Face It, Feel It, Heal It . . . And Smile When It’s Over

When I last wrote, I was dealing with an outer circumstance (the loss of my vehicle shortly after moving to a new state) that brought me face to face with an inner condition that needed to be addressed – an intense fear of being “trapped.”

James Allen once wrote, “The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.”

While accepting the premise that the circumstances of our lives are the product of our own creation can be a tough pill to swallow, it is a general principle of Life & Living that simply cannot be ignored. It is a truth that is self-evident to me.

The power of mind (which includes our unconscious content, as well as those thoughts we are consciously “aware” of) is undeniable.  While we are never alone in the endeavor, we are, indeed, the architects of our own destinies. And our destinies are built upon the cobblestone paths we create with our thoughts, desires, and fears – each and every day of our lives.  It is with this knowledge in mind that I went through the process of facing one of my greatest fears.

As you know from my last post, my intense fear of being trapped (literally or figuratively) originated in my childhood.  It stems, therefore, from a wound that is old and deep.  For too many years to count, this fear of being trapped affected virtually every aspect of my life.  From my inability to commit to long term relationships to my resistance to anything monotonous, my fear of confinement has had some amount of influence on every major decision I’ve made since I was 13 years old.  In the big scheme of things, that influence has not been a “good thing” for me.

In short, it was a fear that needed to be confronted.  And that is exactly what I have spent the last several weeks doing.

When I say “confront” my fear, I mean that I dug deep and reached for the root of the pain that kept that fear anchored in the garden of my mind.  I knew that, if I wanted to continue healing, growing, and evolving into all that I know I am capable of becoming, it was yet another inward journey that could not be avoided.  As you might imagine, it was an extremely difficult and unpleasant process, at times.

I have emerged from that experience with many new insights.  Some of them are of a spiritual nature and others are more “practical” truths about my Self and the world I live in today.  There was a lot of emotional pain to feel my way through, a lot of confusion to clear up; and there was quite a bit of re-framing involved.

 

Photo by Jay Simmons

Also, as it turned out, it was not something I had to experience alone.  My daughter (a beautiful woman inside and out) contributed significantly to the process by helping me stay present during an ostensibly unrelated but very relevant triggering event.  She also offered tremendous support in other ways.  Additionally, other loved ones and several friends (including a few readers) were there for me too . . . at different times, in different ways.  

Seeing the compassion and caring they all showed me was wonderful affirmation that I am, in fact, loved.  And what better medicine is there than love?

Overall, I am grateful for the entire experience and what changed within me as a result of it.  That fear was something I needed, very much, to face, feel, and heal; and, ultimately, I am glad for the circumstances that gave me that opportunity.  I am also glad for the new-used car I now own (which happens to be the type of car I had been envisioning myself driving for months).

Nonetheless, let me just say this, “Wheh! I’m glad that’s over!”

Let me be clear.  There are still “issues” from my childhood and other traumatic experiences in my life that need to be dealt with; and I did not wake up this morning with a pain-free, energetic body.  There is more to do before I am healthy; and I will continue eating this elephant one bite at a time.  But a healing has occurred.  It feels liberating to have gone through the process; and I can sense the relief of a lighter spirit that has evolved from all of this.

When I was trying to decide whether to share any more of this personal experience with you, the thought occurred to me that some readers might think that these kinds of experiences are not relevant to their lives because they do not live with P.T.S.D. or F.M.S. (both conditions that affect the brain’s threat and stress response functions).  I hope that is not the case, for this reason.

Yes, you and I are different (in a cosmic sense, the same; but, still, different).  However, there are certain aspects of being human that are common to us all.

 There are very few people on this planet (if any) who have never been afraid, or overwhelmed by stress, or threatened by something or someone.  While the origins of what makes me afraid or what causes me stress are likely very different from the experiences of many others, the “suffering” of those very human conditions is the same for all of us.  It is simply different for me (and others “like me”) because of our unique sensitivities and our compromised coping functions.  The point remains, however, that we are ALL afraid of something.

The fear that resides within us affects our decision making process.  It causes us emotional pain.  It festers and boils and bubbles up into our consciousness in ways that are very unpleasant.  And it affects our lives in ways that most of us would like to change.  Until we face it, feel it, and heal it, that fear will keep unfolding itself into the circumstances of our lives like a cold, wet blanket at a picnic — taking something away from the peace and joy we treasure, each time it does.

Before you start thinking, “Man, she’s bringing me down!” and click away, let me tell you the GOOD NEWS.  The good news is that, when you have been practicing positive thinking, self-awareness, and maintaining a gratitude attitude long enough, you have the right kind of tools to deal with the fear in ways that are ultimately soothing and healing.  To borrow an analogy from Dr. Rick Hanson’s book, Buddha’s Brain, bringing a positive attitude and self-compassion to the experience is like rubbing a cool salve on the wound that created the fear in the first place.  And that is a pleasant feeling.

Also, the circumstances that unfolded from the fear will pass away; and you will feel lighter, brighter, and happier than you did before.   You will come to realize that the fear, and the wound that gave rise to it, are only parts of your human experience.  They do not define the whole of who or what you are — as a person or a spiritual being.

The greater part of you is, and always has been, surrounded by love and light, filled with hope and joy, and shaped by a divine spark of perfection that glistens like moonlight on the open sea.  If you remember nothing else from these last two posts, remember that . . . please.

Keep moving forward in your own process of healing and self-realization one step at a time, remembering to stop, laugh, and be happy as much as possible, along the way.

© 07/11/12

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8 Comments

  1. I share your fear! – Along with a fear of being seen.

    May your journey be graced with strength and gentleness. I look forward to knowing more.

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading and for sharing! I look forward to our new connection. Many blessings, Sloan

      Reply
  2. Takes courage to go on the journey. I am glad that you chose to do so. Thank you for your insightful post.

    Reply
  3. Thanks Kristin! Many blessings to you and all that you do! Sloan

    Reply
  4. Gina's Professions for PEACE

     /  July 19, 2012

    I love this! Another wise gem from you, worthy of many a re-read. Thank you so much!!

    Reply
  5. Thanks for the affirmation and blessing! You are a beautiful soul!

    Reply
  6. BESS

     /  August 4, 2013

    THANK YOU MY FREIND IAM ON MY OWN JOURNEY ,IT IS VERY SCAREY AT TIMES BUT I KNOW CHANGE CAN NOT HAPPEN IF WE DONT GET OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES FEAR TRANSFORMS US IF WE LET IT AND FEEL IT FULLY, JUST TO LET IT PENITRATE US WITH OUT RUNNING FROM IT .IT HELPS ME FEELS LIKE A FEAR SLIDE BUT I GET STRONGER AND STRONGER EVERYTIME BEST OF WISHES…

    Reply
    • Thank you, Bess, for reading and commenting. Transformational journeys are never easy, indeed. But the rewards are many and great. I hope to see you around the site again soon. Many Blessings, S

      Reply

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