“Dare to dream, for in the daring there is defiance to live beyond your circumstances” ― Su Williams
I had a wonderful chat with my friend Sharon Sherriff on this week’s Insightful Conversations. I first met Sharon about four years ago, when we were both participating in LSBC, one of the 3 Principles community groups we both belonged to. When I first heard Sharon share her story of how she had spent over thirty years suffering from debilitating Anxiety and Agoraphobia before coming across the Principles, I knew I wanted to have her on the show. In addition to Anxiety and Agoraphobia, Sharon also suffered from a multitude of other ailments ranging from Chronic Migraines, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Sharon shared the story of how after the birth of her first child, her world began to shrink as a result of her worsening mental health and physical illnesses. Fearful of the outside world, Sharon began to operate within what she describes as a “safe area,” only leaving her home to make the necessary school runs with her children. Slowly but surely, Sharon stopped dreaming and fully engaging in life. She recalls a time when her children were young when they had to take care of her instead of her taking care of them. The shame Sharon felt because she couldn’t be the mother she wanted to be only exasperated the health issues that she was already grappling with. Sharon spent years visiting doctors and health care workers to no avail. After each visit, Sharon left feeling more despondent, which only served to fuel the belief that she was fundamentally broken and flawed.
It was only once Sharon came across the 3 Principles understanding that she was able to find the relief she had spent years searching for. Once Sharon realized that she wasn’t damaged or broken, her world began to open up, and she began to dream again. Sharon is the first to admit that her physical challenges still exist; however, she now sees that when she focuses less on them, her pain seems to be less problematic than it used to be. These days her quality of life compared to what it was before the Principles is like night and day. So much so that Sharon is now a certified Rewilding Guide where she helps others who are facing some of the same challenges she has overcome. Sharon’s story is an inspiration to anyone who is struggling with both physical and mental health issues. To learn more about Sharon’s journey, you can check out her brand-new blog at daretodream.com.
While I listened to Sharon tell her story of how small her world had become due to her Agoraphobia, I couldn’t help but think about all the people who suffer from a mental form of Agoraphobia. We may not be afraid to leave our homes, but we live in a self-imposed prison within our minds. A place where we are scared to venture out beyond our preconceived ideas about ourselves. A place where we focus on limitations as opposed to possibilities. A place where the voice in our head tells us that we are inadequate. A place where the voice tells us that the world is a scary place and that we need to stay small and in hiding to protect ourselves. I know that voice very well; I listened to it for years.
I laugh now when I look back at how I had innocently believed that my life would be better if I played small and kept myself hidden. How crazy is that? As a child, I felt as though I was looking through a glass window, wishing I could go out and play like all the other children. I naively believed that they had something I didn’t have. As I grew older, I held onto this belief, never thinking to question its validity. Coming across the Principles has allowed me to see that the world is a safe place. There’s nothing to fear. Not only is it a safe place, but it’s also a magical place. A place to play, explore and create. A place where anything is possible if we allow ourselves to dream. A place that welcomes us to show up just as we are. It is a place to embrace our unique expression of what it means to be a Spiritual Being having a Human Experience.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕