If I’m not careful, I’ll take myself and my problems much too seriously.

If I’m not careful. 

I’ll wrap myself up in guilt, fear & blame and walk around as a wound: open and raw and easily irritated.

I’ll walk around with my head down, facing the ground, achingly unaware of the light, of the gentle sounds around me.

If I’m not careful.

Yesterday, I played laser tag with my family. It was something my boyfriend and I planned because the kids tend to get cabin fever on Sundays. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. Being chased is something I do not like at all, but I sucked it up for the kids. Aside from my aversion to being stalked, there are these thoughts that always linger in the back of my mind: “this place will be crowded and busy”, “new people are scary”, “I don’t know how this works, what if I make a mistake?”. For the kids, I put these thoughts aside. For the kids, I did this normal thing that, to me, isn’t so normal because of the anxious thoughts it induces. It’s amazing what we just blindly do when something is more important to us.

So I went. AND. It was so goddamned fun. I got pummeled. I was chased and shot by strangers and it was awesome! For thirty minutes I told anxiety to eff off and did the hard thing and because it was for the kids, it wasn’t hard at all.

Connection is so damn good for us. It lifts our heads up to see the Love. After the end of my marriage, a friend gave me this advice:

“Danielle, trust that God is putting truth at you so that you can truly know peace. Surround yourself with loving support right now. Don’t isolate. Go to meetings, go to ACIM groups. Be part of community and trust that you are being guided.”

“OK, G,” I replied.

But I didn’t want to. I wanted to go through life with a zombie-like approach until my kids were asleep and then just cry in bed while looking at Pinterest or writing bad poetry. I wanted to take it all seriously because I wanted it to mean something. If this pain didn’t mean anything, then I didn’t mean anything. For me, I could feel the full effects when alone. To be around others meant to deny it. As ever though, I’m willing to be wrong.

And I was.

What my friend was saying was not to deny it. She was encouraging me not to make it precious, like a jewel I hold close and treasure, refusing to let go. No. Don’t do that. She was saying: “Go, be you. Don’t pretend, but don’t make it everything. Go, do normal things with people who love you. Cry if you need to and don’t apologize. Be open to God’s Love in those you love.”

No amount of tweeting or pinning or posting on Facebook is going to give me the kind of connection my soul craves. That comes from God. That comes from good friends. That comes from family. It comes from a decision to see Love instead of fear.

So what does this have to do with laser tag? Everything. More and more I put myself in situations where I feel scared and keep going in order to feel connected, in order to feel joy. I look fear in the face and trust myself to get through it.

Even though I hate being chased. Even though I feel uncomfortable in crowds. Even though I had no idea what to expect. I did it.

I have to celebrate this! It’s big. So big.



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