What If We Weren't Afraid?

What If We Weren't Afraid?

What would you do if you were not afraid? If you were not holding onto your past, if you were not ashamed, if you were embracing the moment in its exact form....


Last night I was really sore, feeling this obvious tension from a day of high energy. My body was asking for something. Without thinking, I started to stretch. Moving around on my apartment floor, doing yoga poses, listening to calming indie music, and leaning into the pain of tight muscles. I felt these intense sensations of release, as if this momentary interaction was literally pushing stress, toxins, and the past out of my body. It wasn't the common feeling of stretching, but something much more fulfilling, reactive, sincere. I swear, I could everything inside of me moving, moving with my heart and my bodies innate desire to let go. I had my eyes closed, simply responding with energy, paying attention to the spaces that needed more attention. It was my own definition of intuition and quite seriously, it was magical.

I hadn't felt this way in a long time. Usually, working out - even yoga, or walking - is filled with body judgement and comparison to the body I had in the depths of Anorexia. But now, in this unique evening, I was not looking at my body as an aesthetic. I was not trying to impress anyone, not even myself, and I felt actual movements instead of my skin around them. I was focusing on the way I felt, not how I looked, something I have been trying to do with little success. There were no mirrors, no watching eyes, no comparison. I'm sure if anyone saw me, it wouldn't have been the perfection that I felt, but that's the point. It was not about what I saw, it was all about what I felt. This was not an Instagram video, but it was still beautiful. I felt whole.

As I pondered the emotions I felt, I realized that the complete contentment I felt was a product of truly being. Not trying, not pretending, not worrying, not wishing. I was not afraid to move and so I did in exactly the way I needed. I was accepting, I was there, I was present, I was me. I was not afraid of how I looked, I was not there for anyone, anything, but me. As a young woman in this chaotic and expectant society, I have always struggled with anxiety. I have a tendency to lead with desire, instead of thankfulness, and though I'm working to change, external influences sure do make it hard. I think that's why this experience was so impactful - I was not trying to do anything, yet I did so much. I thanked my body, I respected it through movement, I listened. I saw that my own fear prevents me from doing the best thing I can - honor thyself.

I decided to write about this, to share it with others, because I know I'm not alone. I think fear prevents people from living their true life all the time. Whether that be fear of others opinions, fear of failure, fear of what will happen if we stray from the norms, or fear of change that we don't feel ready to endure. Fear controls us.

If we weren't afraid what potential could we have? What would we see, do, feel, and find if we did not let fear ignorantly hold us back. For me, this has an ultimate relation to the body - a lot of my own fear is held in my physical self. I know that recovering from this eating disorder is part of my life's journey, but I have come to see, especially last night, that if I was not afraid of this body, things could be much different. I could be much different.

Fear convinces us of things that may never have been true. The thoughts of fear are not things, but they are mean, it is judgement, and it holds assumption. Fear is not flexible or kind and it makes us do what we think we should instead what we desire. Instead of listening, instead of turning inward, instead of depending on intuition to lead the way. Staying afraid means staying stuck and that may have a place inside all of is, but that doesn't mean it has to win.

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