This is a major religious holiday week for two of the most prevalent religions in the world – Judaism and Christianity. Jews are commemorating the Passover and God’s leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Over the following 40 years they were in the desert on the way to the promised land with delays due to disobedience. Their mistakes and wayward decisions had many consequences.
The Jews were enslaved and mistreated by the people of Egypt. They then were ungrateful and easily distracted from the miracle of their deliverance. They continued to make mistakes.
Christians are celebrating Easter, the risen Christ after a brutal betrayal and death 3 days earlier.
The people who celebrated Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem were the same ones who cried ‘Crucify Him’ a few days later. And even after this supreme sacrifice, Christians continue to sin. We continue to sin, make mistakes, and get absorbed in ourselves.
So, it wasn’t just the people in Biblical times that made mistakes. We ALL continue to do that every day. How do you handle your mistakes? How do you handle the things you choose to do that you later regret? How do you handle the things that are done to you that hurt you?
Fear of Failure
I have known many people who are afraid of failing. Often, they are even more afraid of anyone finding out that they failed. There seem to be two extremes of ways to handle this fear.
#1 – Avoid any situation that could result in failure. Do you shy away from any risk? Do you avoid variation in your life and avoid all opportunities since you aren’t guaranteed success? How deep does this fear run? Do you eat the same meals repeatedly rather than try something new? Do you keep the same schedule to minimize an unexpected situation?
#2 – Hide any hint of failure. Do you take some risks but hide or deny anything that goes wrong? Do you maintain the illusion of perfection? Do you push away people who might get close enough to see your weaknesses?
Fear of failure is a prime source of anxiety. The fear is so intense just the thought of taking a risk provokes stress, rapid heart rate, sweating, feelings of overwhelm.
Fear of failure can lead to depression due to self-selected isolation. Or, if you hide and deny your failures, you can get caught in a web of lies that gets beyond your control.
I don’t want to count the number of people I’ve talked with who have a sad secret hurt from their past. These hurts changed their lives. They are terrible things like abuse, rape, molestation, abandonment, or neglect. They have ‘dealt’ with these issues by trying to deny they happened. Or, they have been told by family to keep quiet and never talk about it. Other times the hidden truths are of marital affairs, lost jobs, drug abuse, or heavy drinking.
Whatever the hidden truth, there is no denying the impact. Our conscience knows and doesn’t forget.
Like before, if you keep it hidden, suppressed, and don’t release it, all of that pain comes out another way. I have known so many people with chronic pain that was related to these hidden truths. Others suffered from anxiety and/or depression. There was an ever-present fear and ‘dark cloud’ in their life.
Counseling and Medication
Many people choose to ‘treat’ these fears and hidden truths with medication. Sometimes it is with prescribed medication such as antianxiety or antidepressant medications. Other people choose to self-treat with alcohol, marijuana, or other substances.
The medication can help in many instances. In others, it just dulls the thinking. The memories, the guilt, or the hurt isn’t as sharp when under the influence of the medication or other substance.
Your life is meant to be lived fully aware and present. You miss out on so much when you aren’t engaged in your life.
That is very often where counseling comes in. These fears and hidden truths need to be released. Counseling, clinical or faith based, can be that outlet to help you really deal with these hurts, mistakes, or ongoing issues. Through counseling you can confront these items, face them, learn to process them, and then learn to live beyond them. (Note, I am not suggesting your hurts, fears, and pain are not real. I am not suggesting you will just walk away and forget them. I am suggesting you can benefit from counseling +/- medication.)
This is one of those areas that can’t be ‘fixed by a pill.’ The medication can help, but it is unlikely to actually resolve the problems. A trusted, skilled counselor can help you get back to really living.
To learn more about the role of medication and for help finding a good counselor, contact us at Meds MASH, LLC at www.medsmash.com/contact or 410-472-5078.
For further application, check out my personal blog.