Adventures in Anxiety, Dear Starfish Diaries

On anger, guilt, fear, and shame. But most of all, faith.

Ever feel like you have things completely figured out?  You are ROCKING this life thing like a boss?

Nah, me neither.

I don’t know a damn thing.  I question every decision I make, and blame myself HARD for every struggle.  Do you know that for awhile, I was convinced I had an incurable illness, and instead of fearing death I was terrified that everyone was going to be mad at me for dying?  Because surely there is no disease I could contract that wasn’t entirely my fault somehow.

There are people with victim mentalities- those who feel that they are just so UNFORTUNATE for everything bad that has happened to them.  That’s the key- they believe that things happen TO them, through no fault of their own.  And to them, I say… “TEACH ME!”

Not really, they can be pretty exhausting.  But it would be nice to pass the burden of accountability once in awhile.  To point a finger and say, “You did this to me, World!  You jerk!  I deserve all the sympathy and chocolate because I have been treated unfairly!”  I always felt that anger was a powerful emotion.  Certainly more powerful than fear, or guilt, or shame.  But I’ve never been good at the anger thing.  Never felt truly justified to be angry, not on the inside.  Which is where all the fear, guilt, and shame tend to live.

So what’s the lesson here?  Because I don’t know about you, but this post is bumming me out so far.  

I think sometimes we really are unlucky.  We really do get dealt a tough hand.  And as much as I envy the people who react with anger, I don’t think that’s the answer any more than my knee-jerk fear and guilt.

I think the answer is faith.


Faith that even the crappy stuff happens for a reason.  

Faith that in the end, we’ll be ok.

Faith that we can survive far more than we ever thought we could, or would have to.

Faith that the people who love us will stick around.

Faith that those who don’t are fighting their own battles.

Faith that there is more good than bad.

Faith that it’s worth it.  This life is worth it.


Faith is a slippery thing- just when I think I have a firm grasp on it, it slides through my hands like a melting ice cube.  But I will get down on my hands and knees and search for it in the dark if I have to, because the alternative is not acceptable.

So I suppose the lesson is to hold on to faith as stubbornly as you can.  REFUSE to let it slip away.  Guilt, fear, shame, anger- they’re really loud, but that doesn’t make them right.  But I believe with everything I have that faith is telling the truth.



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