“What good are wings without the courage to fly?” -unknown
Fear of the unknown is natural, yet I’m quick to overthink and often resist change, while also wishing life could be easier or make more sense. I want to stop spending so much time searching for reasons and answers in everything. Maybe sometimes shit just happens, people let you down and leave unexpectedly or treat you like garbage for no apparent reason, and life pushes you in a new direction against your will. I’ve been wondering lately if my deep desire to understand the motives and actions of others, or the reasons why I feel like I’m constantly starting over and having to change course, is actually holding me back? It’s obviously valuable to learn, important to pay attention, and I know that growth comes out of difficult seasons, but where is the line between healing and self torture? I want to let go. I want to be free, not just from the hurt but also from the desperate need for understanding. Maybe there would be more room for love and joy and adventure and the light-hearted spirit that I desire if I could just accept that not everything makes sense or can be explained in a way that would heal the hurt. I want to take the power away from the negativity in my past and present; I wonder if working so hard to give meaning to each difficult experience is fueling unhappiness more than creating peace? I believe what we focus on the most becomes our reality, so I think it’s time for me to choose a different focus. I’m tired of brokenness, trials, setbacks, and reasons for starting over to defining me. We all fall down, some more than others, but shit, the getting back up matters way more than the falling down!
“My demolition might not be in my hands, but my reconstruction is.” -Najwa Zebian
If the focus is on rising after falling, the spiritual energy associated with starting over, rebuilding, or changing course will naturally be more hopeful and positive. It’s the difference between looking up and look down, or walking forward verses walking backwards. We celebrate getting back on the horse because it takes courage, but every rider is trained to anticipate falling which eliminates the surprise when you end up on the ground; there isn’t a need to reevaluate the decision to ride in the first place because you’re prepared to fall. I was born with a wild, creative, adventurous, loving spirit, and a dreamers heart. Life has seriously challenged me, disappointed me, and broken my heart. But I’m still here to talk about it. I’ve come out of each difficult experience with a new passion for living and a smile on my face, yet far too often I’m focused on the rearview mirror, desperate to make sense out of the past instead of fully living in the present. I’m sick of my past hanging out in my head and weighing down my heart, and I don’t want it to keep having influence over my future. Enough! I’m ready to be free of the worry, questions, fear, and power that I’m feeding to events, circumstances, and people in my past.
I read a quote that said we should talk to ourselves the way we talk to our animals: “hello sweetie”, “you’re so good”, and “you want a treat?”. In the moment I laughed and kept scrolling, but it’s stuck with me. I definitely affirm myself in regard to my healing, lifestyle, and fitness, and I live in a purposeful spirit of gratitude, but I was recently prompted to consider how I cheer myself on when things are difficult or I’m hurting, and realized that I sound like a coach: “get up” or “try harder” or “you’ve got this” or “don’t let anything slow you down”, and that voice, while intense at times, has gotten me through some crushing trials in life. Earlier this week I shared with my counselor an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion in the face of uncertainty; a desire to walk away from the demand, need, and expectations stacked sky high on my shoulders. She suggested that instead of “pushing through” when I’m feeling scared, tired, and lonely, I show myself more compassion, grace, and love by accepting that life is hard, change is scary, and the unknown is intimidating. I really thought I was loving myself by pushing myself to be stronger, try harder, and rise to the occasion, and could honestly say that sitting with my unhappiness sounded counterproductive, but it’s not to wallow in self-pity, it’s to give myself the space and permission to feel without it being right or wrong. Accepting the light and darkness inside of me, and showing every aspect of my spiritual person kindness and acceptance has been emotionally draining. I’ve had a series of very thoughtful, quiet days with myself, and a seemingly limitless flow of tears, but each time I feel myself wondering “why” and tensing under pressure, I start speaking to myself with motherly tenderness and love as if I’m a scared child, and somehow the hurt becomes a friend instead of an enemy; something to understand instead of fight. I’m thankful for my feelings, and have gained a deeper appreciation for the ways that happiness and sadness can coexist. It’s especially freeing to accept how I’m feeling as natural and normal, without it needing to mean anything profound. The highs and lows mean I’m alive, navigating the complexities of a beautifully broken world, and I’m suddenly more grateful than I’ve been in a long time to have the privilege to live my life, experience my dreams, pivot as needed to continue moving forward, and freely and deeply love my family and friends.
“Gratitude is a natural healer. Living in the energy of gratitude changes the way we perceive challenges. Where there’s gratitude, there’s no anxiety or fear.” -Nansia Movidi
“Your past has given you the strength and wisdom you have today, so celebrate it. Don’t let it haunt you.” -unknown
I want to do a better job of living in the moment, and believe with my focus in the present and future instead of working so hard to understand the past, I will love more fully, expand spiritually, and know myself more intimately. This week of emotional hardship has been a blessing, and I’m excited for life with newfound freedom from the heaviness of my history. I also want to be more emotionally and mentally prepared for change, with confidence that I’m prepared to handle whatever comes my way. I have faith that the internal coach cheering me on and the mother comforting me can work together, and when fear and doubt show up, I’ll remind myself they’re necessary energies when facing uncertainty, and I can both embrace the emotions and push myself forward. I want to live with boldness and courage, truly embracing and celebrating this life I’ve been blessed to live.
“I believe that what we regret most are our failures of courage, whether it’s the courage to be kinder, to show up, to say how we feel, to set boundaries, to be good to ourselves. For that reason, regret can be the birthplace of empathy.” -Brene Brown