October is filled with the scariest manifestations of fear that humanity has been able to conjure up. From horror movies to haunted houses to midterms, October is filled with things meant to make someone’s skin crawl. However, none of these things meant to scare me can compare to the biggest fear in my life.
The unknown has always scared me. The idea of leaving things up to chance scared me more than any monster on the big screen could. Uncertainty has been my lifelong enemy. I live with it every single day, and yet, I cannot seem to stop its influence. My fear rules my life.
I have tried everything to squash my fear. I have tried to pretend it doesn’t exist, only to find that I can’t sleep because I can’t figure out what will happen tomorrow. I have tried to look at the beast head-on and grapple with its existence, but I can’t help but block myself from looking at uncertainty. I have tried to talk about it, but I am met with people advising me to make my peace with it.
I do not think they truly understand that I cannot find peace in the thing that causes me the most distress. I can not simply shake its hand and call a truce with my biggest enemy. I cannot do that, no matter how much I try.
The thing I can do is create stability. Stability has always been the easiest way for me to take control of my life and get it out of my enemy’s hands. It is like having an extra hand in the tug-of-war over control of my life. Stability stabilizes me while the unknown debilitates me.
In my attempt to create stability in my life, I found that the easiest way to do that was to plan everything to a tee. Planning allowed me to have a plan of attack, as well as backup plans, to deal with unexpected hiccups. Before my age was even in the double digits, I was planning the entirety of my life from that point to my college graduation.
Now that I am in college, not much has changed in the intensity of my planning. I plan the next couple years of my life with multiple plans prepared for a variety of alternate paths. Any organization tool you can think of, I have probably already learned, used, and optimized for my own use. My life is ruled by my Google Calendar, organized in my Notion, and derailed by the unknown.
There is only so much I could plan for. You cannot plan for the unknown, unexpected, and uncertain; otherwise, they would go by different names. My Google Calendar can only show what events have been scheduled ahead of time, not the spontaneous events spurred onto me. My Notion can only show me what I’ve put together to organize, not what happens when all my organization goes out the window. Ironically, the unknown is the only thing that can be accounted for, not any of my endless planning.
No matter what I do, I seem to be losing against the unknown. When the unknown seems to gain a lead in our tug-of-war, I can feel my anxiety crawl onto my skin and embed itself into my bloodstream. It makes its way through my bloodstream into my brain, making my body overload with so much fear that it incapacitates me.
How am I supposed to live like this? How am I even supposed to plan for the future? How am I going to get through this? Is there even a way to get through this?
I found my way to something I had never thought of before: manifestation. Manifestation is the idea that you can manifest anything into existence as long as you believe that you already have that “anything.”
During the pandemic, in one of the most uncertain times for everyone, I found manifestation. There was nothing I could do to plan for a worldwide epidemic, and I couldn’t even fathom the idea of what came after this. Once again, the unknown had taken control over my life as the stability I had practiced and learned had vanished before me.
Manifestation appeared when everything seemed to be crashing down in my life. It provided me a chance to take control of my life as long as I let go. In my blog post about how to manifest, I said that the final step needed to manifest was the hardest one: letting go.
How was I supposed to gain control of my life by letting go? The entire thing seemed completely counterintuitive to me. I can’t just leave things up to chance. Chance is the unknown’s cruel cousin, determining my fate with the flip of a coin. To me, holding tight to my plans and my dreams was the only way I could find control.
Manifestation does not ask you to let go of your plans and dreams, but the anxiety and fear that come with your big plans and dreams. With manifestation, you are supposed to speak what you want into existence, and then after that, you have to let go of the worry of accomplishing your goal. You have to trust the process.
That year, I started to practice manifesting. To be completely transparent, I thought the whole idea was a little silly. However, no matter how silly I felt, I was willing to try anything. So I spoke what I wanted into existence, showed my gratitude for accomplishing my goals, and then I let my parasitic anxiety go with my manifestation into the unknown.
As scary as it was to let go, it was ultimately a cathartic experience for me. All of the negative energy I had attached to my goals had suddenly been expelled. For once, instead of fighting the unknown, I allowed the unknown to absorb all of my deepest desires and my most frantic feelings.
The unknown that had been my biggest bully had become, in a way, a recycling system. I threw out positive energy at the unknown, knowing that the energy would be returned and made into something new. Then, I tossed out negative energy, which could only remain as junk polluting the unknown.
Through manifestation, I took the worst parts of my dreams and gave them to my worst enemy. I made it deal with the debilitating feelings that its presence gave me. For the first time, it felt like I was finally in the lead of our eternal tug-of-war.
Learning from Letting Go
Letting go did wonders for me mentally, physically, and emotionally. When the feelings of uncertainty would creep up on me, I could brush them off as if they were a petulant fly. Although I wasn’t certain when my goals would come true, I knew that they would happen, which made all the difference in my life.
I could go to sleep much easier. I didn’t have to grapple with thoughts of an uncertain tomorrow, because I knew whatever happened the next day would be fated to happen.
I could be more flexible, not only in my schedule, but in my life as a whole. I became more understanding when things didn't go exactly as I planned. I did not grit my teeth in frustration and allow stress to inject itself into my veins like I used to. I adapted, knowing that in the end, I would accomplish my goal even if the way to it was not exactly how I planned.
Manifestation taught me that no matter how badly things go or what negative feelings come with accomplishing my dreams, as long as I know I’ll get there eventually, the events leading up to it are simply what needs to be done. I had fully embraced the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.”
That phrase was the immediate response I received from everyone once something unexpected in my life happened. Instead of listening to their sound advice, I sobbed, thinking that everything was ruined.
Now, I take everything as a stepping stone to the next opportunity. My manifestations are out in the universe somewhere, so there have to be certain things that have to regroup with those goals.
No matter how much the unknown has tormented my entire life, I have learned to live with it. It has become the annoying cousin I have to see at every family function that I have simply learned to tolerate. Manifestation allowed me to realize that the unknown cannot control my life anymore.
While I can’t control what happens to me in my life, I can control how I deal with it.
So, this is my official message to fear: You will never rule my life again.
About the Author
Kahleia is in her junior year at UNLV, and currently majoring in History! She hopes to go into Public History post-graduation to help make history understandable and digestible for the general public. At school, she is part of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council (DSAC) for the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) which is a student-led organization that works to act as the voice for COLA undergraduate students. Also, for the last 5 years, she has been working at the Discovery Children’s Museum in a variety of positions, especially in their Birthdays department. She has had a passion for writing since she was in elementary school, and she was involved in journalism in elementary school and high school where she was the Editor-in-Chief!