“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell
It’s all started to make much more sense to me.
My life, as I’ve always known it, has fluctuated throughout the seasons and has happened in stages. There have been drastic shifts in my journey and it always seemed to fit some sort of pattern. Every time I decide to step into what I was afraid of there was a complete change in the landscape of my life and everything seemed to take off.
Many years ago, I started this journey of health and fitness because that’s what I needed to do in order to feel like I could make it through everything that was happening in my life. I built myself up physically and mentally and took on the greatest challenge I could possibly find – constructing my body into the ideal image I had seen when I was young.
This journey demanded that I changed my entire life. But most of all, it reframed my mindset on commitment, effort, dedication, and persistence in way that I’ve never experienced before. While battling all sorts of inner demons throughout those years, I came out a different man and had a new mentality that I had never had before – if I could do that, what couldn’t I do?
Truth is, I’ve had a very difficult time letting go of that journey.
In many ways, I’ve tried to go back and relive that time and everything in my heart and soul tells me that I need to point myself in a different direction. This has created an inner conflict that manifested this feeling of being torn in between two paths for a couple of years now.
I’ve ignored the path I’ve been shown for a path that I’ve come up with in my mind.
But as I chased that idea from the head, I neglected the deep wisdom coming from my heart.
So this is where I started to get honest with myself. And, I only got back to this place of knowing once I closed my eyes.
There are a few things that bring electricity into my veins. Surfing. Deep connections with others. And above all this sound of a crowd moving with intense emotion and energy when being spoken to. I get chills. My body almost goes through raptures. I knew, when I came across these things that I needed them in my life. For some time, I’ve been denying myself those things because of fear, the old story, and a sense of unwillingness to answer the call.
But I have to.
I have to change.
Truth is, I’ve been digging my feet into the dirt trying to not get dragged in the direction that I’ve been pulled into anyways. It’s just happening slower because I’m resisting. I didn’t want to let go of my old ways. I didn’t want to let go of the old sense of self because that man achieved so much and fought his way through hell and came out alive.
He became something greater.
And, I think the fear was that if I let go of that way of showing up in the world that I would fall back into a bad place.
But I know that’s not true.
The heart knows that to be just a fear.
There’s an entire new life and adventure waiting for me to finally surrender and just starting hiking on that path.
But it has been waiting for me to make that decision. It has been waiting for me to let go of the old sense of self and create space for a new one. This hasn’t been easy nor have I really wanted to do it at all. But here I am, with the same willingness – to start writing, to start the journey that I just finished – ready to plant my feet into the ground and take that next huge step.
So I’ll call it like it is.
This path will change my life.
This path will require me to let go of old ways that I’ve refused to let go of for some time.
I will feel different. I will be different. I will have to do things that I’ve never done.
But that’s the point.
-Evan Sanders, The Better Man Project