When I was younger my dad always told me that you can either choose to live your life in fear or you can choose to live your life in love. But you can’t live a life in both love and fear.
When he told me that I decided almost instantaneous that I wanted to live a life of love. A life that I could fill with laughs, smiles, and most importantly love. To be able to live a life without any regrets. I have seen my fair share of pain, suffering, and loss in my life and it has always made me take a step back and look at my own life. Life is one of the most precious things that has been gifted to us and it’s almost always too short, so why would you waste it?
My dad always told me that if you choose to live your life in fear you’re choosing to fill your life with anger, sorrow, and loneliness. A life of fear is for the weak. They don’t know how to accept love or life. It may be the safer path, but it’s also the path you’ll end up finding yourself alone at the end of. If you choose to live your life in love, you are choosing to accept the uncertainties that come with everything that life has to throw at you. A life of love is not for the fainthearted, it’s for the few strong individuals who know exactly who they are, what they want, and know exactly what they deserve.
I’m not afraid of death. Death is a natural thing, it’s part of life. We’ll all die one day, but till then I want to live mine to the fullest. What I am afraid of though is dying with regrets. Regrets that I didn’t see the things I wanted to see, experience the moments I wanted to experience, or live the type of life that leaves a lasting footprint in people’s hearts and lives for forever.
I made my decision to live my life in love at about the age of 11 and I have made every decision and action from there on out based on that kind of life I wanted to live. But, the other day when I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t help but stare. I looked at my blood shot eyes and the tears rolling down my cheeks and I realized that I no longer recognized the girl staring back at me. The once happy girl who found the good in everything, no longer existed. Instead dark circles had formed permanently under her eyes. Her once sparkling blue eyes, were no longer sparkling, but grey and sad. That was the moment I realized that I no longer knew how to live a life of love. I wasn’t even sure what love was anymore. At some point I had slipped and lost my way. I had pushed aside anything and everything I told myself I wanted to live for, telling myself in the process that it was going to be ok in the end. But at some point I had lost my way, I had lost myself.
When you fall in love, it isn’t always a conscious thing. Sometimes you wake up one morning and think “I love this person.” That thought is either joyous or terrifying. For the people who it terrifies, you probably deny that feeling or thought for as long as you can. And that’s ok, until it starts to slowly consume your mind and your actions.
Before college I had never been in love. Your first love is something and someone you’ll never forget. It has the ability to change you. To help you grow as a person, finding out who you really are when the road gets bumpy and things don’t go as planned. But, when you love someone, love always prevails. At least that’s what we like to tell ourselves. Somewhere along the way things changed and I changed. The fear of being alone was greater than the heart break I felt every time my boyfriend (at the time) and I fought and I left in tears. It isn’t till you experience your first broken heart, do you really find out what you’re made of, it either makes or breaks a person. In my case I didn’t realized it had broken me until it was too late.
I’ve been living my life in complete fear. Fear of opening my heart up to fully love because of the fear of getting my heart broken and feeling more broken and alone than I already do. Fear of letting those people, who make me fear love, go, only because I’m afraid I won’t be able live or move on without them. Fear that by letting those toxic people go, that I’m somehow failing them, giving up on them. Breaking a promise I made that I’d always be there for them. I realize now that I made that promise when I believed I was still strong. When I was still happy. But I’m not strong. Not anymore at least. I can’t hold both of us up for either of our sakes anymore. The result has left me exhausted and even more alone than before.
The deep dark hole of depression is something you never think could happen to you. I sure never thought it could happen to me. But, one day while I was lying in bed, trying to motivate myself to leave the warmth of my blankets, I found myself thinking, “What’s even the point?” Then I did something that surprised me. I cried. I cried at that thought. I didn’t want to be depressed. There were so many other people out there who had bigger problems than I did. I didn’t feel I was justified to feel depressed when I had such a privileged life. Yet the tears kept flowing and with every tear I shed, the gapping hole in my chest, that had started to become ever more present by the day, grew bigger and bigger until finally, without realizing it, I shut down. The fear I had been living in had finally consumed all of me. Dragging me, and any sense of love I had ever felt, with it into the darkness.
Step 1: Realization
They say that the first step of healing is admitting that there is a problem. Realizing that you don’t see the person you once were, staring back at you in the bathroom mirror. Admitting to yourself that you could and want to be someone else. Someone better.
Step 2: Identifying the cause
The second step is pin pointing the cause of the problem. Locating the people or things that made you lose your way. For me it’s multiple things. Some things are in my control and others are not. Either way knowing that these things are the root of the problem, makes it easier to fight them and cut them out of your life. A poison is only a poison for as long as you allow it to be.
Step 3: Choosing you
The third step is choosing you. In order to find yourself you have to be able to choose yourself first. You have to be able to fight for yourself, for what you want. What you need. It might sound like an easy and obvious thing to do, but sometimes this can be the hardest step. When you choose you, hopefully, it will lift that weight that’s been sitting on your chest this whole time. Give you the strength you need to extract the poison from your life. You might feel a little bit nervous and unsure at first, but the thing about that weight sitting there for so long… It just made you a hell of a lot stronger.