You’ve read the title right.
It’s in there, no matter how you much you close your eyes. It’s with you when you go to work. It’s with you while you’re with your friends. It’s gnawing you, creeping into you like ocean waves to shore, reaching more land as the night comes. You lie awake at night, telling yourself you’d do this, you’d do that to make it go away. But you can’t even look at it in the eye.
When you’re in your pursuit of your dreams, they say to feel good. Focus on the good. Avoid negative emotions; they suck the life out of you –sadness, anger, fear.
That’s just it. We avoid. But it’s there because it’s natural.
Do you want them to go away?
I did too. So I faced them.
Lately, I’ve noticed my sighs have been getting heavier. Tired of feeling hunted by things I couldn’t see, I took a pad paper, a lighter and then I went outside to my backyard. In an open spot, with a pail of water and a hose beside me, I checked if everything was safe.
It’s late at night and everyone’s asleep; and here I was, confronting my supposed demons. Feeling self-conscious, I wrote one demon down in a strip of paper under a held flashlight. Since the ground was wet and watered, I held one end up with fire-proof gloves and lit it with fire.
The fire happily consumed the strip into embers. I held it away from me, directly into the pail of water. When the fire edged near my pinched fingers, I let go.
I wrote one more before staring at it. There it was before me. The one lurking inside my head is now with me in this plane of existence. My lip actually trembled as I read it again. I watched that one burn, holding it as long as I could before the flames could lick my fingertips.
Something had seized me then and burning them one by one wasn’t enough anymore. I wrote them all down in a sheet. Everything that had bothered, confused, made me ran away all because I won’t face them, making them even more powerful. I wrote it all down.
I read them over, looking at every one of them as though to look at them in the eye. Tearing off the sheet of paper, I lit one corner. Fire spread through the wide sheet of paper, burning it slowly into embers. The fire slowly edged to the corner I was holding; despite the fire-proof gloves, apprehension began to creep.
Let go! my mind said.
I stubbornly refused, wanting all of them to burn before I drop what remains in the pail of water.
It was then that I realized what my mind had wanted me to do all along.
So I did, watching the fires die in the water, failing to eat the rest.
But it was done. I didn’t realize my breath became heavy. But I did notice that I felt lighter. Everything was clearer without the fog of fear that caused my obstacles to look like mountains.
That night, I had dragged my fears out of my mind and made them real. I turned the tide and hunted them down, one by one and then by the dozen. Some were ridiculous, some were sensible. But you know what? They were all manageable.
Some things are scarier inside your head. So take them outside. Make them real and face them head on.