Letting Go of Fear
During my high school summers, I worked at a camp next to a lake. At one end of the lake was a tall oak tree with a rope swing that would propel a person out into space above the cool water below. Most of the time we would visit this rope swing at night which added another dimension to the experience. Once a person left the tree they were swinging in the dark from the end of the rope. What made this really exciting was once you let go of the rope you were free, free from land, free from the rope, and free from the water, you were not attached to anything. In the darkness you had no idea how close to the water you were, or how soon you would enter the water. Sounds scary now, but the part that was truly exhilarating was when you had let go of the rope, and you were free, floating in space above the water.
This makes me think of our lives today, and how we attach ourselves to the approval of others for our self-worth. Also, how we maintain beliefs that no longer serve us, but we preserve them within our consciousness anyway. What we fail to realize is that the opinions of others, and the beliefs we hold may be keeping us from being truly free.
Imagine a belief that no longer serves us as the rope, if we let go we are free, if not we ride the swing back to the tree which usually ends up with us getting hurt. The intention is to be set free, but our beliefs, along with a bit of fear, kept us from experiencing the thrill of letting go.
Oftentimes our beliefs and fears can keep us from moving forward to experience the life we once desired. Just like standing on the shore of the lake, wishing we had the courage to ride the swing and let go, we hold on to beliefs that truly don’t serve our best interest. It takes courage to look at our beliefs, and ask if they are true and right for us.
One way to challenge a belief is to ask if the belief is based in love or fear. Remember fear is an emotion born out of our beliefs. If we believe there is something to fear, then we will experience something to fear. Once we discover that a belief has no basis in love or truth, we can then work to release it from our consciousness. This is a courageous act of self-love, because many times we have created a life out of beliefs that are not based on love and do not serve our best interest. Working to let go of these beliefs may strike some fear within our lives, but through the process of letting go of these beliefs, we begin to discover who we truly are.
What about hitting the water after flying through the air, in the dark above the lake? The water was the intended destination, you could not swim in the water as long as you held onto the rope. The outcome of letting go was being in the refreshing water along with the joy of floating freely, without fear, or self-doubt.
Doubt, fear, hesitation and resistance, are all created out of our fear of letting go. Whether it is the opinion of a loved one or close friend, self-doubt or something someone said to us when we were younger, these words still affect us today. By holding onto these beliefs, we limit ourselves to live life within the boundaries of these beliefs and opinions.
If this is hard to imagine, think of the cool water as the life that we truly want to live, and that self-love will be the driving force in our lives. When things are going well for us, we are strong and courageous, and this energy is taking us to where we want to be. When we doubt, or when we are fearful, we have separated ourselves from the powerful forces of love and courage that are within us.
By questioning the reason for our fear, or our self-doubt, we will discover that they are not founded in love. As with the rope, we can learn to let go of our fears and self-doubt to experience the freshness of living a life based on our self-love, and the truth that is within our heart.