Over the past few years, I have been working with the concepts of setting intentions, visualization and manifesting your desires. While these new practices interested me greatly, I couldn’t help but notice a sense of resistance – an underlying feeling of discomfort that bordered nausea and mild anxiety at times. While reading books like, ‘Creative Visualization’, by Shakti Gawain or participating in activities such as setting intentions for the new moon, the next few months or the next year, instead of being filled with enthusiasm and hope, I would feel a knot in my stomach, sweaty palms and a suppressed feeling of terror.
Why? Why am I so scared of the future? Why does the thought of expressing my desires, my hopes my dreams fill me with unease and anxiety? Trying to ignore and silence these unwanted emotions, I pushed them down and set vague intentions and secretly swore to myself to not get my hopes up.
Eventually, wanting to get to the bottom of these feelings, I surmised it must be a lack of confidence in myself and my abilities. I diagnosed myself with self-doubt and low self-esteem. Clearly, the remedy was learning to believe and trust in myself
I made it a priority to work on my self-confidence. And while I was feeling more sure of myself and my abilities, it wasn’t having the desired effect I had hoped for. I still couldn’t seem to allow myself to get excited about the future. I realized this didn’t just apply to long-term unforeseen hopes and dreams. I wouldn’t even allow myself to get excited about definite set plans until basically the day of, always fearful and weary that something would go wrong and the plans would be derailed. I was constantly protecting myself from getting disappointed.
Digging into my past, things began to click. Growing up, I had a friend who consistently made promises she couldn’t keep and as a young girl I would without fail, believe her, get my hopes up, only to be let down – feeling rejected and unimportant. This continued over years, ingraining without my knowing a very specific pattern in my head.
As I got a little older, a new relationship came into my life that possessed a very similar quality. This time it was a boy, and I was head over heals. In over my head, I was at the mercy of his empty promises. Again, this relationship lasted for years and it was the same old story. The lure of promises, my naive hopes in the air and the constant let down, leaving me sinking lower. My naivety clouded my judgment. My romantic heart kept me biting on a baitless hook. The pattern was now so deeply ingrained in my brain, I didn’t even notice its presence, let alone its effect.
Eventually, unable to bear the pangs of disappointment anymore, I learned a tactic to keep my heart protected. I grew tired of getting my hopes up, just to get them dashed. I learned to take everything with a grain of salt, constantly waiting for the bail, always keeping my guard up.
Without realizing I extended this to most of my relationships and aspects of my life. Hesitant to believe people would stick to their word and not even judging them for it, just accepting it as human nature. I would always be so surprised when people did come through or things went according to plan.
I also became very aware of the promises I made, making sure I’d never commit to something I wasn’t 100% sure of, not wanting to cause anyone that feeling of being let down. This went for promises to myself as well, which eventually translated into not wanting to set intentions or admit desires in order to not get my hopes up and not let myself down. Hence why I was feeling so much anxiety and resistance towards acknowledging and believing in my ability to manifest the life I wanted.
I realized I needed to release these past hurts, these past ‘traumas’. My childhood friend was just a kid. A kid with a big heart and good intentions. This was not a malicious act to hurt me. She probably wanted those promises to be just as true as I did. The guy I dated was just a boy. A boy with a good heart, and decent enough intentions. His actions weren’t meant to hurt me. It was just a case of life – it’s just life. We are all imperfectly loving each other the best we can. We don’t mean to hurt each other or cause lasting damage.
I’m sure of that fact that I have played my role in people’s childhood trauma, without knowing or meaning to. That’s why forgiveness is so important, especially when you don’t get the apology. Find it in your heart to be able to forgive the people that hurt you knowingly or unknowingly – not for them, but for you. For your emotional freedom – because you deserve that. You deserve to not have any baggage holding you back from living your most vibrant and radiant life.
As an ending note, after realizing this all I have to say is – get your hopes up – get them high up there in the clouds. Believe in yourself. Believe in love. Believe in your ability to create the wonderful life you desire. Believe in all the magical possibilities of life. Your dreams may get dashed, but you will bounce back. Just never lose or limit your hope.
Get your hopes up.
Let them soar.
Fill them with love.
Fly through the sky with an open heart.
If you fall, fall.
Believe in your ability to land on your feet.
Never let disappointment harden your heart,
Or crush your hope.
Your hope is your magic.
Your belief in yourself is your power.
Your faith in others is love.
Your trust in this universe is key.
So get your hopes up.
That’s where they belong.