I recently made a ridiculously difficult, challenging and major life changing decision...One I ruminated on for a very long time and kept putting off and putting off. I delayed making the decision because it just seemed too hard, too daunting. I can't begin to tell you the mental energy I spent on thinking about what to do - I weighed the pros and cons, I contemplated all the possible outcomes of my decision, I went back and forth, back and forth. It was so mentally exhausting, I frequently got sick and had to spend a few days resting in bed. It was so scary, I shoved the decision into the recesses of my mind, burying it under the dirt and thought about anything but.
This decision was sneaky and persistent, it kept uncovering itself, dislodging from where I tried to hide it away and coming up to poke at me and dare I say, irritate me. It became like a rock in my shoe. For a while, I could continue walking along and just shake my foot around so the rock would move out from under my toes. However, some time would go by and it would inevitably settle back under my heel and start to make itself known again. Life went on like that for some time, a shake and I'd be free temporarily, only to be reminded of the rock again down the road.
Finally, I had to sit down, untie my sneakers and dislodge the rock so I could walk on freely and unencumbered. I had to pull the bandaid off the wound so that it could get air and start the true healing process. Otherwise, the wound would continue to fester, pus and maybe even get infected.
After I ripped the bandaid off and dislodged the rock from my shoe, in retrospect I wonder why I let the festering and continue for so long. Now that I've opened up the wound to fresh air, I can start the process of healing, of moving forward and onward. The fear of hurting myself, of ripping up some hairs, of the sticky residue left behind by taking the bandaid off was keeping me from getting started on the healing. Fear was holding me back. Fear very frequently holds us back. However, once you jump, once you rip the bandaid off, you think 'oh, that was fine', is that all I was worried about?
How many times have you been scared to do something and the rumination in your mind has cost you hours, days of worry and stress? How many times have you then done the thing that scared you anyway? Once you do it, it's, usually, not as bad as you thought it might be. It often is actually totally fine. Yet time and time again, you come up against this fear and say, no I'm going to stay in my comfort zone, in my protective bubble, under my bandaid and not let the scary, fresh air get to me. What if something bad happens?
I am going to argue that staying inside the comfort zone of safety and easy living is actually doing you and I way more harm than we think. What if you do the things that scare you anyway? As they say, it's fear you fear the most. It's that feeling of anxiety, of heart racing, of sweaty palms, of I can't handle this and I can't go on, that you fear. That doesn't feel good so you want to avoid it. But what if you can sit with it? I've learned that if I sit with the fear, with all the yucky physical sensations of fear, they actually dissipates after a while and then I can move on lighter than I was before. Fear, like any emotion, is all energy. Energy comes and goes, it's fluid and it only has power if you give it power.
Let yourself be free, rip that bandaid off, shake the rock out of your shoe and move forth.
Until next time. xo