Holding Hope, Leaning In, and Looking Forward - Arriving to a New State of Normal

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You’ve been staggering through the darkness without being able to see any path, trying this and that, some things work, some don’t, you find enlightenment and then frustration again. It feels like you’re riding an intense theme park ride that you can’t get off. You are left wondering, “What am I doing?” “Will it be worth it?” “Why can’t I get it right?” and “Will this ever end?”

But then…one day…you notice: the agonizing pain and constant anxiety, it’s not there. It’s no longer tormenting you. For awhile you have no idea what to do. You may even try to create some tension and anxiety in your life just to feel normal again. But then you think, “Huh, this really feels different. I really feel different.”

It’s no longer a dance on the tight rope of fear. You finally feel like the safety net can be taken away, and it’s okay if the bottom falls out because you’re finally standing firmly rooted on stable ground. This is what you’ve been working for. This is the feeling you’ve been searching to find. You finally made it out of the darkness and experience that bright, warm and beautiful light on your face.

You finally discover why all the learning, healing and peeling back the layers was for. You’ve reached a new level…a new normal.

It’s not that there is no pain or anxiety, it’s just not defeating and unrelenting anymore.

It takes some getting used this new normal. Letting go of the intensity and settling into calmness and inner peace. It can be confusing because it feels so different. So calm and grounded. You can finally say, it was all worth it with confidence because you now know you can choose courage and you can choose confidence. Others don’t own your worthiness anymore. They maybe be able to influence it, but you own it, and no one can take that away from you except you. You get to choose they level of their influence now.

The changes are subtle, almost unnoticeable. That’s probably the hardest part. The expectation is that the transformations will be big and momentous; sudden change. But it’s not. It’s incremental. Each little behavioral and thought difference creates a tiny movement in your universe, in your being, and one day you notice that things feel differently than they used to.

Calm and peaceful presence becomes a norm. You’re no longer stuck in constant and continuous fear, so many layers of fear: fear of rejection and fear of connection all at once. It goes both ways. Connection meant you would have to do things differently and push boundaries of comfort intertwined with constant worry of how you are being perceived by others. Fear of rejection puts us in a constant state of hustling for worthiness and people pleasing, leaving no room to be just you. You get lost in all the hustling, little pieces of you fading away with each moment of trying to appease someone else. You stop understanding who you are or what you stand for.

It takes consistent work and progress. Keeping hope alive to try, and try again. Keep learning and implementing the small things and eventually…one day…you’ll notice…”I feel different” and it’s a glorious feeling.