Friday, May 26, 2006

Agliophobia

Agliophobia: The fear of pain.

My heart is hurting today. I'm in a position where I need to make some difficult and painful moves in my life. But, truth be told: I'm scared to death to do it.

I remember hearing someone once say that "The fear of pain is worse than the actual pain itself." Why did this person have to be frickin' right?! The truth is: I strongly hate the feeling of pain. I hate it so much that I do just about everything in my power to get away from it. I take refuge in school. I read. I get lost in my video games. I blog. I'll do almost anything to avoid confrontation with those things that bring me pain.

Sometimes the pain gets so bad for me that it causes me to question myself. It makes me wonder if I'm the one at fault; as if I had it coming to me or something. Sometimes, my pain deceives me into thinking that I can't get away from its grasp. It keeps me from seeing things logically, or from weighing things spiritually. It keeps me from being honest about things that I may not always want to accept.

Essentially, my pain keeps me from being real to myself.

The truth is: I'm ready for this pain to go away. I'm ready for it to stop declaring its victory over me. So, my new prayer to God is for Him to help me face the things that continue to hurt my heart. To face the pains that keep me from experiencing God and what He has for me. To face the fears of letting go of the very things that do me the most damage.

I think that it's interesting to note that it was only after Jesus' faced His fear of pain at Calvary that His identity was made clear. It was only through His suffering that someone finally said "Surely, this man is the Son of God." Maybe God is telling me that the only way to truly discover who I am is by facing the fear of pain that comes with bearing my own personal cross. Maybe I have to face the hurt and scars that come with life to come out victorious.

Maybe it's time for me to face my fear of pain.

- ACL

27 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

cynthia said...

Yes, you're RIGHT! Fear causes us to be dishonest about so much in our lives. We're dishonest with ourselves, others, and most importantly, with God.

To connect this with your "Golden Rule, version 2.0 post" (a great read, by the way), we're motivated to be dishonest with ourselves from honest and sincere intentions to please others. We try to be what we think they want us to be, even if it's not true to who we are. We trick ourselves into believing that we're doing the "right thing" because it brings happiness to others. But little do we know that we're dying inside because our souls demand honesty. This is where the internal conflict starts. The struggle between coming to grips with who we are, and the fear of the consequences that come with our honesty with ourselves. This is when the spirit is controlled by fear, it rebels and we don't grow.

Andre, you need to realize that happiness won't be yours until you are completely honesty with yourself about what you need to do. I think that our souls reject the idea of living in fear and hurt.

Sorry to go on so long...I can get that way sometimes. Besides that, your blog brings out the best in me! I'm praying for you!

Anonymous said...

It's really to be honest with ourselves and others. We build walls so that we will gain love, acceptance, friendship, etc. There is a deep fear that if anyone really knew me, no one would be capable of loving me. The church, for example, always seems to makie it hard for people to be honest with each other. I hope this isn't what you're dealing with.

But, whatever your issue, stay encouraged. God has given us the ability to overcome whatever hurts us!

joanne said...

Andre, my brother,

After I read your post, Romans 8:37 fell on my heart. Read it and hold it close to your heart.

God is ALWAYS with you, even when it seems like He's not.

saved_sinner said...

Brother,

Life is about making difficult decisions. It's important for you not to govern your choices by fear but rather by faith.

You can't have faith in God and fear at the same time. They can't. Think of them as reciprocals: one will always cancel the other out.

As the Bible reminds us, God has not given us the spirit of fear. If fear doesn't come from God, then it MUST come from Satan. Don't give in to him. God has given us WAY TOO MUCH to fend the devil off!

Stay strong, my brother

rhynoman said...

Well put, little bro. Hard to top that.

natasha said...

What you describe as a problem can actually be a blessing. I remember in another post, you mentioned how we have to take painful punches to heal our wounds.

But, I know that it can be hard to live out our own advice. I'm not mad atcha...

rhynoman said...

Sometimes you have to experience pain to realize how valuable you are. As my pastor once said, "Pain is a prelude to self worth".

megan said...

When I read your post, I almost cried. I immediately thought about some of the tough decisions I've had to make in my life with my career, my friends, etc. Then, I thought about Job. Even when he was dealing with some of the most difficult experiences in his life, he refused to abandon his faith in God. He was able to turn to God and trust that He would deliver him through hard times.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him (Job 13:15).”

This says is it all.

Don't be discouraged. God is with you!

lorna said...

Beautiful post, Andre.

This one really spoke to me and to a situation I'm dealing with. You're amazing!

Andre said...

Whoa! So much great advice; so little brain space to process it all...

@ cynthia: Thank you for the vote of confidence and for reminding me that happiness is a product of an honesty with myself. I'm so self conscious sometimes that I allow myself to be convinced that my hurts are my fault and that I don't deserve happiness. I think that God disagrees...

@ anonymous: It's funny how the feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, and hurt come from church folks. Trust me when I say that I've had my fair share of pains from Christians; some of whom are friends of mine.

@ Joanne: Thanks for the Scripture. It's comforting to know that God has made us conquerors, even when it feels like I'm the one who's being conquered (NOW is one of those times...)

@ saved_sinner: Great point about faith and fear behind reciprocals. This is coming from a math guy...

@ ryhnoman: Both of you guys make a good team. Thanks!

@ natasha: It's funny. That particular post was on my heart when I sat down and thought about this one. I kept asking myself "Am I getting punched in the face?" Thank you for putting that on my heart. You're right in saying that it's really hard to take my OWN advice...

@ rhynoman (again): Terrific quote. I think I'll have to use that one. Thanks for stopping by.

@ Megan: Job's story always amazes me. I've always been astounished at how he could lose EVERYTHING and still worship and reverence God. The losses that I'm thinking that I have to make don't compare to what Job loss. Hopefully, I can have the same spirit he did.

Thanks for challenging my heart.

@ lorna: Thank you eternally for your comments. Knowing that I touch someone else makes my pains seem less hurtful.

Adaliza said...

Nice Blog :)

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre` My Greeneyedman,

I am sorry to read your are dealing with some painful issues right now , we all avoid pain but have to endure it throughout life in many forms , it comes at us regardless . The actual mental torture that we put ourselves through with the idea of the pain we think we will experience can be worse that the actual PAIN itself . Sometimes our thoughts of what we are going to go through blind us to the whole situation and may not let us see that dealing with whatever PAIN we have may make our lives a better one , after the dust clears . He who hesitates is lost ,each time you delay dealing with it you are living and feeling that pain you are trying to avoid . I will say a prayer and ask for strength for you to overcome this hurdle and find peace with whatever you choose to do .
Greeneyes

Diane said...

Andre,
My heart aches for you, my brother. I don't know the particulars of the source of your pain, but I don't need to know them to pray for you. It's my turn to hold you up in your time of need. Please know I am praying for you, and I am concerned about you. If you need to talk, try me on yahoo messenger, or email me at:
lenadianejennings@yahoo.com

I'll be praying, Andre. :-)

Andre said...

@ adaliza: Thanks for stopping by! Your blog was...well...interesting. Given that I'm a COMPLETE idiot when it comes to science, "interesting" was the best term I could come up with without sounding like a moron! :)

@ the greeny-eyed one: Thanks sincerely for your encouraging words. You're absolutely right in saying that life presents us with obstacles and difficult choices that we have to make everyday. I think that my mind is made up on what I need to do; it's just hard to carry it out.

Thanks for your prayers, nontheless!

@ Diane: It's funny how things turn around. It seems like JUST YESTERDAY, I was trying to provide YOU encouragement in dealing with a loved one. Now, the shoe's on the other foot.

Amazing how easy it is to give advice to others and then not being able to encourage myself. But, that's why I'm blessed to have you as an idealogue.

Thanks for blessing me!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Hey There greeneyed Bandit
I hope you are feeling great today , and hopefully enjoying the weekend , wishing good things to come your way . Oh and uhmmmm """greeny-eyed-one!!!!!"""" , sounds like I need to see an optomologist . ewwwww! LMAO , hope you did as well . in the words of a fellow greeneyed , ......later Gator :) ..LOL

CHEER UP , and take care
Greeneyes

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly new to your blog so I don't feel like I have the right to get all preachy. But ---

My grandmother used to tell me that great things required sacrifice. If this move you're making is of God, then you may have to give something up first. Whether it's money, friends, time, etc., living out God's plan for your life can be pretty difficult and costly!

I REALLY love your blog. If you don't mind, I sent it to a few of my friends. I think they could use a little uplifting, which I'm sure they can get from your site. PLEASE keep up the great work!

sean said...

Really nice site, my friend. God is speaking to me through your words. You have a real gift.

Andre said...

@ green: This transitional period is going to be a lot more difficult that I originally anticipated. It's funny. Not only is this thing weighing down on my heart, now I'm starting to feel like God is turning a deaf ear to me.

All of the "Debbie Downer" stuff notwithstanding, thanks for your support!

By the way, I think you really SHOULD get that green-eyed thing check out... :)

@ anonymous: Thank for you blessing me with your comments. Please don't think that you're not welcomed. I encourage an exchange of thoughts and ideas, even if they don't match mine. I won't bite...

To answer your question: I don't mind if you share this with others. Who knows? Maybe we can all bless each other in some way. Thanks for the shout out!

Andre said...

@ sean: I think that one of the reasons why my heart is so heavy right now is because I don't hear God speaking to me about this one. I'm praying that God will open my ears to hear Him and that I will have the courage and will to accept whatever He says.

But, I'm happy to know that you're being spoken to!

saved_sinner said...

Andre, I don't fault you for the feelings that you have. The truth is ANY type of Fear can be a terrible enemy.

Your post moved me to mention it in church school this morning. The conversation that resulted in it was pretty compelling. I thought I'd share it with you.

When we are faced with fear, our daily lives become deeply affected. Fear can wreak havoc in our lifes, tear down our joy, cause us to doubt God, etc. I hate to admit it, but from the sounds of it, you're demonstrating these symptoms. You should be careful.

Likewise, fear has the ability to cause us to blur our perception of reality. Sometimes the thing that is most terrifying to us is NOT EVEN THERE. This is a problem because we "create" the monster of fear and we allow it to drain us of all of our energy and faith. This too is something you REALLY need to be careful about.

Jesus had to frequently alleviate the fears that His disciples had. How many times do you hear Him say "Fear not" or "Be not afraid"? Almost too many times to count. If they are charged to have the faith not to fear, why shouldn't you?

God bless you, my friend!

Diane said...

Andre, I just commented on your comment on my blog, ;-)

I'm still praying, friend. I know you're in a difficult place, my friend, but God is still there, He's never moved. Your fear of the situation may be blinding and deafening you to His will, but He is there. Maybe this will help: Go into your prayer closet, with no distractions, and open your mind to the Holy Spirit. Think about each of your doubts, and remember the scriptures that dispute each doubt that Satan has put in your mind. Such as, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and "I will not leave you comfortless,". I know it's hard, because I've been there, my brother, but you have to face each of the issues and seek God's will in them. Then be prepared to act on them if that's how God is leading. Many times God has answered our prayers for guidance, but we don't want to act, because of fear. Fear of confrontation, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of the unknown.......And many more. I don't know if this applies directly to your situation, but this approach helps me. I may just be shooting in the dark and hitting nothing, but maybe this will help you. If God is leading you to act, He will be with you through the situation, as it changes. Sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith, trusting He will bear us up on His wings. I wish I could do more to help, but I'm here anytime you need to talk or just vent. God Bless you, my friend.

Not a Republican said...

Hey Andre,

Just because you haven't heard from me in awhile doesn't mean that I haven't been reading!!!

Okay, it's my nature to play devils advocate so here goes:

A lot of times we look into things much more than need be. I'm not saying that your hurt isn't real, cause I know that I've been in pain before about friends, Church, family, etc.

A lot of times THE HARDEST thing that God can have us do is to turn the mirror to our own face. Eating crow and taking responsibilty for your own actions or inactions is the worst thing to do! It's always easier to blame someone else for your hurt that COULD HAVE been avoided. A lot of times that I've been in situations I've had to take some of the responsibilty on my own. Example: A girlfriend or boyfriend cheats on you and hurts you in the worst way. You immediaely talk about how bad that person is for hurting you. BUT! What were the warning signs that you refused to acknowledge that let the bad relationship conitinue? How many times did he/she say "Oh I'm over a friends house" and in your heart of hearts you KNEW it wasn't true but just allowed it to continue. Although this DOES NOT excuse the person for cheating, you still have a reponsibilty to protect your own heart. Had you ended this awhile ago, the pain wouldn't have been so deep.

What's my point?

Before you go and do what you have to do, take a deep breath, be a man, and look in the mirror. Are you contributing to your own problem?

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Greeneyed man
Could it be, not that God is not listening to you but you are not listening to him in your heart, God does not turn his back on us , nor a deaf ear , your answers may not be the ones you want, but you have been given free will .

Hopefully you can resolve this hardship with not too much hurt in any direction .Always make your choices with the knowledge you will have to live with THEM the rest of your life , TO THY SELF BE TRUE AND TO OTHERS :BE KIND.
HOPE YOUR HEART IS NOT SO HEAVY TODAY :) TAKE CARE , YOU GREENEYED CUTIE.
GREENEYES

thehc said...

Hey Andre,
Very nice post, as I've said before, you speak for a lot of people. I'm also learning a lot of biblical lessons, something I, along with most people, need to learn.

ajbendaƱa said...

Poeple in general will never be able to move on if they dont face thier deamons. They come in all shapes and sizes, types, and emotions. Facing fear is the hardest fear, but once you start to do it, you become stronger and your life will be richer for it. Old sayings are the advice of generations of people just like us trying to help future generations. Thats why i like them so much. So heed this one. What does not kill you makes you stronger. But at the end you should also add wiser.

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