Monday, January 17, 2011

Terrifying Yoga Epiphany of the Week

That's right- I am bigger than the life I'm living.

With every happy feeling I get in yoga, I see another area of my life that I need to grow. I've realized that I've been living in a box, trying not to come out for fear of scary stuff happening to me. Scary stuff like what's happened before- scary stuff like failure and judgment and heartbreak and cancer and losing family and loved ones. Scary stuff that seemed to have engulfed me a few years ago.

I remember a time when I had mentioned something to a friend about a crazy incident and she said to me, "You've never said ANYTHING scares you. I thought you were fearless." The rational part of me thought about how ridiculous that was. No one is truly fearless.

But looking back- what a way to live. Fearlessly. I
really remember that day and thinking about being perceived as fearless. And I remember who I was back then. I wasn't afraid to talk to strangers or try new things or show up places that I'd never been before. I had a faith in myself that I could do anything.
Nothing was off limits. I had faith that the thoughts I created in my head about how frightening things could be were way more terrifying than anything I'd actually have to live through.

And that's just not me anymore.

I have been humbled by life, humbled by pain, humbled by my body's limits. Humbled by cancer and the everyday turns of life. And yes, humbled by fear.

A friend's chat message bubble pops up on FB and I panic, thinking to myself, "omg, what am I going to say?" as if it's a job interview and this is my only chance to impress them. I don't drive at night much. I force myself to carry mace. I avoid making relationships because I know how easily they can fall
I see old pictures and wonder what I did to make that Lori go away.

On the other hand, I don't blame myself too badly. It's been a stressful few years. I'm 6 years out of a cancer prognosis that was less than encouraging, and it's only normal for me to need some time to
heal. I've been accused of having PTSD, and I don't doubt that I suffered from that at one point. I feel ok though, like I've grown some, and don't have to live that life of constant fear anymore. When I get a headache, I no longer worry about it being brain mets. (lol) And in the destruction that cancer can bring I realize that relationships can fall apart. Sides that you've never seen to people open up. Things change. In the aftermath of whatever happens, you cling to yourself and you hold on. Primal protective urges take over. People that meant something to you before become ghosts that haunt the spaces they used to fill.

So it's 6 years out, and I realize that I think almost every day about people that are no longer in my life much anymore.

Practicing yoga today, on the exhale of a downward-facing dog, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

It's time to let go.

What is it about letting go that is also so scary? And so sad? I assume it's just the familiar that is hard to let go of. Even if the familiar still sucks.

Today I start a whole new life. People around me tell me "Own it! This is yours!"

I have no idea how to do that, and I say that I'll fake it in the meantime.

"No faking it! You can do this!" they say. There is love in their words.

I don't believe them at all. I have anxiety about even being able to pull off the faking it. I realize that my faith in my ability is almost totally gone.

But maybe that's the point. Maybe this is rock bottom, and I have to
crawl back up from here. Maybe this is where I find myself again and find out that even being so incredibly human, I can succeed.

So today- again, for the millionth time- today is a big, new exciting step.

I've always dreamed of bigger, better things. Now that it's happening, I'm scared as hell.

I think that's ok. :)

I think the point is having enough faith to see if I can do it again. I'm 36 years old, and starting all over. This time, I do it not so fearlessly. I have no idea how to do this.

But I'm still doing it.


Bob B. said...

I know just how you feel! It is amazing how much courage "normal" living requires. I think some people are more sensitive than others to that for whatever reason. It is a very mixed blessing. Good luck with your personal renaissance!

Marathon Girl said...

I really related to this post. I know what you mean about the fear. When you start accepting that you're scared to death, that's when you can start to live beyond fear. You share space with it for a while, then it starts to dissipate. As much as I feel I've been successful in doing this, I'm not going to deny that the two headaches I had this week didn't come with a fleeting thought of brain mets. I don't see it as a bad or weak thing though. It just is.

Kate said...

Starting over and letting go is sometimes the hardest. But, it is crucial! Stay positive girl and know that many people benefit from your words and your life.

Alisa said...

Loved this! Just getting caught up on your blog. I followed it when I was first diagnosed, and find myself in bed after surgery with a recurrence. I am glad you are doing well and you are still blogging.


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