“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” Thich Nhat Hanh
If you are anything like me, it is so very easy to get in our own way. To hang on too tightly. To listen to the voice of fear, and then choose to believe it. To project ourselves into the worst case scenario, and then proceed to live there. Or, as my favorite (ok, my only) brother-in-law irreverently and succinctly puts it, we step on our own hose.
All of these self-protective maneuvers do one thing, and one thing only. They stop us in our tracks. Hunkered down in our self-made bunkers, imprisoned in the midst of our fear, uncertainty, and desire for control, we forget that we hold the keys to our own freedom. But we are clinging so tightly to our imagined control that our hands aren’t free to grasp them.
When stuck in our own muck, as my favorite (ok, my one and only) sister says, it’s time to make friends with the truth. It’s time to take stock of exactly where we are, and exactly what we have to work with. Armed with the truth, even if we don’t like it, we can begin to cast our eyes to the necessary road ahead, and as we envision the light at the end of our tunnel, it becomes the beacon towards which we walk. One step at a time, taken as quickly as we can manage and with as much courage as we can muster, we create momentum in the right direction. Add to that a few trusted souls in our camp, and we are on our way.
The antidote to fear is the truth, and the truth sets us free to take action.
It’s as simple as that, and as hard as it gets.