I’ve been thinking a lot about life’s easy button since I first wrote about it in my blog, What It Feels Like to Be Frozen in Fear. But I’ve come to realize that there are actually two ways to look at the easy button of life.
Pressing the easy button to avoid your Sh!t
When I wrote that blog, it was all about taking the easy way out to numb my life. You’re familiar with that easy button, aren’t you? You press it every time you:
- stuff yourself with foods to stuff down the feelings
- zone out for hours on TV, social media, or video games to break the silence
- drink more, or more often, than makes you feel comfortable
- take drugs or prescription mood pills to avoid dealing
- keep working instead of having a life of balance
- settle for the lover or the friend who gives you relief from loneliness
- stay in a job that sucks the joy from your soul
- stick your nose in everyone’s business to avoid your own
- overcommit yourself to feel needed
- unconsciously pick a fight with your partner
- avoid finishing or starting things because it won’t be perfect
- use sarcasm or are dismissive because you'’re afraid to change
- drop out of self-help groups, courses, or other activities that ask you to hold a mirror to yourself
You’re certainly not alone. There are so many ways to press the easy button, and I think I’ve used nearly all of these examples at some point in my life to avoid dealing with my own shit.
Yes, you can keep doing any or all of these things, and more. You can live your entire lifetime in with the easy button both your best and worst friend. But really, what kind of life is it to be numbing yourself until you die?
The most painful way I could die would be on my deathbed, looking back at my life, filled with regret for all the things I wanted to do and didn’t because I was afraid.
The one big reason we’re afraid: unworthiness
I believe that when we drill down to the core of our fears, we find unworthiness. Everyone struggles with unworthiness in one way or another — some just don’t let it stop them. From the moment we first learn to take our cues from our mothers, we began to do whatever it took for their approval (smile, love, whatever you wish to call it), even if that meant making ourselves small. Whether or not you an ideal childhood, no parent is capable of all love and all approval, all the time. So, forgive yourself and forgive your parents for teaching you what they knew.
We learn early to feel not ________ enough. Insert whatever word you will: smart enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, fast enough, tough enough, gifted enough, kind enough, generous enough… ENOUGH!
Feeling unworthy has got to be the most challenging emotion to let go. I’ve known for years and years that it is what has been holding me back and no matter how many times I’ve thought I’ve got it beat, it slams me back. It’s just like Fear in that way (so much so, I almost believe they are one and the same).
Why do we always have to make it so hard?
It’s been a monumental struggle these past few months, and now, as I am coming closer to the completion of my very first Bust Out of Your Fear Box course (which will now be Break Free From Fear), so much is coming together for me.
During this first course delivery, I have felt every single fear button being painfully pushed — both those that I knew I had and those that I didn’t.
Since I came up with the idea for a course to move through what holds us back — FEAR — I’ve been afraid of creating it. It would mean working through my own fear and unworthiness.
Every lesson in Break Free From Fear was written for me. Of course it was written for me — it was written by me to make me peel back layer upon layer of resistance to feeling worthy I’ve been holding onto!
It has all been divinely timed and planned for me to experience every fear and finally break free. For real.
It can be easy-er
I still come up against Fear every single day. And I’m glad I do. Because Emotional Fear is a call to Desire and Fulfillment — not something to be avoided, but greeted with curiosity. That makes it easy-er to move through.
I may be only a lesson or two ahead of my students, but Fear is far less vocal this past week than she has been in forever. As I write this, she’s riding in the back seat and humming under her breath as she watches the trees roll by. She is NOT focusing on me failing, or succeeding, or being judged, or whatever litany of excuses she has come up with in the past to prevent me from changing. It’s turning out to be a lovely drive.
HERE’S WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE
I don’t have a magic mantra or a wand to wave or a pill to pop to make unworthiness and the fear that accompanies it, go away. I once had an intuitive tell me that when I let something go, all the edges are worn down and when I let go of it, it doesn’t have to come back.
Through this crazy two months, I have learned that ultimately I am responsible for choosing to stay fearful when all of the things I’ve accomplished in my life have shown me that I am successful way more often than I am not.
Fear is something to turn toward and face, not run away from. To say, “Enough. I got this. I’m going to do this. I must do this, or I will not be living, I will be existing.”
Fear is a choice.
To remain unworthy is a choice.
We are handed challenges, but how we move through them is our choice.
How hard or easy we accept our lessons is a choice.
The impact Break Free has had on my worthiness has made every tear that fell, every 4AM Freakout, every doubt and every financial challenge along the way a gift. Because I know that if I can do this work and relax the iron grip that Fear has had on me, I can also believe that there are many more of you out there that will Break Free From Fear too.
Never has “Teach What You Know” made more sense to me.
Let to of hard. I say, go for easy-er. Accept the challenges life gives you and learn the lessons with grace; doling out the same loving kindness you would offer a friend.
kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)