Snaps: Follow The Light [Red Candle Meditations]
I’ve reached a point in my life where I am choosing to full embrace this saying:
“Things are not always as they seem; the first appearance deceives many.” – Phaedrus, a Roman poet
When I first moved to New York from California in 2004, some unwanted baggage managed to come along with me; my many fears, self-loathing, and a sense of disconnect from the world. Luckily, my personality compels me to attack my fears head-on even if I am feeling hopeless, so I was able to put myself out there and network, find work, and eventually feel comfortable with calling NYC my home.
But I’ve since realized that, in the process of overcoming so much culture shock and repressed fear, an unhealthy part of me continued to approach everything like a situated that needed to be attacked.
That attitude narrowed my world view. To everyone around me, I did my best to present this “Self” who had everything together and was relentlessly ambitious. But inside, I was always secretly on guard, waiting for something terrible to happen. I didn’t really trust myself and – by extension – anyone else. I always saw the worst in people and in myself. It was exhausting and I’m surprised I’ve achieved as much as I did with that lens tainting everything & everyone around me, including my own family and significant others.
Now, as I mentally kick-off the countdown to my 30th birthday in September, I’m happy to realize that I am finally able to look at a person or a situation and see beyond the surface. The things that once triggered fear or anger rarely do so anymore. And when they do, I can step back and not give those negative feelings the fuel they require to eat me alive. I put my attention elsewhere, and the feelings subside.
My fears don’t rule me anymore, I see them for what they are: just ghosts from the past. I can tell myself, “This is nothing worth stressing out all day over. I will not let these old thoughts and feelings drag me down.” Everyday it gets easier to do this.