Recently, I attended an event that I had a lot of anxiety about. I kept telling a story over and over in my head, about how it was going to turn out; who would be there; and down to the details of where would I sit, who would I sit with, who would talk to me, and how long I would stay. I was thinking about it on a daily basis for easily the last two months. In that time, I thought of all of the reasons that the people there, the weather, the circumstances, were holding me hostage in a way that created discomfort for me. Like the situation itself was making me unhappy.
Then, the event came, and went. It unfolded in a pretty predictable way, the world didn’t end, and I actually ended up having a good time. But the only thing that created that scenario was me; it was me, setting myself free.
You see, I was going to be spending time with some people that I haven’t, in a long time. Things have happened. Bad feelings have moved in and gotten comfortable, among all of us. I became resentful, judgmental, and felt hurt and judged in return. It became an endless cycle of hatred of self, hatred of others. I mean, if I am not loving myself, or them, it is hate. True love has no opposite, but I wasn’t truly loving myself through this.
In true love, I accept myself, and the other person, precisely as they are. I let the events unfold as they will, and all I need to do is be present, and be myself. So that is what I did. I showed up; I was myself; and I found myself looking at others with softer eyes. With loving eyes.
I realized fully that nothing was holding me in chains, except me. The longer that I held others hostage, wanting them to be who they were not, the longer I held myself hostage at the same time. The longer that I denied forgiveness, to myself or others, the longer that I would get to suffer. The more that I could fret and worry and obsess over something that only needed to be let go. To be set free.
And with that, I set myself free, to be me and let others do the same. Which means, I set them free as well. When I remember that I hold the key to my own cell, that I only need to drop what is creating suffering for me, and I will be set free. Into a world that is bursting with opportunities for me to be with my dreams.
Freedom is sweet, indeed.