I have been stumbling lately
And just when I think
I am ready
to stand tall
something comes crashing in
usually precipitated by me
that has me questioning
all the things

I feel fear
which is not new for me
I am friends with fear
and do pretty well
at not letting it rule me
but this fear is different
I am realizing
And so I find myself
not sure
of the right next move

Years ago
I was mostly just afraid
I would not survive

I am not afraid of those things anymore

I trust I will not self harm
I trust I can make money
I trust I can choose happy
I trust I can cultivate love

But I built a world
and now I have an identity
I am attached to
that I am afraid to lose

I am now accustomed to a way
of living and being
that requires a lot of me

There is something
deeply comforting
about having nothing

The only way to go
is up

When my “luggage” was grocery bags
and my car was my home
rent was gas
parking lots were storage facilities
I didn’t have to be concerned
about overhead
or taking care of anything
aside from me

When I was on the bathroom floor
hands covered in my own blood
it seemed clear
I wasn’t happy
and that things could only get better
from down here

When I was making just enough money
to get by
still needing to borrow
from time to time
there was no reason to worry
about the economy
or how to best invest money
or grow a business
I just hoped I would never get fired
and always have enough
for room and board

When most days I felt so miserable
I would contemplate driving off the road
there were no dreams
to worry about not coming true
There was nothing
I was afraid of missing

And on and on…

I used to not have so much to lose
And it’s a rather confronting pickle
I find myself in now
where I am paralyzed by choice
and fear of losing
what I have worked so hard to create
with one wrong move

It is way harder for me to get messy now

When things used to fall apart
no one knew
There weren’t people relying on me
or needing me
Sure I had jobs
but ultimately
I was replaceable
And so I always knew
I could disappear
and no one would really care
No one
aside from family
would be that impacted
or wonder where I had gone
They would be able to move on
And I found great comfort
in that
because I was
painfully unreliable
especially when it came to
taking care of me

And so I decided
I would keep expectations low
do my best to make it through
and see what happened
if I tried to do something cool
I had nothing
to lose

Now I feel
I have a lot to lose
And my fear of messing up
and disappointing
of taking risks
that do not come through
is at times debilitating
And so I am treading water
which actually takes
a completely different kind of strength
one I have never much used
one I have not cultivated

I am much better at hurling myself
into things
growing strong
by fighting with the wind

But this time
I go slow
circling my arms
kicking my legs hard
letting the fear leave me
with each stroke that reminds me
that I once had nothing
and that all the somethings
I now have
came from that nothing

So worst case scenario
I build from scratch again
and again
And I am not convinced
that would be such a bad thing
Maybe even
a good thing
Once I am strong
Once I get stronger
from treading water

I am learning there are phases
I want everything to be just so
all the time

And so when I circle back
it can feel like I am regressing
But what I am getting
Is that sometimes
what feels like 10 steps back
is actually what we need
to be reminded
of who we used to be
and how very far
we have come

And the fear
is just a placeholder
asking us
to pause
and pay attention

is wanting
to happen

And all we
have to do
is listen
and take
one step
one step
at a time

❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.