Like Queen Elsa in Disney’s animated film, “Frozen” we can “Let it Go.” Fear, that is. And, being frozen.
But, we will need to do more than stomp our feet, wave our hands in the air, and sing a hit tune. It’s time for a real breakthrough to no longer live under the heaviness of traumatic events that have us stuck.
Experiencing fearful events cause us to respond in one of three ways: fight, flight or freeze. Experts say that the “freeze” response is overcome with the help of a professional. With the fight or flight response, the trauma, fear, or painful experience is processed at the time. By freezing, the trauma is internalized and frozen. We can get stuck here.
Flight, Fight, or Freeze
If you’re hiking in the mountains and come face-to-furry face with a grizzly bear, you’d better allow the automatic switch for flight to engage and protect yourself from harm. (To avoid experiencing this fear, hike in groups of three or more. 91% of bear attacks happen to lone hikers.)
If someone tries to steal your bag or your bike, you’ll most likely engage the fight mechanism and hit or chase that person.
If you’ve been abused as a child or adult, betrayed by your spouse, or some other trauma that caused you to freeze, don’t fear the future.
The Future is Yours
It may be tempting to stay stuck in this frozen state. Don’t. The freeze response debilitates us from actually feeling the fear. If we have traumatic experiences that have caused us to freeze, we most likely need to seek professional help to thaw out and move forward.
You can live freely.
Recognize the trauma that caused you to freeze. Talk with someone. Face the fear, process it, and move into a fearless way of life. I’m not suggesting that we forsake caution, or that this process is a quick and easy one, but we can get free from what caused us to freeze.
I know this from experience and I live more freely today than ever (and, yes, I had professional help to get free).
So can you.