So much of my work has been doing things I don’t want to or that don’t feel good with trust in those who guide me to make those decisions and the faith that they will begin to feel better. It’s the getting out of bed when sleep feels good, knowing that staying there won’t bring me to the places I want to go and there are other things I haven’t found yet that could perhaps provide me with another better feeling. It’s the sitting through the discomfort until it’s no longer uncomfortable. It’s the eating when it hurts because it shouldn’t hurt and believing that the hurting is the only way to get to the healing. It’s surrender in resistance until there’s no longer the desire or need to resist. It’s the walking through the fears until I’m free. It’s the allowing to be uncaged just to realize that I was the bars jailing myself- that I was never a victim, but that I had imprisoned myself.
In the trust and the faith, I’ve found that these have become applicable to every step in life. Inevitably, hurdles occur in each challenge and most desirable outcomes include various challenges. Blindly following can often be extraordinarily difficult, but I’ve consistently been shocked by how necessary it is and how positively I have been impacted each time I choose to do the harder thing and take leaps of faith.
In my studies, I’ve chosen to give up the paths I once plowed for my future. I’ve accepted that what I thought I wanted wasn’t what made me happy and decided to follow what I’d heard and push myself to embrace what I loved, finding that it was what I was also most successful at once I chose to let be. In my relationships, I let go of the roles I thought I needed to play and accept whatever place I took in showing up authentically. I stopped attempting to make friendships happen with those I thought I’d connect with best and found far more fulfilling relationships. And in the activities I filled my free-time with, I let myself try new things. I dropped what I once identified as the things I enjoyed, yet did not satisfy me, and began to explore what the self that was emerging within me liked. I went through the crises of not knowing and not having and removing past identities I once thought were mine and gave myself a chance to become the I that had been so far buried beneath the cloaks of who I molded myself to be.
However, in my day-to-day, I am still working on my surrender. Sometimes I forget and other times it feels too hard to choose to live in distress in order to find peace. Sometimes I lose motivation for peace. Sometimes I question if it exists. Yet, the times I choose to make the small, more difficult decisions, the anticipatory anxiety or fear of the discomfort is far more uncomfortable than the actions, themselves.
The other day, I was feeling exhausted. I had been pushing away feelings for a while, distracting from the thoughts that can often be crazy-making and, as a result, avoiding the underlying emotions that were driving the streams of consciousness invading my mind. That day, the feelings came pouring in and I found myself drained by the evening as a result of the waves that had hit me through the day. I had plans to visit with a friend and found myself wanting nothing more than to cancel and sleep.
I knew that many of the emotions I’d experienced, however, were a product of fears that directly resulted from my lack of relationships recently. The isolation and emotional distance between myself and those I do have contact with had brought me much of the sadness and anxiety that had led to the exhaustion. Continuing to separate myself, to choose disconnect, was once again going to stuff down the feelings that would undeniably erupt. So, I didn’t cancel.
I sat in angst waiting, complaining, and fearing the worst possible outcomes, but I stayed. I waited. And then, I visited. The panic and disdain for the upcoming circumstances prior were by far the worst parts of the entire day and the final connection and conversation that came from following through with my plans was the healing I so needed. I uncovered understanding, compassion, laughter, and happiness. As a result, I gained self-compassion and remembered I am not alone. I saw a bigger picture and, simultaneously, I recognized the way I had just entrapped myself in the fear I allowed myself to live in earlier that day.
Being brave- doing whatever it is that scares you and not knowing the outcome but trusting the advice and direction of those who try to help, including your best self- is hardly ever easy. It’s uncomfortable. It can be avoided and choosing the easier things can be justified. However, I have to believe that all the greatest discoveries come through some form or level of struggle. The further they are pushed away and ignored, the greater the struggle becomes, though. I won’t always remember to, I won’t always want to, I won’t always choose to do the things that I’m afraid of, yet set me free. But every time I do, I remember why I need to, and why it’s better to do them sooner rather than later. We are all on a journey to set ourselves free from the things that keep us fighting the peace of our souls. It just means choosing that peace in spite of the pain from the process, with the knowledge that we suffer more in resistance. It’s time to leap.