freedom
By Deb Avery

It’s happened again.

I thought I had worked through all this, and really, most of it I have, but then something like this happens and the scars begin aching again. Not overly painful, just that dull ache that works its way deep into the bones—and the heart.

We all know that it’s better to walk alone than walk with others who demean us, judge us, and treat us as if we have two heads.

Sometimes I feel as if I do have two heads: one that is open to all the beauty in the Universe, and another that wants to bury itself deeply in the sand—the one that sees all the suffering, abuse, and atrocities my fellow human beings do to one another.

Compared to some in life, my pain is merely a twinge, and for the most part, my pain is healed. Yet, the scars remain. But I am proud of those scars. It means I made it through. It means my strength, courage, and belief in myself did not fail me.

It means I am now stronger than before.

Yet there are times that will remind us of just how weak we once were. There are people who will poke and prod at the scars until it causes enough pain for doubt to infiltrate, and sometimes that doubt will open old wounds that we thought were well healed. If we give in to the doubts, fear, and judgments of those who would love to see us fail, our wounds can become infected and our work to return to healthy equanimity will be much more difficult.

It is when we feel the first pangs in our scars that we must remind ourselves how far we have come. It is then that we must reach deeply within ourselves to calm and soothe the pain before it can escalate.

Remember, this is not the same battle as before.

You’ve already fought, and won that battle. Don’t try and reinvent a new strategy. You have everything you need within you. Let your self-love, compassion, and kindness do the work that needs doing. This is merely a small entanglement, not a full fledged battle.

Know in your heart that the path you walk is true for you. It has brought you this far. And for some of us, that’s a very long way. Trust in your journey. Trust yourself. Feel the pain for what it is—fear. Fear of what others think. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of rejection. Simple, yet tenacious, fear.

But this time you’ve got this.

You’ve battled this one so many times you know fear’s insidious moves like the back of your hand. You know all about the ambushes, the shock tactics, and surprises. This time is different. You are enough. You are strong enough, good enough, brave enough, courageous enough. You will defeat fear and all it’s minions. You will be win and you will be free to go on with your journey in peace.

Be brave and go forward in the knowledge that you’ve—most assuredly—got this.

P

hoto: Dennis Jarvis/flickr

Editor: Alicia Wozniak

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Deb Avery
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Deb Avery

Deb Avery is a writer, quasi-hermit and nature lover who lives in the Southern United States along with her 12 year old dog, Sam. Surrounded by mighty oaks and woodlands, Nature is her friend and teacher. She is an avid gardener, reader of books, lover of all beings, who is often referred to as a “bit of a weird one". This she graciously takes as a compliment. She is known to converse with insects, plants, animals, and even herself at times. Volunteering is one of her passions both in the animal world and that of humans. Having lived in many diverse places, including several years abroad, she has learned first hand that deep inside we are all one and the same. She and Sam are often found walking along country roadsides or woodlands, doing yoga and meditating. All of which Sam is much more adept. She has been writing for over two years with The Tattooed Buddha and has previously written for Savana East, elephant journal and Wake Magazine. She also shares her writings and musings on social media.
Deb Avery
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