About six months ago I was crying on my bathroom floor in frustration over how long it's taken me to heal from my driving anxiety.
I asked God why he hadn't taken the pain away yet, and his response was "Because you won't give it to me."
I then of course said "Well, I can't let go of it."
And naturally he said, "Why, because you'll feel better?"
My driving anxiety very much stems from my pledging allegiance to the pain of the past.
It's as though I've taken some holy vow without my consent, to always be afraid when I get behind the wheel.
It got me thinking.
Often without realizing it, we are the ones holding onto everything we wish would go away.
Because of course we can let things go.
Of course we can move on at any time. We have free will.
But we don't.
We've gotten used to having fears and anxieties. To be without them feels...odd. It doesn't feel natural when they've been with us for so long.
Marianne Williamson says something about this in her book A Return to Love, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
And I feel that to be true.
And maybe that's why I'm having trouble moving on from the pain of the past. Maybe some part of me always want to have it with me.
Because maybe there's fear in having nothing to complain about. In being happy.
MAYBE THERE'S A TINY BIT OF ANXIETY ABOUT BEING ANXIETY FREE.
It's times like these when I realize it's all about taking accountability for what's going on in our lives.
We have these mental dramas, but we're the ones putting the gun to our heads, pledging allegiance to the very pain we wish would go away.
(If you feel like chilling out to this idea, listen to this Flume song. It came on right as I was having these thoughts in the car...).
So where do we go from here?
If we're willing to admit to ourselves that yes, fine, ok. We are the ones keeping ourselves in a state of unrest. How do we release ourselves?
Well, forgiveness is a good first step, and accountability is another one.
We try and figure out what fears and anxieties we don't want in our lives, and then we try and see what parts of ourselves are responsible for holding onto them and why.
We try our best to get a glimpse of what our lives would look like without our mental dramas, because that's the incentive to let go of it!
Robert Holden does this great practice on his Hay House Radio show where he asks callers to finish the sentence of who they would be without their fear, guilt, or anxiety.
He says something like, "Without my fear of X, I would be..." about 5-10 times, asking the caller to finish the sentence.
I find this practice really helpful to clearly see what kind of peace I'm keeping myself from experiencing, and recognizing very clearly that I am the one keeping myself from experiencing it.
When I practice this, it sounds something like this:
Without my fear of driving, I would be more comfortable on the road.
Without my fear of driving, I would be able to drive wherever I wanted.
Without my fear of driving, I would be at peace in the car.
Without my fear of driving, I would be like I used to be in the car.
Without my fear of driving, I would be FREE of my biggest anxiety.
And all of that is exactly what I want. All of that is being held hostage by this very intense fear of getting into a car accident.
But at the end of the day, I am the one holding myself hostage, so I must also be the negotiator as well.
This practice helps you clearly see what you're missing out on when you choose fear and anxiety over love.
It puts things in a bit of perspective.
If you want to try out this visualization, I've created a free audio for you to download below, that goes through this same step-by-step process of visualizing who you would be without your fear.
Try it out once a day or so and see how you feel. It puts you in just the right energy to experience what it would be like to go through your day without your biggest fears and anxieties fogging up your vision.
But I also understand too that some emotions need to fester with us for awhile.
They need a dark breeding ground to help you feel the experience of human emotion, loss, and heart ache.
They need to sit with you a bit until you realize holding onto them is doing you more harm than good, and they're keeping you from fully experiencing your life.
Wherever you're at in your healing process, know this:
You won't always be calm, confident, and free. There will be lows and setbacks in the healing process, which are natural and necessary.
But so long as you understand you are the one who gets to define what you believe in and pledge allegiance to, it helps you feel less like you are being attacked by some unseen force without your consent.
What are you pledging allegiance to? Is there anything in your life you've been clinging onto far too long?
Would love to hear from you,