I am terrified. I wake up in the morning, take my first breath and immediately feel the ball in pit of my stomach signifying the day has begun. I have become a slave to my anxiety from sunrise to sunset. The news is a constant reminder that my son has a target on his back, not only from police and other law enforcement, but from other young boys and men that look like him. My daughter could one day be dead under mysterious circumstances in the custody of police because of a traffic stop. I am terrified, morning noon and night.
But I have to LIVE.
The past week has been emotionally draining and anxiety ridden for me. I can’t log on social media without seeing a post about the recent murders of innocent black men by police, the murder of police by a sniper, protests, rallies, hate, violence….. It’s all too much. I continue to force myself to open my eyes, stating that it is in my best interest to know what is really happening before I step into the world.
But I have to LIVE.
So today, I am making a choice to live without apology, as much as I possibly can in the times that we live in. I am not sure how to do that. In all my 20-something years, I can’t remember a time when I have truly been FREE. When I was in highschool, I would lay on my mother and cry, begging to be “carefree” like my cousins and friends. I would worry myself sick about the best way to be “carefree” and “fun-loving” until I just ended up staying in the house and not putting in any effort into anything.(If you can’t see the irony in that well…..) But as of today, I want to be FREE. I want to be able to deal with everything that is reality, and be free with the things that I can control.
When I step out into the world, I don’t want to be so terrified of things that I have absolutely no control over. I make my anxieties worse by focusing so much on things that I see in the news or in my comings and goings, that I try to force every single modicum of control on things that make no difference on reality. Perfect example, I don’t wear lipstick anymore (or makeup really), because most days I overthink the reaction that I MIGHT get on my choice of makeup. Not that it would make any difference at all what I wore on my face, or my hair, or my body, but I analyze it to the point that I become apathetic and don’t do anything at all.
No more of that. No more fear. I will put myself in a position every single day to take on the world that I have no choice but to live in. I will put on the armour of God before I step out of my bed, with a prayer wall around me to protect me from things that only He can control. I will put on whatever war paint I think will allow ME to be FREE. I will find FREEDOM in the knowledge that the only one who can control these perilous times is God and it won’t matter what color lipstick I am wearing, or if this pattern matches with the other, or If my children took their vitamins this morning, or if I put too much salt in my husbae’s mashed potatoes or if I have to call out of work because I am in pain….
I will not allow my medical issues, my anxiety, my empathetic nature, or my fear to stop me from living. I will not allow it to stop my children from living. I will not allow my freedom to pass me by while I am scared of how to be free.
Afterall, what quality is a life lived without experiencing the very freedom we fight for?