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Full of Fear
My thoughts have been racing for weeks.
Today, I went to the float tank in hopes to give my mind the rest it needs.
**Note - If you don’t know what a float tank is, then I read the article below.
Sometimes when I float, I fall asleep. It’s like sleeping in outer space. There is no pressure on your joints. There’s no bed to toss and turn on and there’s no pillow to cramp your neck. It’s the most relaxing sleep you can imagine.
Today, I don’t think I even closed my eyes. It’s tough to tell, because after about 40 minutes, I lost track of whether my eyes were open or closed. The darkness gave me a vantage point of observation. I got to watch my thoughts as they came and went. They manifest from the darkness and then scurry by just as quickly.
My thoughts today were filled with fear.
It became so clear to me why I have been so tense. How come my muscles are sore and my shoulders are always cramped? I’m tense and stressed about so many things I can’t control.
Today in the float tank, I suddenly remembered that sweet and enlightening lesson. The lesson I have to learn over and over again.
They only thing I will ever be able to control are my actions. That’s it. I can’t control the outcome. I can’t control what other people do.
I have no control. None.
So why not just accept the outcomes to be whatever they will be? What more can I do?
Anything more is simply wasted energy.
When I go through these waves of anxiety, I remind myself that I’m not depressed. I think as a society, we love to call everything depression. It’s an easy pressure relief valve that gives us something tangible to point at when we’re not living up to our truest selves.
But I’m not depressed. I’m not even sad. I am afraid.
I’m afraid I will fail and that I will let people down.
I’m afraid that I won’t be a good dad or that I won’t know what the little man will need from me. I’m afraid I will get stuck in the routine of life. I’m afraid I won’t get to see Istanbul or Australia or take my wife to Edinburgh.
I’m afraid to live a boring life.
I don’t want an ordinary life. An ordinary life isn’t good enough. I want an extraordinary life. I’m not willing to accept anything less.
It’s a gift and a curse. The restlessness provides me with the fuel I need to be successful. If I want to have these experiences, then I need to have the resources. I love working and I love what I do. It’s not the work that bothers me. The work is the gift.
What haunts me is the racing thoughts. What haunts me is the prison of my own making. The constant second guessing and the relentless obsession I have of convincing myself I’m not good enough or that I am undeserving. That’s the curse. That’s the price I must pay.
You can be trapped in your own mind for an entire lifetime. Most people are. Most people live in quiet desperation, dreaming and pleading for a war to wage or a dragon to slay.
Today, the float tank gave me a great realization. That realization is that I am not taking care of my mind. I spend hours each week improving and protecting my body, but I hardly take any time improving and protecting my mind.