For years I was terrified of the outside.  I stayed within the confines of my home, after all, I knew everything about it, its contents, and its spaces.  But, when it came to the outside everything changed, it was terrifying.  My home was my safe place.

Inside I was able to adjust my surroundings to my needs; outside I couldn’t adjust anything.  Inside I had a map I knew by heart, outside, the map was crumpled filled with bumps, slopes, and cracks in the sidewalk.  Each of them turned me inside out and often upside down. 

The outside, every footprint  was like stepping on Jello starting a wave like that of an earthquake.  The ground felt as if it was moving and everything within my visual field moved along with it.  I only saw shaking buildings, trees, people, signs, the sky, everything.  Nothing stood still anymore… especially me.

I hid myself inside, terrified of the outside where each day my noise increased.  A constant dialogue of fear rambled through my brain.  Even knowing my home as I did, I was tortured by how to get from one place to another.  How do I do what needs to be done?  How do I stop the tears?  

The noise was killing me. 

I had to let it go, but how?  All I had was a bucket of noise filled with fear, sadness, anger, confusion, and the strongest sense of dread I’ve ever felt.  It all ganged up on me, sometimes all at once, other times just one.  I would lay curled up on the couch afraid to get up, to look at anything, and definitely not to feel anything.

I had to empty that bucket.

I can’t tell you how difficult and terrifying that was.  Each thing inside was a lost connection to what I used to be.  I needed to face all my fear, sadness, anger, confusion, and the dread all over again.  One by one, I had to look at it in its face, let myself feel it, scream at it, beat it up like it was beating me up. 

Little by little, I made it to the last fear, I found I could get off the couch.  I cleaned up the tissues laden with my tears, took a deep breath and turned down the noise.

I looked at my hardwood floors, knowing that outside there was grass to put my feet on.  I saw paintings on my walls, realizing there was a bright blue sky, trees and flowers waiting for me to smell.

I didn’t have to be scared anymore.

I reintroduced myself to me.  I saw the person I am, who throughout my pain, I always was.  I began to feel stronger, clearer, and fearless. 

I began to love myself again.

I began to let go of grudges that made me resentful.

I let go of negative emotions.

I let go of the fear that was holding my healing hostage.

I found a peace I hadn’t felt in a long time.

I have to be realistic though, the hard things and noise will always be in the background, but I know how to quiet and combat them.  I know the silence of my peace will prevail.

Do you have something on the outside scaring you?  Do you have a bucket you want to empty?  If so, I’m here to share that you have the strength to do it.  I know you can.  I know you can set yourself free.  I know you can go outside.

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