You cannot expand into the present moment if you are carrying the past around with you.
The bills from the emergency room arrive in the mailbox and I intentionally toss them to the side. I pretend that if I avoid them they will go away. Isn't that way it works with problems? Seeing them strikes a visceral reaction.
The first is anger. Did they really need to call an ambulance? I was fine. Why the stretcher? Why the embarrassment? Why this incredible bill for what I see as nothing.
The second bill reminds me of my carelessness. Another visit to the emergency room. Why did I think it was a good idea to remove a staple with a knife? How did I ever think that was going to end well.
The notices continue to arrive and it finally hits me that I cannot keep tossing them to the side. I have been carrying around this cloud of regret and it feels like a heavy weight on my shoulders. If I want to expand into the radical life of my dreams I need to face the baggage that I have been dragging along. These bills are stuffed deep into one of those bags.
I finally release myself from the guilt and feel a little bit more free.
It is not easy to face what I have been avoiding. Avoidance feels like the easy way out, but really it is what has been keeping me behind. I needed to release. I needed stop pretending and face the truth.
There is more baggage that I am carrying around. More things I have been avoiding. I have a dear friend who reminded me of something I have been avoiding since my mom passed away. I need to schedule a mammogram. I did the first part; I got the prescription. But I have yet to pick up the phone and make the appointment. What is holding me back? Why do I continue to avoid? I have let a year and half lapse.
We both agreed that on Monday I am making the call. And when I go to try to avoid it she will pick up the phone and dial the numbers for me. It helps to have an accountability partner. Someone who won't let you slide. Someone who will be by your side when you are to afraid to do it alone.
Sometimes the thing we are most afraid to face is the thing that is holding us back from shining our inner light. We hold on. We pretend. We tell ourselves a story that isn't true and we make it hard for ourselves to move forward. But here is the thing. You are the one who is in control of what happens next. You can choose to face it, release yourself of it's chains, and move forward.
I want to expand. I want to grow. I want to live a deeply rich, intentional life. In order to that I have to face what I am avoiding. And so I begin. Right here, right now. Because today is as good a day as any to take that first step forward.