Elisabeth´s blog

Scared? Me?

Scared? Me?

Scared? Me?

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?”

“All it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage.”

Two lines from two different films that I have recently seen. The films themselves were not especially memorable but these two lines stood out and completely encapsulated what causes us to have a breakdown, what makes us tired and ill; fear.

Ha ha ha ha…you probably laugh fear in the face, just like I used to a few years ago. Scared? Me? Of what? I drive my car at 250 kmph simply because I can. I do bungee jumping, I deal with all the uncomfortable conversations at work that no one else dares or is able to do. So how could I ever be afraid?

As things turned out, I wasn’t scared. I was terrified.

There was nothing out there that scared me as much as seeing myself in the mirror. Nothing could scare me as much as looking inside me. What if I could not find anything of beauty there? What if I were to come to a halt, give myself time to catch up with myself and realise that I was a pretty sad, little person? What if I discovered I was useless? Help! Better I keep my hands in front of my eyes and continue running….

For a few years I really thought I had managed to do this. I thought I was safe. I thought I had outrun every single demon, as suddenly everything was so easy.

But this proved to be the eye of the storm, and not long after I became ill, burnt out, bedridden and totally incapable of running, finding distractions or fleeing. I lay there and they finally arrived, they finally caught up with me, my demons.

I quickly found tools such as yoga and meditation that enabled me to endure all my fear and anxiety. So many suppressed emotions that they were all queuing to well up and out of me. When I was meditating, I was literally meeting my own fear. It could fill me with hair-raising terror for days on end. Until I understood that it wasn’t me, it was just my fears. They chafe, scratch and weigh us down all the time they are locked inside. They ferment and grow in the darkness there. But when I ease open the door and allow some light to seep in, they shrink just as quickly. They cannot tolerate light. None of our emotional baggage can tolerate light.

The latest research shows that we can breathe away trauma. In other words, with the aid of controlled breathing we can ease open the door and let the light flood in. Whatever kinds of demons live in the closet. That which is released is released forever and never returns. I read an article yesterday about traumatised soldiers who did yoga every day for a week, and the positive effects of this trauma treatment had stayed with them a year later. After just one yoga session a day for a week! Incredible.

I have released so much fear and realised that fear is one of the greatest illusions. What is there to be afraid of when you have found yourself? When there are no longer any more undiscovered dark corners, what is there still to be afraid of?

If you have stepped beyond fear, you will always be safe.

We are so afraid of not coming up to scratch, of not being loved or not fitting in. We spend hours, days, years and our whole lives chasing status, accessories, appearances and social standing.

But if I was never afraid, why could I never go shopping without wearing any make up. Why did I wear uncomfortable shoes that pinched and gave me blisters? Why did I wear clothes that always needed to be adjusted?

Quite simply because I was scared stiff of not fitting the mould. Bare faced with comfortable shoes and clothes, what would I look like? You could climb the career ladder looking like that! No one would like me if I showed them who I was – my true self. Or could I?

We dare not say what we really think deep down, and so we drift along in the same thought patterns and when we say what we are thinking we genuinely believe we are telling the truth. For what we are thinking has to be true – doesn’t it?

What happens if we let go of all the musts and demands?

What happens if we dare to stand up, stand out and go our own way?

Sell the house, throw away all our uncomfortable clothes, ditch all our shoes that pinch and rush barefoot into a new adventure: LIFE!

As often as not, all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage.

 

“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

 

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