Life has a way of knocking us down, yet we have no choice but to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.
As children, we get up and move on without a second thought. We laugh at our scratched knees or bruised egos. Self-doubt has yet to become the young soul’s shadow. Fear of rejection and pain have yet to creep in, and we forge ahead without a care in the world.
Like everything in life, the repetitive cuts and bruises don’t heal if they’re not cared for.
Parents and teachers don’t know how to deal with the pain, so the hurt becomes buried like our own little secret treasure that will become the fiber of our being decades later.
Over time, each fall and disappointment become etched into our brain, and before we know it, we’ve created our own Samskaras—the subtle ego voice that stores these experiences in the subconscious mind. These invisible giants can be as big as the promise of a new day, and we’re left with our fears to deal with. This can be especially difficult for young adults who are seeking a meaningful life.
Fear was young and weak, and as I grew up, it grew with me. Questions arose with experience as to why I chose inaction over action, hate over love, and sorrow over happiness. I was left empty-handed except for an impossible and unfair puzzle left for me to figure out on my own.
The choices I faced forced me to acknowledge and embrace my fear. What I learned was by resisting my fear, it took on a life of its own. I had created my own prison without even knowing it and spent a decade in it. I reminded myself to live with gratitude. Why rattle the cage and awaken my soul when my life is okay?
Signs of a failed marriage could no longer be ignored, and neither could my courage. I decided I didn’t just want to exist any longer. I wanted to live, and to do this, I knew I needed to change—and change required courage.
The process was painful and long, and the mirror became my new despised object in my new, loveless home. Slowly and with time, reflections of hate, hurt, and resentment transformed into images of courage, love, and acceptance. Little by little, I became reacquainted with that same spirit I had owned as a child.
My fear became small enough to fit into the tiny corner it lived in when I was a little girl.
Fear can be looked at in two ways, and how we come to terms with this emotion will have a profound effect on our quality of life. Do we push it aside or embrace it? Is our fear loud, strong, and persuasive, or do we see it as an opportunity to grow? The choice is ours. By embracing our fear and looking at it with reflection and insight, we can recognize what stops us from achieving our dreams. When we embrace our fears instead of giving them power, we become young again, and dreams become possible.
There will always be times fear will show up uninvited. It will creep out of its little corner to say hello to us.
Instead of perceiving fear as a threat, I realize it’s just as much a part of me as courage. I’ve learned the darkness needs light so it can go back to its corner where it belongs.
Time and experience have taught me courage isn’t lost. It’s the same force that quietly told the young fear to go and sit in the corner; only now it’s older, wiser, and stronger.