I have had to admit lately that I am not always “on my game”. I have had some health issues that frankly, have been scaring my panties off – or at least I thought I was having the health issues because you know, that is what Web MD told me. *insert your groan and eye rolls here* But seriously, don’t judge me. I KNOW that we all have done that very same thing at some point. Right?
Yesterday, I spent my afternoon at one of the leading eye trauma hospitals in the country because, about 7 weeks ago, I was told that I had retinal edema in my right eye. This wouldn’t put EVERYONE into a state of fear induced panic but when you couple this diagnosis with my visual health history, (a retinal hemorrhage 20 years ago, another “leak” 4 years later and the fact that I have lost a good chunk of the vision of my left eye already as a result) it was pretty damn terrifying.
I have been sitting on and swallowing down a lot of fear these past few weeks.
There is both good and bad that comes from fear and the stress it brings. First, you find out that you are generally a lot stronger than you think you are. You have thoughts that terrify you and you either rise up and keep moving, or you let them paralyze you. I had moments of both however thankfully, I found strength and kept moving. (Although I took lots of cry showers.) Then, you start figuring out just exactly what is important to you…because most of the time, that is all that you find yourself clinging to. The bad? Well um…FEAR and stress just continue to feed each other and that brings a whole pile of other issues to the party.
I pulled back from EVERYTHING that I thought I loved because I have been in survival mode. I haven’t been comfy driving at all. I have been unable to focus at my desk much. I couldn’t watch TV. I was afraid to exercise hard. I didn’t know if I should be eating the foods that I was eating. Inversions in the yoga practice. The list goes on and on. I was terrified to do much of anything because my ultimate root of the fear was that I would screw something up worse and then wouldn’t be able to keep my drivers license. (You have to be able to SEE to hold on to those things.) And if I couldn’t see or drive, I would have to let go of my beloved blue beast – the Yoga Jeep. (it’s hard to warrant that large of a monthly payment for something to sit in your garage.)
Here is what I learned in the midst of this turmoil:
- My husband and kids are quite possibly the strongest tribe on the planet. They pulled together and made everything that our family needed work while this chaos has been swirling. When you actually FEEL your family, it really makes you understand the value of it.
- The people whom I THOUGHT were friends are the very people that I was afraid to show weakness in front of. I had a very small handful of people who I shared any of this with because as I sat back pondering it all and the potential adjustments that I would have to make if I had been handled the worst case scenario, there were only a few who I felt would stand next to me in the ugly parts of my life. Makes a girl consider about where precious energy is being spent.
- Life continues to move on around you, even when you are holed up and hiding. The sun still rises. The moon still shines. People still laugh and go out and have fun. People are still happy while you are terrified. The lesson: The things you worry about are most likely going to continue even when you can’t or don’t want to anymore. So seriously, LET THAT SHIT GO.
- If you hold on to fear, even unintentionally, it will destroy you. Fear sets off our stress response in our body. It makes you lay awake at night when you should be sleeping. It gives you a very unhealthy appetite and crave foods that are terrible for you. It makes your blood pressure rise. It leaves your body feeling tense and hurt. It makes your joints stiff. Your belly ache. It can also make you grind your teeth to the point of needing professional dentistry skills and can set off migraine headaches that have ZERO attachment to your actual REAL issue…and that makes you Web MD your symptoms to rule out a potential brain tumor that you don’t have. ( I am not making this shit up!) Again, I say LET IT GO!
After my specialist informed me yesterday that I had 2 sort of beautiful retinas and instead simply had an easy breezy to treat hardening of the lenses in my eyes, I lost my shit. My husband who was with me the entire way, wanted to hug me and celebrate while I was simply trying to be able to breathe and not ugly cry in front of a bunch of strangers.
But after that 10 minute walk in the beautiful sunshine heading out to my fantastically awesome blue beast, I. LOST. MY. SHIT. I cried like I haven’t cried in years. I sobbed. Relief flooded through me and I simply let it. The tears were all of the fear that I had been holding. All of the worry. Relief. Happiness.
We can’t hold on to this ugly stuff. In the moment, sure, we need to recognize that we are FEELING things but then, we need to let it go.
As I sit at my desk this morning, I still don’t have 100% vision and won’t until mid January but I am seeing my life clearly. I am seeing a better picture of who I am and who I have surrounding me. I didnt almost lose my life through all of this – so I didn’t visit heaven, speak with God or do any of the things that people who have near death experiences do that changes their own lives. My life is still basically the same as it was a few weeks ago – only today, I know that I am strong enough. Today, I know that I am ok. I know that my family is amazing beyond compare. And I know that I don’t want to live in a way that is less than authentic anymore.
I am sometimes weak. Sometimes, I have shit in my life that is haunting me. Sometimes I get scared. Sometimes I need to lose my shit and cry. But most of the time, I am grateful. And filled with joy. And passion. I live to inspire others. I live to live my best possible life in pure JOY.
So today, you may be noticing a few things that are different about me. I am glowing again. My level of sarcasm is back. I am snarky again. My super hero cape has been firmly attached to my shoulders and I am at a place to start conquering the world again.
I also have let go of a few things that I realized recently were trying to define me.
I am starting over. Today. More in line with who I am and where I am heading. Helping others to Find their own Happy. Because with that comes strength. Joy. Peace. Courage. Comfort. CLARITY!
Fear is a funny bitch.
Ponderings for today:
- Have you ever allowed fear to change your course in life? How?
- How comfortable do you feel with your emotions? Are there some that you shy away from expressing?
- Focus today on 2 things that bring you 100% joy. At the end of your day, spend a few moments replaying your day in your mind and notice how the moments with those joy items made you feel.