We had our problems like any other family, but there was a lot of love growing up. My father showed interest in me by coaching teams I played on. My mom worked two jobs, and still managed to spend real time with me. I had solid friends. From the outside, you would have thought I was living a pretty typical life. My only problem?
I was terribly unhappy inside. Fear, anger, and anxiety were eating me up. They were making my life’s decisions and worst of all I didn’t even know it.
No one knew it. My mask was so good I truly didn’t even know I was wearing one. Beneath that happy-go-lucky mask, though, I was in pain. I found I was always trying to not have to feel my fear. I “scripted” my life to accommodate it. I spent most of my time trying to make others happy, so I wouldn’t feel pain, ducking my fear by playing ‘small’. Sticking my head in the sand and pretending it wasn’t there.
All of my choices were to accommodate my fear, so I didn’t have to feel it.
If you know what I’m talking about, and you feel your fear, anxiety, or self-doubt, is choosing your life for you…
As I got older, my fear got stronger. I was even less willing to do or try new things because I was afraid of feeling failure. Of being rejected. Of being told no. I shielded myself from new relationships that I really wanted to try. I allowed opportunities that could have been fulfilling to me to pass me by. You name it–if it challenged my script of “keeping myself emotionally safe” it had to go.
My world kept getting smaller as I justified not living the life I wanted by telling myself, “I’m keeping myself safe.”
I was using food, tobacco, alcohol, to numb the emotional pain. My fear came out through unhelpful emotions such as anger towards myself and loved ones. My ability to love myself, or even like myself, and keep my self-doubt at bay was eroding along with my script.
Something had to change.
If you can relate to even some of this, you don’t have to go it alone.
The uncomfortability had reached a tipping point. I was no longer willing to follow my ‘script’ and trade the authentic life I wanted for a life of feeling less fear. I painstakingly sought out and studied under incredibly wise and compassionate mentors, and earned a Masters degree in Eastern Medicine, learning how to use the energy around me and my emotions within me to go after the life I wanted. I put that energetic knowledge to the test, putting myself through some of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding challenges in the world, such as marathons, Ironman races, and ultramarathons, to build a relationship with all of my emotions. I learned to listen to them, value them, even befriend them, so I could use them to fuel my actions towards building the life I wanted.