A statement commonly used to support and encourage people to move on, move forward, don’t hold on to the past, set yourself free, embrace what life has to offer. Fear is holding you back, so you just got to let all that go and enjoy the moment.
I am one to admit I have been told on a number of occasions, that I need to just ‘let it go.’ I can also admit to all of you, that I have a fear of letting go and at times need to be in control of a situation. Fear takes a firm grip, like an iron fist in my stomach and squeezes. Therefore I am hesitant to experience new things or put myself in unfamiliar situations. For example, tasting new foods. I know it may sound silly but trying new foods has been a huge ordeal for me. For starters I was born into a newly vegetarian household. Then when I was around 4 or 5 we became vegan. I don’t know how strict my parents were at the beginning, but what I do remember was going to my grandparent’s house and eating dairy foods there, until Dad put his foot down. I was very frustrated because ice-cream was one of my favourite treats. One time I recall going around to visit. When I arrived I hugged my Deda (granddad) and gave him a big kiss hello, and a waft of ice-cream hit my nose (I was very good at ‘sniffing’ things out).
Deda you smell like ike-cream. He let out a huge belly laugh and kissed me on the cheek. I think I got to eat it that day. Fear of trying new foods started at a young age and started to take control.
As I grew up I started to make my own food choices, but I tended to stick with what I knew. I mainly ate a vegetarian diet and when I went to restaurants I ordered the same thing every time, just in case I was disappointed. It never occurred to me, that if I tried something new, I might actually like it. After some encouragement from friends, I started to be a little more adventurous in my mid twenties, trying various cuisines and meats and am enjoying the experience. Except for the time I ate marinated mussels! At least I now know I definitely don’t like them. But as I tell my students, you never know unless you try.
You might be wondering, what is the point of this food anecdote? I am getting to it now.
Yesterday I was on my way to the airport to fly to Kenya. And a discussion about my possible Kenyan experiences automatically resulted in me saying, Nope, won’t be doing that. Fear started to bubble in my tummy and I got nervous about being in situations that are out of my control. It was an automatic feeling. But I was very aware that it occurred and I said, Yeah, I should just let that go hey?
Instead of agreeing with me, I heard the words, I think it’s more about letting in. Let in your fears and stop running away from them.
Which got me thinking… is it really about letting things go, or more about letting things in? Do I automatically and subconsciously filter my experiences; the good from the bad, the exciting from the scary, the familiar from the unfamiliar? And as a result am I missing out? Is it more about allowing the fear and anxieties enter my body, feel it and then let it pass through me?
I don’t have the answers, but it has given me lots of food for thought and more to muse about. But I know that as I begin this month in Kenya, it is in the forefront of my mind…’Just let it in.’
I will leave you with a quote sent to me from a super cool dude:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ~Frank Herbert