A few years ago, I realized I needed to lose some weight. As soon as I was conscious of it, I was also suddenly hyper-aware of my overeating. I chalked it up to finally taking note of my daily habits, but then something strange emerged.
I would try to write: I intend to lose weight, and yet, I knew that wasn’t true. I would eat more. I would order fries and sit eating them not so much feeling bad that I was having them but that I had this lapse in awareness, one in which I acted conversely to what I believed I wanted, without even realizing I was acting at all.
I intend to lose weight, is what I would try to say. But it wasn’t the truth, and I didn’t understand how or why or for what reason it wouldn’t be.
I did not intend to lose weight. I intended to gain it. And I had intended to gain it so I could face the reason why I so desperately wanted to lose it in the first place, which was that I believed looking beautiful would facilitate some form of a happy life. It was only after having realized that that I was able to actually lose it, because I wasn’t subconsciously holding myself back.
But that’s just my story. I can’t speak to everybody else’s, aside from this part: everybody is controlled by fear and everybody’s biggest fear is loss.
We’re afraid of what we’re missing, what we’ve yet to actualize. We’re afraid we’re not with the right partner, or in the right city, or doing the right job. We’re afraid of losing our mothers and our jobs or our hearts or minds or how well we think other people see us. Our bodies, our money, the loves of our lives.
We’re afraid of losing before we’ve even lost anything at all. So afraid that we hold ourselves back from having it in the first place.
I know so many people who hold themselves back from love and happiness so they never have to lose it. They get to a point where they’re so miserable and cut off they have to ask themselves: “Why don’t I have this thing that would make me happy?” Answer: “Because I am resisting it.”
But nobody’s really afraid of losing anything. We’re all scared to death of never having it in the first place. That’s the anger. It’s the same as the resistance. The answer is within the problem. The solution is the problem. The obstacle is the way.
We’re afraid of never actually living our lives. Never feeling as high as we possibly can. Never actualizing who we’re meant to be, never finding our soul mates, never having the experience of the “right” city, the “right” job, the “right” this or that or anything else. It’s not about losing, it’s never about losing, it’s about having.
I know many people who have actively chosen to date people who very clearly don’t care about them so it would show them how they have to care about themselves. Who have moved to the wrong cities to see how much they want to live in the right ones. Who stayed in the relationships that didn’t give them what they needed, so they could feel as deeply how much they needed it.
And I know this because they realize after-the-fact. They start to recognize their broken relationships as their catalysts, their friendships as their lessons, their choices as calls to choose again, to choose something better.
The thing is that when you’re experiencing any kind of fear or tension, it’s your life giving you a chance to anchor yourself in the opposite energy. It’s like studying with a flashcard. What is on the opposite side of stress? Of self-hatred? Of fear? Go there. You belong there. You’re calling yourself home.
Understanding the problem is knowing the answer.
The answer is within the problem.
You’re not afraid to lose anything.
You’re afraid of never having it in the first place.
In the fear of losing, you’re creating the absence.
The problem isn’t that you’re holding yourself back.
It’s that your fear is.