Strangely enough, if I have to look back on my life, it’s probably the most random and seemingly insignificant memories that pop into my head at first. That time I got into trouble with a parent of a child I didn’t know because I told them what to do. In my defense, I was repeating what the adult, who was in charge of looking after us, had said. The time that I was rejected by a guy whose name I’m not sure I even remember because he only thought blonde girls were pretty. The last time I had my heart broken by a boy who I thought had loved me and he hurt me, really badly.
But when I think about these seemingly arbitrary little moments scattered across the timeline of my life, I realize they’re moments I experienced very real fear. I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life, so yes, having an unknown adult lecturing nine-year-old me for repeating the words of an adult to their child, for lack of better words, freaked me the hell out.
There have been so many moments, more than I care to count, where I have had loved ones ask me, “Why does that scare you so much? Why are you so worried? What are you afraid of?” Well, if you had to look inside my brain, you would see that I have the potential to be afraid of quite literally everything. The potential.
I won’t explain the very long and draining journey I made to get to the point where I decided, well, damn it! I am so tired of being afraid. Does life really exist only to fear living?
I was tired of having my heart pound in my ears so loudly it could rival waves violently crashing against jagged shores. I was exhausted from the feeling of my own weight crushing my lungs. I had reached my breaking point—it truly is only when we reach rock bottom that we decide to burrow our way up toward the light.
It took years of therapy, hypnosis (yes, I tried it), tarot card readings (yes, that too), sound healing, meditation, and yoga. I had a lot of healing to do from a lot of trauma and toxicity that I had decided would be better left buried—boy, was I wrong.
Out of the many insightful things I have learned throughout my healing journey, one thing stands out. In yoga and meditation, we practice this mantra “letting go of that which no longer serves you”. It took me a while to actually connect with it, but when I reconnected with my high school biology lessons, I remembered that the body is constantly attempting to create a state of homeostasis—balance. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In order to allow more oxygen into our body, we have to get rid of the carbon. In order to make space for the new, we have to expel the old. The toxic. That which no longer serves us.
It was such a strange concept for me that by breathing—this thing that I literally would be dead without doing—I could change my life in such a drastic way. And then it clicked for me. If we never let go of the old, we are just standing still, moving nowhere. That yellow brick road leading us into the future? We aren’t even on it because we refuse to move forward. So what would happen if we refused to move, to let go of the old? We wouldn’t be living.
Just like breathing, change is not only inevitable, it is necessary for us to live.
So, why are we so afraid of it? Where does all this fear come from? Our hearts don’t know fear. Neither do our souls. Anxiety and fear, it stems from our ego. Think of a baby, pure and happy, laughing. Innocent. That baby only knows love and joy. And then that baby grows up and society teaches that baby to fear. Yeah, the world is a pretty scary place. But can we embrace more heart? Can we make the decision to bring more heart into our daily lives?
Look over your shoulder and see the scared version of yourself. See the you that lives in fear. Then take a deep breath in. Send the oxygen down your throat and feed it to your heart space. Watch the light shine from your heart space. Turn to look towards the future. Then breathe out the fear and walk, one foot in front of the other.
Keep moving forward.