For many years I chose to travel along the neutral top of the fence. Looking down from my perch I could understand why one might choose to travel along either side, but for me there was certain level of safety on top of the fence.
Remaining on the fence allowed me to proclaim the benefits of both sides while renouncing the cons but never forced me to bare the responsibility of owning either. In a sense, I was having my cake and eating it too, or at least so I thought.
At the time what I was failing to recognize was that my attempt at living neutral was not derived from the oh-so-smart part of my big brain I boasted. No, it was not intelligence or uncanny insight that had me tight rope walking my way between sides, it was fear.
Yup. I was terrified to choose a side.
What if I was wrong?
What if I chose a side and none of my friends, family members, or clients approved?
What if they all abandoned me?
I was terrified of the repercussions of jumping down. But it wasn’t just the repercussions of the potential lost relationships, it was the burden of responsibility, too. By picking a side I would have to own it. I’d actually have to live out in the open for all to see, for all to judge. Choosing might lead to losing. I couldn’t talk myself into taking that risk.
All those “what-ifs” weren’t mine, they belonged to Fear.
Fear is like a Vampire, for it to get to you you gotta invite it in. Once you do, it just starts sucking the life out of you. That is exactly what happened when Fear became my roomie.
Eventually (and fortunately), balancing on that fence became exhausting. My nervous system was taxed. My adrenals couldn’t take any more. Living in the middle had me attempting to please both sides all the time. Some of you know this feeling. It S-U-C-K-S. Big time. I was going through life being what the person in front of me needed me to be at that moment.
While I must admit there was a small amount of pride I felt for my chameleon-like abilities, mostly I was tired and lonely. Living Agnostically was no longer an option.
So I hopped down off the fence.
And I was right. There was judgement. People I cared deeply for chose to no longer be in my life. I lost friends and clients. I felt depressed and began to doubt my decision. I found my Self staring at the fence thinking about climbing back up on top of it.
I was frustrated. I cried. Screamed. Broke a lot of things. Lost my shit on more occasions then I would like to admit. Got angry, sad, angry again… and then out of seemingly no where, I got really freaking happy.
This hurricane of emotions turned out to be the purging process I needed to let go. When I un-balled my fist it exposed my palms to receive. New relationships began to flow into my life. I found myself surrounded by like-minded individuals whose dreams aligned with mine. They motivated me, encouraged me, and challenged me to be the best version of myself I could be. They actually liked me.
Not only did I receive new relationships but also peace. I felt calm inside. I was learning to be OK with Billy. I no longer had to validate myself through my relationships. I could simply be. The being has lead to doing.
Making the decision to live life on my terms was uncomfortable, but not nearly as painful as living on the fence.