Remember that post I wrote a long time ago about how I wanted to be like Iron Man, Dr. Strange, and Bruce Banner at the beginning of Infinity War? No? Me either. I was going to link it in this post, but I don’t even remember the title. Anyway, look at this video:
When the sound of an alien ship roared and sent gusts of wind topping everything over, most people in the city did exactly what anyone else would do. Get the F outta the way! Yet, these 3 men walked toward it, curious and prepared for a fight. Even after coming face-to-face with their new foe, who could’ve been much stronger than they could handle, the heroes took a fighting stance and walked straight towards the danger. Why is that? Because they weren’t afraid of a fight. Actually, they always anticipated their enemies attack. Dr. Strange didn’t assume that because he wasn’t currently under attack that an enemy wasn’t on the way. Iron Man didn’t put his suit on and say “gosh I sure hope my armor doesn’t fail and I lose this fight.” And Banner, who couldn’t even transform into the Hulk, refused to stay out of the fight and later returned in a suit of armor. For the past 2 years now, I’ve been waiting for that moment. Not the moment where I’m faced with an enemy, but when I fearlessly run towards what scares me instead of away.
Well everybody, the moment I’ve been waiting for happened yesterday. The thought of losing someone special to me was flooding my mind, drowning my other thoughts. It might sound small, but this is often my “Infinity War alien spaceship” moment. A scary, nagging, anxiety-provoking phobia. I’d usually “run away screaming”, which looks like:
- Drinking excessively or exercising really hard (to feel physical pain)
- Searching Google relentlessly for a solution
- Replaying our last interaction over and over in my mind to figure out what I did wrong
- Trying desperately to contact that person so that I could explain why I did the thing I think I did wrong
Don’t get me wrong, I started to do all of these things actually. But then I decided to use a technique I recently learned in therapy. Think with logic instead of my emotions. Why do I think I’m going to lose them? Is it because of something that actually happened, or just a random worry? What if I do lose them? What if I feel hurt? What if I look stupid or desperate? Do these things mean that my life is over? Have I not gone through every single one of these events, way worse and then some, and come out on top every single time?? After challenging every single negative thought, I called a good friend and completely, honestly told him exactly how I felt and allowed myself to be consoled. I remembered that losing one person does not mean that I’m going to be alone, that I’m not loved, or that my life is headed in a bad direction. I put the armor on.
By the end of our conversation, I realized that I had to allow myself to feel this pain and to embrace the wrongdoing that happened to me, rather than excuse it or blame myself. I accepted my own emotions and validated them. I comforted the little girl I usually revert to and I guaranteed her that she’s going to be alright. I decided that, at all costs, I would run through this obstacle- not around it. In all of my armor, with all of my weapons, I took those slow-motion steps towards my enemy and said “bring it on”.
What if I run towards every fear and completely conquer them all?