What Are You So Afraid of?

I’ve been asked this question a lot lately, or at least questions similar to it–
What is my fear, how do I handle it, and why the heck am I so afraid?
All fears need contemplation in order to face and deal with them. Half the battle is knowing what you are dealing with–and for me, coming to terms as to why I fear food must be faced. So as I finally make time (notice the word “make,” not “find,” since you will never “find” that time), I can hear myself think.

And that’s when I hear it; it doesn’t come in a roar or in an astounding revelation. It doesn’t change my life in an instant or come as a message from the gods. It comes in increments, entering either slowly or suddenly as I allow my mind to wander and drift among my thoughts to the deepest emotion.


I am afraid of my body–of the potential it has to escape my mind’s control. I was afraid even at my thinnest of the potential I had to possibly win a national NAIA cross country meet–maybe because success came too fast, maybe because the way of reaching running “success” was not the way I had previously anticipated. Along with the success came a dark secret of restriction and pain, and I never imagined I would reach national status through something like that.I was afraid of the power my mind had over my body to sink the weight lower, but also of the power my body had over my mind as the weight gain took over my life.
So I come to this conclusion: anything my body feels without my “consent”–hunger, emotion–scares me. I am afraid of what my body is capable of. I am afraid of the potential I have within because changing, letting go, and believing in myself can be scary. It requires trust and faith in a feeling that is not easy to see or define.
How right Maryanne Williamson is when she states, “Our deepest fear is that we are not inadequate; Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.”

About Rachael

Rachael Steil is a graduate from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts. Steil an author, speaker, and a recipient of the Spirit and Outstanding Runner award for the Aquinas College cross country team and has received 6th place All-American accolades in cross country as well as 7th place in the NAIA track nationals.

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4 Responses to What Are You So Afraid of?

  1. Savannah says:

    Wow, it’s like you read my mind. I was just asking a friend earlier today about that “fear” of leaving an eating disorder behind and then you posted this. Very well said and relatable.

  2. Rachel says:

    Here’s another quote to ponder: “Since we decided to be infinite, there’s no end and there’s no fear.”

    What is to gain from this is the realization that the you at your essence is indestructible; that a “you” exists separate from both your body and your mind and from that “you” is where love, peace, and true knowledge flows. It’s just a matter of saying yes to it and thereby saying no to all the drama, pain, and fear in your life.

  3. Tesla Knott says:

    This reminds me of a passage from one of my favorite books, The Mandala of Being by Richard Moss:
    “Once we understand that, no matter what is happening, the true center of power is always Now, we naturally start to orient our awareness to the immediate present. The moment we do, we become aware of our bodies in a new way. When we live in our heads, it is as if we have no bodies. The body becomes no more than a mundane vehicle, a source of pleasure or problems….Most of the time, the body is just an object of the mind.”
    I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a more complete understanding of human psychology and the true power of awareness. It helped me immensely on my journey back from every kind of eating disorder imaginable. I have found that practices like meditation and slow moving meditations like qi gong and tai chi really help draw more awareness into my body and, from this increased presence, help to slowly break down the frozen emotional and psychological barriers that come with every type of eating disorder.
    It’s amazing how far I have come since I first spewed my story on a comment section of this blog a few months ago. Much thanks to Rachael for creating a safe place to share, learn and grow through this often scary time in our lives.

    • Rachael says:

      Thank you for sharing, Tesla. I’ve added that book on my list of books to read! And I’m so glad you have been willing to share a bit of your journey. Keep up the great work!

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