I mentioned before that I realized recently that I’ve lived much of my life avoiding situations that scare me. I surmised that I spent much of my childhood afraid of being bullied and much of my teens and 20s afraid of being judged that my body has had enough of the fight or flight response to last the rest of my life. And this is definitely true, but it’s also kept me from living—from feeling the wind in my hair, from taking chances on things that are likely fun but are slightly dangerous (skiing, roller coasters, jet skis). I’ve tried some of these things, but let my fear of looking like a fool or my fear of being judged stopped me from committing to really try something that I deem fun.
And, while the adult life I’ve created is pretty amazing, I’m also realizing that there can be just as much fun and excitement as there is meditation and spirituality. In fact, it’s even possible that these fun and exciting things can actually help fuel my spirituality.
That’s where Freya comes in.
Freya, for those that don’t know, is the Norse goddess of love and beauty, fertility and sex, but it is love, beauty, fertility, and sex in its deepest forms. It is beauty of the soul—not just outward beauty. She helps others become more self-aware and see their own worth. She wears a cloak of feathers—encouraging others to truly soar into themselves and through life. Freya is also a war goddess—known for being the “shield-maiden”, deciding which people on the battlefield live and which die.
I resonate with many of these things, but I need (sometimes more than a little) bit of fight to be able to do what I'm challenging myself to do (e.g., sword fighting classes). I definitely need a lot of extra fight these days—I need extra fight to help me push through to build my business, extra fight to work through the numerous fears I’ve been avoiding, and extra fight to deal with the myriad of self-growth opportunities I’m pursuing.
So, lately, I’ve been learning more about Freya and I’ve been using that information to form a symbol—or archetype if we’re using literary devices—that can help me work through my fears. I’ve got a picture of her on my desktop and every time I try to talk myself out of doing something new or every time I’m afraid, I remember these aspects of Freya and I try to be more like her.
And, in the process, I’m learning more about myself than I have in a long time—I’m no longer simply living. I’m learning what I’m capable of, I’m learning how much fun I can have, and I’m learning that I don’t have to be overly cautious to be safe. And, at 41, that’s an interesting lesson to be learning.