It Felt As If I Let Go, The World Would Shatter

In the earlier parts of my life, I felt very unsafe in this world. It was as if I was an alien that had been placed in some foreign land. I often felt like I was walking around without skin on. I was so vulnerable to things, I got hurt so easily. I felt like there was nowhere to hide. I was open and soft and the world seemed so noisy and violent. It would feel as though people’s words could stab right through me, and their emotions were like winds that tore away my branches. I knew I was different, I knew I was misunderstood, I knew I was vulnerable, and I felt deeply alone.

Just like a little sponge, I was porous and absorbed EVERYTHING that came at me. It felt to me that because I could feel so much, and because I knew so much that people didn’t even tell me; it was somehow my responsibility to fix things, to soothe people, to carry their weight as my own. I felt I had to hold everything for everyone, all the time. I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not letting my guard down for a single second. I held on so tightly. It felt as if I let go, the world would shatter.

Control became my refuge, my safe place. Under the illusion that I had control of things, I felt I could breathe, if even for a moment. But unknowingly, I was fooling myself. It was as though I was trying to balance a boulder on a toothpick, thinking if I could just hold on tight enough everything would be ok. The sky wouldn’t fall.

But the tight grip and the striving and the grasping at wisps of control did not bring me safety. Because what I had yet to learn is that safety has to be built from the inside out. Life is unpredictable. The only real “control” we have is how we choose to be, who we choose to be. The world still feels scary to me at times, but not because I think I can’t handle it. Not because I think it’s my responsibility to fix it all. And not because I’m afraid the sky will fall. I have found a strength, peace, and resilience within myself that allows me to face the fear, not run from it. I have built strong roots so that the emotional storms and critical words don’t leave the marks they used to. The work is not in protecting ourselves, controlling and fixing. The work is in going within and finding the truth of who you are. The work is in learning to let go and rise, rooted.