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  • Writer's pictureAnna Lauri

Part 2: It Seems a 3-Year Old is Running the Show!

Imagine… waking up the morning after something so big and shifting within you and your life… but not being able to talk about it. Not only can you not call your best friend, your partner, parents… you can’t call anyone. And you can’t even distract yourself from it with TV, a phone, laptop… anything. You’re in the middle of the jungle, no electricity, no cell service to connect you back to the world you just left.

Then, you go to breakfast and you sit down at a table for six with five people you’ve just met three days prior. While they’re not your nearest or dearest (yet), that’s who the Universe placed here. Placed here, with you… at this location, this week, with these same healers and facilitators - regardless of your own life’s (or theirs) journey or where on planet Earth you called home. These are the ones who were so delicately and intentionally placed in this place with you. These were now your people. And you couldn’t even speak to them.

You smile or nod to acknowledge them. You smile some more and both divert your gazes, silently acknowledging how awkward it is to not only not say good morning, but to say nothing at all. You all just sit there quietly at your table, eating.

I wonder if any of them are feeling like I am. The empath in me wants to check in on my people. I want to know how their ceremony was. I want to know what they saw, heard, realized or came to understand. Mostly… I just didn’t want to really sit with how I was feeling.

Lost. Confused. Disoriented.

I went back to my tambo and I journaled. I cried. I tried to figure out what in the hell was trying to escape me. I lay in my hammock and meditated… or maybe I was actually praying this time.

As lunch rolled around, I decided I needed help processing this whole…”letting it go” bit and what was actually trying to escape me. I asked one of the facilitators if I could break my silence and talk through this with her. She agreed.

Go into your body a minute. Do you recognize the feeling?

I do.

Do you know when you first felt it?

I do.

Can you talk to me about that?

I was scared.

Is fear something you see a lot in your life?

I could feel my throat tightening up, as the tears welled up in my eyes and finally started streaming down my face.

Yes. It’s in my life, each and every day. Fear is always there.

It was in that moment, that I realized THAT was exactly what I had been carrying. It was so rooted in my body, in my being… so rooted it felt normal. So normal I didn’t even know that was what I was being asked to release and to let go of. So normal that it was literally being torn out of my body the night before. So normal my body was resisting it going anywhere because it had become a part of me.

It was after this conversation that I went back and journaled some. “Where does fear show up in my life?” is the prompt I started with:

  • Failing

  • Succeeding

  • Being poor

  • Having an abundant life

  • Being alone

  • Commitment

  • Abandonment

  • Disappointing others

  • Being disappointed by others

I could go on, but you get the point. Fear drove me to succeed as much as it crippled me in fear I might actually succeed. Fear drove me to seek togetherness, while also being terrified I’d be left behind by someone I love or care for.

Fear firmly had the wheel. Fear was driving me.

But why?

We later met as a group to finally (thank you!!) to share and talk through our experiences with our ceremony the previous night.

I don’t love sharing in a big group like this, I never had. I’m guessing fear had something to do with it. ;-) But I did.

Claude was one of our facilitators. Tall, incredibly thin, long black wavy hair, darker skin (think he was Peruvian) He’s exactly who you’d picture on a health / wellness retreat, he’s certainly the type you’d picture sitting outside with, legs crossed, talking about the Universe, different dimensions in time / space. If I had to paint a picture of someone who’s sat with a lot of plant medicine, or who you’d want with you as you did… it’s Claude. He reminded me of Richard in how he asked me questions. (Richard is a coach I’ve worked with for a few years, and whom Claude knows and works with). He was gentle and I could tell he cared, yet had this firmness and directness that I wasn’t quite sure I was ready for. I proceeded… knowing exactly what was holding me back.

Can you go back to another moment, further back in your life? Can you think of the time you first remember feeling fear?

Again, my throat started to tighten up and tears welled up in my eyes. I did.

Through tears, I remember sharing that I was either just about 3 or just turned 3 years old. (I know this seems far reaching to remember something when you’re just three, but I remember where I lived and we were only there for a couple of months). We lived with my Uncle, his wife and my little cousin in Tucson. My mom worked the night before. She was sleeping and I had been up and playing on my own for a bit, alone. I was hungry. I wasn’t quite confident (or capable enough) to figure out breakfast on my own but I knew if I went and woke her I’d be in trouble. I did it anyway.

Mom, I’m hungry.

Well, go get something to eat.

I quietly went back to the fridge and pulled it open. I remember seeing cold cuts in the drawer at the bottom. Usually they were open and this would be easy enough for me to grab slices to hold me over until my mom woke. They weren’t open. I tugged at it with my little three year old hands. Nothing. Determined to eat, and not have to go wake her up again to ask her to open this package… I pushed a chair over to the counter. I climbed up and pulled the top drawer open. There I assessed the situation, and pulled out the smallest knife I could find. With the package in my right hand and knife in my left hand, I put the blade through the hole the package hung from, and forcefully pushed it away from my body. And just when you think, “man, Little Anna was smart if she knew to slice away from her body”… let’s not get ahead of things quite yet. While that knife was small, the blade was sharp and it sliced easily through that package and continued right into the skin on my knuckle.

As I stood there in a bit of shock, blood dripping down my hand and onto the the floor, I had to figure out what I was to do next. I had to wake my mom up again. I knew she was going to be furious with me. I knew she she wanted to sleep. I knew she hated the sight of blood. I knew I was going to be in trouble.

“Good,” Claude said. “Now, what did you learn about yourself then? What was your truth in that moment… because of that moment?”

“I don’t matter. I don’t matter enough to be fed or taken care of, when it’s not convenient. I don’t matter enough to help. I don’t matter enough to be comforted when I’m hurt.”

“Your belief is you don’t matter, Anna. Your fear is that you don’t matter. Your fear is you won’t matter”

I sat, letting it all sink in.

All of my life has been this dance of trying to matter, needing to be accepted, doing anything and everything I could to be loved and acknowledged by the people I care about and the world around me. All of it was also being driven by fear.

A small little instance that occurred when I was about 3 years old, created a story and a belief that had been basically driving my entire life. Now, 39ish years later, I’m faced with how to have a different relationship fear and how and when it shows up in my life. I’m faced with relating to it differently knowing that I am actually not that moment in time. I’m now facing fear with knowing and believing that I do matter.

Fear hasn’t yet (nor will it ever) go away. I didn’t leave healed. I left with a different way to relate to fear and this long held belief. I can now be in situation and somehow remove myself and see… wait, are you seeing, feeling or hearing this, from that space? Are you three year old Anna, or are you Anna today who knows she matters?

Side note, I have since talked to my mom about this instance… she has no recollection of it at all. Nada. Nothing. I know my mom loves me and I know she did the best she could, with what she had. It’s just wild do realize that that little moment in my life shaped so much of me… and now there is so much I can learn to be and grow to, knowing that it’s true. I have an entirely new relationship with fear.

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