PR response to me is almost like a reflex, or a first reaction. PR of course does not mean “being politically correct”–I’ll very much rather define it as being “strategically wise”.

I’m quite good at reframing stuff. I also found out only recently that “normal” people do not have this “being strategically correct” element as their first reactions.

I wonder why I feel shame for this ability, but then I wrote my emotional journal a couple of days back and it seems to have stemmed from multiple childhood traumas. Of the desire to want to convince everyone to like me when I was a kid–to look for approval. And the worry that I’ll be rejected, or be seen to be rejected.

There was of course this expectation to be liked by everyone else when I was a kid.

And I think nothing changed, except that somehow at this age of 29 I had wanted to serve the masses in a greater capacity. Is serving the masses something similar to seeking for approval?

I guess not, because serving the masses well has the prerequisite of loving and accepting people and yourself. Wanting to be liked by everyone on the other hand, is largely really about neediness and insecurity.

I’ve been denying to see this gift of PR for like, forever. This gift does the following: Get attention, stir shit, recommend sincerely, cheerlead, evoke responses, polarize the crowd…and somehow its sheer power makes me scared as well.

It makes me scared because I’m don’t want to misuse the gift. I am well aware of the potential damage I can do with this gift, especially if I am cornered. And sometimes, being drama and adrenaline loving, it’s easy to get myself into some sort of tricky situation, and time after time even when I defend myself successfully I feel guilt for causing damage onto the other person.

So you can see that being in denial of my own gift has its consequences, because the guilt sometimes lasts for quite some time. Maybe even years.

Yet on the flip side, it is precisely the gift of fear that I can also be thankful for. Or alternatively, a gut feeling to trust or not trust someone.

It’s been so long already, and I’ve been so used to shutting people out of my life because it’s tiring to keep explaining myself. I wonder why communication can be so tiring sometimes, or perhaps when contempt develops.

So perhaps today I finally saw why I had thought myself to be a bad person for so long–it is because I simply refused to see the reality of human beings as having the capacity to be bad.

The fear of my own gift stems from the fact that I had refused to see the reality that my gift could be used– in spite of the good and evil that simultaneously coexist in mankind–for good.

So after the conversation today, I saw reality a bit more: That there is actually no need for this fear because I can control my gift to use for good, too, and perhaps more commonly. So clarity is important, and I’m thankful that I can understand the human heart a little more. Because ultimately when we are dealing with the masses, it is important to love yourself and love people. If it’s all about money, then there is no soul in things.

And when I saw a peek to the reality of my gift, that it can be used for really good and powerful stuff in shaping public perception too, I felt some sense of relief.

It’s such a relief to understand that it’s okay to doubt, because human beings are both good and bad, and it’s wise to fend for the worst and hope for the best.

Another gentleman shared me recently about the bible verse “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.”

I had ignored the “shrewd as serpents” part for long because I thought I didn’t want to be like that. Upon reflection recently however, I realised that it is important to be like that not as an attack, but as a defence or to avoid someone.

And perhaps, therefore, we smile. And perhaps, therefore, we choose to lose sometimes.

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