Revelling in Relief

All at once things mattered to me again, things I could take joy in, worry about, eagerly anticipate! All at once an open door through which life could get in to me. Perhaps I could start to live again, perhaps I could again become a human being. My soul, having almost frozen to death in hibernation, was breathing again, drowsily flapping its small, frail wings.

– Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
In hope of capturing fallen leaves, and observing the differences between each one; I wandered into the grove. To my own surprise, a new source of life was found. Whilst most of them were at the end of the life cycle, this shoot was in its beginning. As one cycle ends, another begins. Even in the coldest of months, the darkest of times – a new life can be born, a rebirth hidden from the rest of the world.

Relinquishing fear from our lives seems to be impossible, as we find ourselves still in its grasp time and time again. Our thoughts, actions and beliefs are possessed by fear and the endless possibilities of what could be. Paralysed by the unknown, we remain fixed. Stuck in oblivion, in the past and future both. What if we became the one in control of fear? What if we acted upon the direction in which fear is telling us to go? Instead of letting it suppress the very essence of us, what if we took it as a challenge which must be overcome? A lesson which has yet to be learnt?

Accepting what is instead of ruminating about what could be is the first step to escaping from fear’s clutches. The mind has a passionate dislike towards accepting what is, as doing so prevents the mind from doing what it is built to do. To think, to question, to fantasise about a future which has yet to unfold. Despite the magnitude of the thoughts we have, they fail to enrich the life we already lead. In choosing the thoughts you have and ultimately keep, you reclaim the power of creating a life you once dreamed of having.

Clinging onto a story of an old you may ease your mind and bring you comfort, but it also allows fear to have a greater hold over you. Existing in such a space creates limitations, anchoring you into the known. The known cannot give you permission to grow, it cannot challenge you into becoming the person you are capable of being. Venturing into the unknown, and letting go of the story you once attached yourself allows fear to navigate you as you cross unexplored terrain.

In the pursuit of happiness, there is no linear path. Walking through the fallen leaves, each one representing a self which no longer needs to exist. I waved goodbye to each of them, marking the end of a season and transitioning into the next. No matter how much we try, we cannot predict when the shedding of an older self will occur. In accepting each moment as it comes, we open ourselves up to the possibility of change. On the brink of change, fear may abruptly present itself. Let it appear, listen to why it is there and how it has resurfaced; then let it return back into the depths of the ether.

Acceptance leads into rebirth, opening up the ability to grow even in the harshest of seasons. Despite the cold and the fog, new roots form. It is up to you to nourish and tend to these roots, as no-one else can nurture them as well as you. The human condition makes it easy for us to ignore these roots when they form, but in letting go and observing the conditions in which you have grown – you can adapt, and adjust yourself in preparation for what is to come.

Are you ready to let go of what no longer serves you? Will you surrender to fear and accept the gifts it will bring? What will it take for you to accept your true self, and your true path?

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