“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
I’ve never read the book but I’ve subscribed to the sentiment. This line has become something of a mantra for me in times of difficulty and struggle. It has helped me embrace my less desirable feelings and accept them for exactly what they are:
Nothing more, nothing less.
They do not control me and the actions I choose to make in response to having them. At the same time, I shouldn’t feel like I need to ignore them or pretend that they don’t exist.
Because they are an inextricable part of me that will never go away, whether I like it or not … and I honestly have never really liked them – the more negative emotions anyway. They were always the part of me that I felt like never really fit. Like an overly snug t-shirt that doesn’t quite let you breathe out all the way. The feelings of fear, anger, worry, sadness and heartbreak. That slow constriction of the heart. An unnatural squeezing of the air from your lungs and the thoughts from your mind. It is as if you are experiencing what it is to die before death really even registers as a possibility in your rapidly spinning brain. That feeling of dizziness that comes with heavy palpitations in your chest, a dry throat, and sweaty palms. I hate it.
I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
Which is why, I think, I chose not to feel “it” for a long time. The disappointment that comes with feeling so much and knowing so little. Hanging there for that moment before the free fall into nothing … or maybe, possibly something.
For me, the rollercoaster has always been steady rolling. The ups and downs only high and low enough to keep me moving forward with some range. And I like it that way. But I know for a fact that it is no way to live a rich life. To not feel the rises and falls deep in the pit of my stomach. As if they do not at all serve some sort of purpose but to make me sick and unhappy. But that’s the whole point isn’t it? To feel awful for a bit in order to realize that feeling awful isn’t so bad. That it can actually feel kind of good if you open your eyes and let go of the railing. Scream at the top of your lungs. Smile. Laugh. Look around and see that there are others around you experiencing the same thing. Realize that you are not alone on this wild, crazy ride.
For the longest time I thought that enjoying life meant not feeling all the bad things that came with it. To try and stop them from happening at all costs. When in reality all these “bad” things were really doors that I had never dared enter because of the labels I had placed on them. Self imposed labels that did not represent the contents beyond the threshold of each.
We get out of life what we dare try, and for me that means trying to fight the feeling to run away.
Especially from the doors that I don’t “feel” like opening.