“Your issue becomes your cause.” -Iyanla VanZant


We don’t work on ourselves within a vacuum.

So–that effort you’re making to let go of past conditioning, forgive someone who harmed you, or accept what-is?

It starts with you, but it will not end with you, because the work you do to heal yourself reverberates.

As we transform it, as Iyanla says, “Your issue becomes your cause.”

Why Courage is My Cause

There is a reason why courage is my cause–because somehow, I managed to figure out that what always feels worse than facing fear is that tight, sick-stomach feeling when the fear is just churning, churning, churning and nothing is being done about it.

A potent memory: My parents are in the kitchen, arguing, pre-divorce. I’m maybe six years old. I feel the fear rising in me. It’s similar to watching a creepy movie, knowing that at any second something’s going to jump out.

I hear a crash! A clean rack of dishes has been thrown onto the floor. I run into the kitchen, kneel down between them, and start picking up the pieces of broken dishes. I hear how suddenly, their voices change. They stop yelling.

Their daughter picking up their broken dishes has suddenly made them see themselves and what they are doing.

It was situations such as these that created the link in my mind that confronting the fear had the power to change something–and that anything, absolutely anything, even the scariest of actions to take, was better than sitting still with that sick-churning feeling.

Why You Feel So Bad

You feel so bad because the numbing out feels (temporarily) better than working with fear. When working with fear, there’s a (temporary) rise in discomfort.

So, people numb out. Our society makes it easy; that’s why there is such an abundance of those stories about people who worked their way to the top, setting up life to look good on paper, only to find out that there was nothing for them there.

The trick to getting past numbing out and getting past looking good is this: understanding the necessity of getting over “the hump” with fear.

Working with the fear is a temporary/em> discomfort for your life. So we say to ourselves, “This job isn’t really so bad” or we say to ourselves, “My three glasses of wine every night aren’t really a problem,” or we snap at our partners and kids because it’s scary as hell to see why we’re so prone to snapping at the people we say we love, and besides, we don’t know what habit we’d replace that with when we’re frustrated.

It Really IS that bad

In essence, in the fearful place we come with all sorts of logical reasons to justify this statement: “It’s not really that bad.”

“It’s not really that bad” has to be justified, because if we ever acknowledged that it really IS that bad, that the status quo really IS feeling painful, we’d need to change things up.

We’re often willing to do anything to avoid needing to change things up.

Once you do, however, you understand something–the more you work with fear, the less it can stop you. The more you go towards whatever you’re fearing, the more you’ll discover that it’s not really able to limit you.

When you stop limiting yourself, your issue becomes your cause. It becomes what you want to help others with. It becomes what you want to give.

Want something more, and the world gets something more

If your life is being lived in a day-to-day that is anything less than feeling a radiant embrace for your aliveness, it’s already time to do something.

Some would say that that is setting the bar a little high.

Well, I’ll let them define their vision for their lives. And meanwhile, I’ll sound the clarion call for you to rise.

This is the call to stand up for yourself, to stand up for your life. Stand up for your joy. Be a stand for living 100% fully alive, the messiness that it brings, and be willing to risk the annihilation of an old self that is tired of carrying her angry, weary load.

There’s very little drama in this renunciation of the weary load.

It’s a choice, and it can start right now.

Once you’ve made it, you’ll be giving an immeasurable gift to yourself, one that can heal and become a gift for the world.