I used to be the biggest scaredy-cat. Very simple tasks were often overwhelming for me and this led to a sort of paralysis in most aspects of my life. Piles of mail would remain unopened because I was afraid of what might lurk inside. Phone calls were usually held off until the last minute or even past the last minute. There was this heavy, sticky energy that surrounded me most of the time, but I couldn’t clear it because the fear was my constant companion.  The irony is that I’d grown so accustomed to the fear that I was afraid to get rid of it.

I borrowed courage sometimes when I drank or took drugs and because of that it was easy to fool myself into believing that I wasn’t really scared. This bravado carried me through a good twenty years of engaging in ridiculously dangerous activities that should have gotten me killed while avoiding the day-to-day tasks that could have actually made my life sincerely, authentically enjoyable.

The major side-effect of all of this fear was that it kept me disconnected from me. I had no idea who I was. I knew who I pretended to be and I knew who I wanted to be. I could hear a voice whispering inside of me, but I couldn’t make out the words. I continued to just sort of drift along in my life, thinking that I was “figuring things out” when actually I was running all over the world trying to simultaneously find myself and escape from myself.

A huge shift occurred about 10 months ago. There had been many little shifts leading up to it as over the past several years I struggled to understand why my life wasn’t working the way that I wanted it to. A huge “stuckness” had fallen over me as my youth slipped into my past and I was still doing the same things I had been doing just because I had been doing them and not because I really wanted to be doing them. I began to up my healing work and I began to really dip down into my being. It took several years to do this as I tiptoed through my pain, looking at each little piece of it, opting to clear some while rigidly holding onto others. What finally happened is that the pain of staying where I was – knowing that I was not being true to myself – finally became too intense. I was tired of scurrying and ready to leap.

I attended a Jennifer Pastiloff workshop last year, something that I highly recommend for any of you feeling fear of any sort. She works a lot with clearing fear so that you can manifest the life that you truly want. It’s about letting go and forgiving yourself and others so that you can fully express yourself and your joy. Powerful stuff. I realized that by continuing to live the way that I was living, I was only going to experience more of the same. I understood for the first time that if I wanted change, I was going to have to change. This seems so simple, but I had spent years trying to find any loophole in this axiom so that I could avoid really showing the world who I was. I was too afraid that people wouldn’t like me if they really knew me. (If they didn’t like the “me” that I projected to the world, I felt that was somehow safer.)

Immediately following that epiphany, I made one of the most courageous decisions of my life. I vowed that I would do something every single day that scared me. Initially I was able to uphold this. I was afraid of so much that I had material to last for several months. During this time, I noticed something amazing: Nothing catastrophic happened. In fact, really good things started to happen. As I made the connection between the world not falling out from under me and me creating meaningful changes in my life, I began to really and truly experience faith on a deep level for the first time ever. I was finally able to stop caring what other people thought of me, and I was able to rest in the truth that those on the same path as me would find me. I just knew that I would be supported. Now, my experience of fear is completely different. Not only do I not live in fear, but when I feel it in my body, I acknowledge it and then move through it.

As I have let go of my fears and expectations of how the outcome should be/needs to be, I have learned that there is freedom in life to be who I want to be and to pursue the dreams I want to manifest. The people that I love sometimes give me that little look like, “Aw, isn’t she cute! She believes in healing and angels and Spirit and psychic mumbo jumbo” but they still love me. And it’s okay if they don’t believe in it. I have found a community that does and I am helping people to heal. As a result, my life is richer and fuller and I experience much more joy and abundance. In the end, that is all that matters.