Last night, I noticed my boyfriend liked a racy picture of a girl he finds really attractive, that he’s known and actively pursued in the past. Those familiar feelings of inadequacy returned and I immediately felt my blood run cold and the sudden need to know everything he’s been doing and who he’s been talking to. Unfortunately, this gut feeling has very rarely ever been wrong. After all, trusting that instinct is how I caught my ex-husband cheating in the past. I have this uncanny ability to pick up on every little detail someone is portraying and piece together a story that’s almost always right. He’s like racy pictures, he’s quiet today, went to bed early, hasn’t wanted sex as much, acting out of the “norm”. My brain could come up with a million reasons why something was wrong. But why? Every time I’ve given this a test, he’s passed. He’s honest, he’s faithful, he’s reassuring. Why is this fear suddenly rearing its ugly head?
Fear has the ability to rob us of all common sense, and it’s usually rooted somewhere based off of three things:
- An agreement you’ve made with yourself that you’ve tied to your identity.
- Past experiences creating unrealistic scenarios in your head (“Samskaras”, but we’ll come back to this).
- Insecurities that we’ve held onto for far too long.
This particular fear is born directly from my past experiences and an agreement I’ve made for far too long that I’m not good enough. And I can identify it as fear rather than intuition because it came from a direct influence. Typically, intuition tells you in passing–it’s fleeting, almost a whisper–and sometimes louder for some of us than others. Fear, however, is loud and overwhelming and usually comes from a trigger. These triggers can be anything and produce feelings of jealousy, anger, and resentment. And the root of all of this is fear. Fear coming from a past experience is usually because you are still holding onto something in your heart. My favorite way to describe this is by using the Hindu term “Samskaras”. These are mental impressions–or as I like to call them heart impressions–recollections, and psychological imprints. They’re created by not having fully healed from the pain that was caused in a specific moment. We all have them, we all suffer from some sort of trigger that can essentially make us see red, but being able to identify them and acknowledge them is the first step being able to let them go.
This is where the trick lies. Samskaras are usually deep rooted and scary to look in the eye. It’s uncomfortable, seeing these deep parts of ourselves and acknowledging that we are hurting. But like in most healing, acknowledgment is the first step. Become aware of this feeling and, more importantly, let yourself feel it. It doesn’t feel good does it? You’re essentially reliving a painful experience. But if you can relax your shoulders, breathe, and let the feeling simply pass through you, you may suddenly find that it’s not so terrifying to confront. After all, it’s just a feeling. It’s a thought your brain is reacting to, desperately trying to keep you from being hurt again. That’s been your brain’s sole job for a very long time—to protect you from harm. Ride this wave of fear and pain and uncertainty. Cry, scream, write poetry. But let it fully pass through you rather than shoving it back into your heart where it will lay dormant until another trigger arrives. Acknowledge, relax your shoulders, and release. Release in a way that truly lets you let go. Just that practice alone will bring peace, and afterward, you can ask yourself why. Why am I feeling this sudden sense of panic? Why am I suddenly so afraid, or insecure, or unsure? The deeper you get to that root, the closer you are to true healing. The closer you are to peace.
Today, for my New Years Resolution, I am breaking the agreement that I am not good enough. I’m breaking the agreement that I am going to always be abandoned. I break the agreement that I need reassurance to feel at peace with myself or my relationship. I choose to seek out the beauty in the world. I’m choosing to trust, to let go, to heal. I’m choosing to love so wildly and so freely and to believe that I am worthy of the same love in return. I choose freedom of my fear. And you are capable and worthy and deserving of the same freedom.
“Holding on is to believe that there is only a past;
Letting go is knowing that there is a future.” –Daphne Rose Kingma