What scares you, moves you.

Life has a funny way of showing you the things you need to work on.

Yesterday I was poking around on blogland and found a recurring theme; A theme that has been recurring in my own life, and that is fear.

Literally the first several blogs I read yesterday dealt specifically with fear in some way: a couple of phobias, anxieties, and on a more broad spectrum, not believing in ones self-- which I think is directly related to the fear of failing.

Then a childhood friend messaged me on good ole' facebook, we found ourselves talking about none other than fear-- the fear to succeed, the fear to fail, the fear of breaking the mold, the fear of giving up what is comfortable and starting anew. 

I've spent a good deal of my life living in fear and oftentimes that fear has manifested itself by way of anger or anxiety.

This is hard for me to talk about, as I am avoiding what I really have to say, by telling you it's too hard..


My very first memory is fear.

Fear is the very first thing I vividly remember feeling. Carrying that around is enough to make one exhaustively angry. When I think about this moment in time, I should be proud of myself. I was five years old, I realized my siblings and I were in an unsafe situation, I grabbed my siblings, went to a neighbor (at 4 am) told them what was going on and asked if we could stay there. I had a blueberry bagel for breakfast while my sister slept on their couch, and I asked the neighbor if I could re-load her dishwasher so more things could fit.

To this day, I am super meticulous about how the dishwasher is loaded, and blueberry is my favorite flavor.

I went from total petrification to feeling safe. This was the first adult decision I ever made, and for a long time I considered that night to be the defining moment of my life.

All of it. The distrust, the pride in taking care of myself & siblings, the anger and the fear. 

Isn't that funny how one wrinkle in time can have such serious long term repercussions?

I suppose I shouldn't give that night all the credit-- The emotions I developed were often reaffirmed. Let's just say, I spent a little too much time getting called into the guidance counselors office as a young'n-- Either per my teachers request or my parents trying to fix some crazy thing that I witnessed.

My world had always been a very dark one. One where I didn't trust anybody. One where I was angry. One where I didn't want to even live half of the time. I knew a few people who committed suicide in high school, and when the rest of my friends were upset, I was secretly empathizing with how my deceased friend had felt, I knew what it took to drive them to that moment.

Saying that now, make me feel so incredibly sad but also, so incredibly lucky. I freaking made it.

It makes me sad because for a long time I thought I was okay and to an extent I was, but I never really considered how much these feelings consumed me-- until eventually they started to literally eat me alive, and push me into one of the darkest spells of my existence.. I know this sounds dramatic, but I had some seriously dark issues that needed to be taken care of, and they were haunting me with a vengeance. 

So here I am an almost mid twenty-something:  my world as I know it literally disappearing into thin air-- Starting with my sanity (catalyzed by a seriously terrifying reaction to a medication), then my I got laid off, then I moved out of my apartment, R and I were long distance-- and for several months, my life was a mixture of drowning my sorrows away with whiskey and wine, regrouping, falling, getting back up, failing, succeeding, falling again, and getting back up until finally I realized I could not keep living this way.

I couldn't allow situations that were 100% out of my control and happened 20 years ago dictate how I interacted with life.

Up until that point I was angry. Angry at my past, angry with my present, angry with my parents, friends, family, I think sometimes I was even angry with R because he just couldn't understand-- and I felt alienated. Most of all I was scared. I was so scared that if I let go of these things that I would be something different.

In this particular case, different was good-- But different is still change.

Who truly and honestly doesn't at least have some hesitation when it come to change?

I know I talk a lot about yoga and how it has literally changed my life but, I want you to know it is beyond that. What I happened to learn through this practice, and what I am sure other people have learned through their respective practices, is that moving on isn't about letting go-- it's about honor, respect & forgiveness.

Honoring where you have been to get to this exact moment in time--Respecting the place where your personal "truths" are the very things that define the world as you see it and forgiving yourself for not having all the answers to reconcile.

Up until recently, these were some of my "truths":

I was not nurtured.
I was abused.
I can not trust people.
I am the only person who cares about my well-being.

I am ignored.
I am alone.
I am afraid of the world.

I've been working on these things actively since November-- I had no idea these were the "truths" that would surface, but I've realized in the game of hide & seek, seeking finds answers and hiding creates questions.

When will I be found out?
How long can I keep this up?
Why am I so angry?

As a general rule for remaining in the present moment, I made a conscious effort to seek, not dig. When the universe thought I was ready for something, that something was brought forth. In the past, I would ignore and repress-- but with my new outlook on letting go, I decided to start honoring those feelings. No matter what they were. After all, I truly believe everything happens for a reason.

That night has come up a lot. The defining moment night. 

As each emotion has presented itself I have just repeated:

"Who does this belong to, 
Return to sender,
10,000 times with consciousness"

{..with a deep inhale & long exhale in between each phrase}

It seems so silly, I know. For me, it separates myself from the feeling, and in the event that I am the sender of that feeling, I have already demanded that the feeling be handled with subjectivity & awareness.

I've realized that when it comes to situations that are 100% out of my control, taking ownership of the negative energy surrounding it, is futile. I tend to be an empath when I interact with the world. In the past I have had issues with recycling the energy into something positive-- so on some level I've had emotional baggage that doesn't even belong to me.

Energy can not be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. It's my favorite law in science, because you can apply it metaphysically/spiritually and to the subconscious..

(I told you I am a spiritual & scientific woman of the universe.)

Since November I have made a conscious effort to be kind to myself-- even when I am undeserving. Instead of getting angry because I am about to have a panic attack at the grocery store because the person behind me is in my "bubble," I respect that I have that feeling, try to access where it is coming from, and remember that I am a new person and those feelings belong to someone who doesn't exist anymore.

The only thing that matters is RIGHT now.  

Right now is the only thing that is actually real, everything else is just a memory, fantasy or emotion-- none of which are physically tangible.

When that night, the defining moment night, comes up-- instead of being so angry that it happened, I find a way to be thankful for it.

Find something good, even if it seems impossible. You can not appreciate the light without the dark.

This weekend, after the "altercation" I talked about earlier this week, I laid to rest the final chapter that started that night-- the chapter where despite all the right things I did do that night, I was still angry. I could never accept it for what it was, and what it actually is..  a moment, a little wrinkle in time, that turned me into a very strong, empathetic and intuitive person.

A moment that has taught me what anger can do to someone.
What pain can do to someone.
What FEAR can do to someone.

A moment that proves I am a survivor by nature. A moment that reminds me that I am lucky to be where I am today. A moment that is in the past and is not the color of my walls anymore.

It is a moment that taught me how to be compassionate, even when I have the right to be angry.
This is something that happened to me, but it does not define me.

My defining moment is right now. Whenever that right now is, living in fear will always keep us locked to the past. These "defining moments" and "personal truths" are important-- they are showing us the things that haunt us. They are showing us our fears. They are challenges from the universe to reconcile, to live in the moment, to be in the now, and to stop thinking about what scares you and to start thinking about what moves you.




  1. This is beautiful, Ryan, and so honest/raw. I know fear of failure cripples me in so many areas of my life and I know it's common among those who have dealt with pain early in life. Thank you for putting this feeling into words, friend...I'm glad we know each other :)

  2. I think fear is a very powerful force. For most people, fear can be more of a driving force than anything positive simply because it commands more attention. But those very same people don't realize that while it can push you, it can also cripple you. It is so much better to focus on the positive and (as you have said) use it to move you forward. Also, I have always been one to say that without darkness we never grow to appreciate the light.

    Very good post, Ryan. Open, honest, and truthful.


  3. this is such an inspirational post. truly, you sound like such an amazing person.


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