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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Castro

A visualization for understanding fear.

You’re climbing a hill to a goal. Maybe the hill is very high… and steep- and maybe it’s been a lot of work and you’re tired.

Maybe it’s been scary and dangerous and you’ve been hurt.

But now you’ve gotten to the top and you see that you’ve made it there and you pause to take a breath.

It’s nice up here- grassy, a little easier going. But you know you’re not done because there’s more places to go in front of you and you definitely don’t want to go back.

And those places in front are looking and feeling good. You get to the top and you can see the next goal/ whatever it is - maybe freedom, happiness, moving to a place you’ve always wanted to live, becoming more connected to the you that is inside. The truth of who you are that you’re just now getting a chance to listen to because that climb up the hill was traumatic.

Allow yourself to rest at this point as long as you need to.

Once you’re rested - here you are. You’re at the top of that hill and you feel the urge to go to that next level.  And that goal- that next step- is up there on the top of this grassy hillside you’ve worked to get to- close enough that it’s shining there maybe two yards away from you. Just far enough away that you need to walk towards it to get there.

And you know it’s very close because you see it and feel it and can even imagine taking those steps towards it.

But between you and that goal is a huge deep dark chasm. And the chasm just pops up out of nowhere at the top of this hill when you get there and start thinking about moving towards that next goal.

You look at the chasm and think- I can’t do it. I can’t walk across this it’s too dangerous. The path just disappeared and became this chasm.

And I don’t think I should jump because it looks a little too far. I might fall in and get hurt. Who knows what’s down there? What if I can’t/ don’t …

And you start telling yourself the stories about why or what if. What if I get hurt again. What if I am wrong. What if "they" don't like me or love me. What if I make a mistake. What if I have to start over. What if... I'm just not good enough.

That chasm isn’t real.

It’s fear.

It is simply filled with fear of failure, old trauma, and the stories you’ve held in your mind for so long - that kept you safe when you needed to keep yourself safe- as a child- as a teenager- as an adult.

It’s not real but it feels real. Because your body wants to continue to keep you safe and your mind will follow by supporting the same story- reminding you of what you've had to do to keep yourself safe in the past.

This is why taking hold of your life and making these beautiful life changes can feel terrifying.

Because your body and nervous system still believe you have to keep yourself safe in the ways you DID have to previously in order to survive.

But in reality that big chasm of fear- that narrative of pain, sadness, isolation- it’s just another part of the top of that grassy hill.

And there really is no chasm to fall into. You can just walk across the chasm because it’s not really there. It’s just a simple path.

You can leap or jump if you have to. But you won’t fall into the chasm because it’s not there anymore.

And you are safe now. You can trust your judgment. You can make your own choices and use your voice. You are safe. You can keep yourself safe. You can choose who to trust. You can love yourself again. And you can become the version of yourself you’ve been dreaming of. You deserve and are good enough and always have been.

You can take the next step towards the life you want and you will be safe.

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