I’m not afraid where maybe I should be.
I’m not afraid to drive down a road my car isn’t equipped to handle in the middle of nowhere all by myself. I’m not afraid to move to the mountains, hours from my wonderful community, where I don’t know a single soul. I’m not afraid to dangle off the side of a cliff, despite my faulty ankles and inability to balance while standing on two feet. I would put everything on the line for my business before I’d ever consider taking a “stable” job, over and over again.
But I’m afraid of being loved by a man inside a relationship.
I’m resistant to celebrating holidays and spending time with family.
I get claustrophobic in houses that have matching furniture sets.
I can have panic attacks if forced to grocery shop with another human.
Seems a bit backward, I admit.
As I get older, I think more about consequences. I wouldn’t say that necessarily guides me in the right direction around many things… but I’ve starting to question how possible it is for me to create more balance between where I’m fearless and where I’m fearful.
I’m not naive.
I know that learning to become fearless where trauma taught me I’m not safe, again and again over many years of my life, is no easy feat.
But I believe in the power of the human body and brain to rewire themselves. I was not born fearful of love and holidays and all things family, that was learned from my loss and the trauma that followed. I was not born a person who panics in grocery stores and can’t breathe in beautifully put together homes, that was learned from relationships that were toxic and smothering.
And if life taught me all this, then I know I can learn something new.
I will always be a little bit dysfunctional, and I say that with all the love and acceptance in the world (though I admit to saying it with frustration at times, because it’s not always easy). There’s so very much in my life and work I’m grateful for, that I wouldn’t have without trauma, loss, abuse, and grief. There are ways this life has shaped me that I would never, ever want to undo, which will always be devastatingly hard to wrap my heart around… and, yes, there are ways it’s shaped me that leave me less than thrilled.
It’s about choice.
And where there is choosing, there is always the ability to change.
Despite the traumas, the abuse, the wounding.
Despite the injuries, internal or external.
Despite the damage that may have been done.
Despite the parts of us that go missing.
We can accept ourselves, our brokenness, our wounds, and our dysfunction with love, grace, and gratitude… and we can reshape the parts that don’t feel good or productive. We can rewire our brains, heal our traumas, and release our triggers. We can choose new ways of being and release old habits and patterns that no longer serve us or what we desire to create.
It’s about choice.
And we always have choice.
I’m learning to open my heart and lean into what terrifies me. I’m learning to show up and use my words when I’d rather run away (sometimes after I’ve already run away, ha). I’m learning how to do the work that scares me, both personally and professionally.
I’m choosing to rewrite the storyline that trauma gave me.
Because where there is choosing, there is always the ability to change.
What are you choosing today?