Afraid to Slow Down

superhero woman flying at warpspeed

Yesterday, I had a revelation.

I keep finding myself in the same situations over and over again. I feel stuck, and also discouraged. I doubt I will ever find myself out of this pattern I’ve been trying so desperately to break with no avail. 

And at the root of this problem?

I don’t know how to slow down.

Or, rather, I’m terrified of slowing down. 

So terrified I just can’t bring myself to stillness. There’s a point of panic every time I make the commitment to slow down, and it’s so uncomfortable, my instinct takes over before I can feel it out, and suddenly I’m rushing again.

This rushing sensation, this go-go-go-never-stop lifestyle permeates every facet of my life. From the moment I wake, until I crash and burn in bed at night, my life is lived at hyperspeed.

Knowing this isn’t healthy, I finally sat with myself yesterday in an attempt to figure out where this rush is coming from. 

My yoga instructor tells us we aren’t supposed to figure out the why, or attach a story to our problem because we only wind up heightening it that way. We make excuses for our behavior instead of making changes. 

“At some point,” she says, “we have to take responsibility for our own feelings, and let everything else go.”

While I do believe she’s right, I also believe that sometimes, uncovering the root of the issue is the only way to overcome it. Sometimes, our patterns are so ingrained in us that without pulling out the issue from the very bottom, we’ll just wind up repeating it. For me, knowing where an issue is stemming from helps me to remind myself that I don’t have to hold on anymore. 

So, I sat myself down, and asked myself like a therapist would, “What brings you here today?”

I spelled out the problem in detail. The rush. The go-go-go. The fear and panic when I tried to slow down. Which led to the next question:

“What are you afraid will happen if you slow down?”

And this was the moment of revelation.

I realized I’m afraid that if I slow down, everything will stop. This rushing started when I finally found the cure to my debilitating illness, and was able to live my own life again. There is a part of me that wonders if all this rushing is a part of my cure. My illness was the opposite of rushing. It put a complete halt to my life, and slowed everything way the fuck down. I don’t want to ever repeat that period of my life, so I keep on rushing out of fear that my illness will return if I slow down.

But the cure came before the rushing. The cure came when I brought myself to the yoga mat, and started taking my health seriously. The rushing was a side effect of the cure because on the mat, I discovered a few things I would have rather left in hiding. The rushing was an attempt to bury what was brought up on the mat. 

But the rushing was not the cure.

Which means, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose from slowing down.

Slowing down might bring up some stuff I’d rather avoid, but that’s okay. I have the tools to deal with that stuff now. I’m strong enough to handle what comes up.

Usually, when I’m afraid, I get busy. Really busy. And I stay busy until divine intervention knocks me to my knees and forces me to surrender.

But this time, I’m making the commitment to start on my knees. 

I’m surrendering now.

And from this place of non-action, I make the biggest leap toward growth.

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