I Was Holding Myself Hostage

Jan 29, 2023
Shannon Conway
I Was Holding Myself Hostage

When I was ten years old a scary experience with a teacher disempowered me. I lost confidence in myself as a student and felt unsafe. Just like that, a faulty code was installed. For decades afterward I made many crucial decisions from a place of fear.

I felt terrified of mistakes in school and at work. Later in life I was afraid to ask for what I really wanted in relationships or in bed. I didn’t know how to bravely be vulnerable and learn. And because this was mostly hidden, I rarely felt fully supported. Fear ran my life, and it became my toxic BFF.

Here’s how I turned that around:

Therapy: Previously, I viewed therapy as ‘spot treatment’ for a big problem, like a death or marital issues. I also felt therapists didn’t ‘get’ me. I thought I was smarter. I’m cringing telling you this, but I have learned that if you feel stuck but think you are too smart for deep personal work, you stay stuck. In my case, I was overcome by recurring terrors that were preventing me from moving ahead. I finally woke up. I needed specific help to release the trauma. At first, I often felt sleepy or distracted in sessions.  This was just resistance, and it resolved. I now know how to support my nervous system when I freak out. Terror is no longer my toxic, hidden BFF. And I am still seeing my therapist! I love her to pieces.

Learning to Receive: The first lesson in my class on receiving was ‘receive everything’. I saw where relationships weren’t supporting me and permitted myself to change things up. This greatly strengthened my boundaries, and as a result, my capacity. I created safety for myself! I also taught myself to receive love, support, nourishment and more on my own, personal terms. Receiving isn’t taught in school. The sky’s the limit when you recognize we are invited to always be receiving more. Life is about perpetual expansion, and that happens when we feel grounded and safe. 

Praying to Angels + Guides: I learned how to do this from Anthony William (Medical Medium). He taught me that you can ask for help from not just the big archangels like Michael and Metatron, but many other ‘essential angels’ (his term). I created a list of angels like an essential oil blend, and I pray to them out loud in the shower or while walking. When I pray, I include my mom and dad in the list too. Looking back, I can see how my parents’ spirits were trying to communicate with me, but I was not open to receiving their love or support. The strongest law in the Universe is free will, so the help could not come through because my will overpowered it. Free will is stubborn and often based in ego. Mine was rooted in fear and resistance. Praying is my version of affirmations. I think this is because I like feeling supported.

Doing Something Else: If I get stuck in terror, I can feel addicted to the sensations that are happening. It feels that I need to be scared, or that I should suffer. The truth is it is just energy moving in the wrong ways. Moving around and distracting myself breaks up the density and creates space for the Universe to provide me with solutions. The Universe likes to surprise and come in via whispers. My favorite ways to move are workouts, cold plunging and travel. I must do different things to break the energy apart—what worked a month ago won’t necessarily work now. Energy holds on like a vise; breaking it up and releasing it is a process, not a one and done.

2023 is about Mindset! 

Carl Jung taught that shadows dissolve in light. Shining light on this old shadowy BFF brought freshness and freedom into my life in the most delightful ways. If you’ve got an old trauma or trigger hanging around, get rid of it. You need that energy back so you can use it for things like fun cold plunges.

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I am so grateful to you for being here—thank you for reading and commenting on these essays. It means the world. If there is something you’d like me to write or talk about, please reply, and let me know! Responding to your questions and feedback is my favorite thing.

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