4am, couldn't sleep, & had a fuckin breakthrough. Like, real talk.

I get panic attacks. Not severe ones but enough to make my heart race & cause stress. Enough to debilitate me or keep me from wanting to do anything. And I realize that it's always triggered by fear & worry (that's not the breakthrough. I've always known that.) 

What do I worry about? A lot of things. Things like what if something is wrong with my health? What if the cancer came back? What if I die early (since a lot of people I've loved has died early)? What if the shows stop coming? What if no one wants to watch me perform anymore? What if my dreams & ambition are for nothing? What if I fail? What if I go broke? What if I can't sustain being self-employed in this kind of career? What if I have to get a 9-5 that I hate? What if being a person of color makes us targets under the current government? What if there was mass deportation or internment camps or segregation all over again? 

I know, a lot is far-fetched. But I'm just being honest about what keeps me up at night. 

So rather than going through this inventory of thoughts that cause panic, I decided to think of just 5 things for which I'm truly grateful. Just 5. I'm sure there's more but I wanted to really narrow it down to the 5 most important things in my life. What came to me was this:

1. The love I give & receive from Jessica
2. The joy & pride of being Aris' father
3. The family & true friends I have who I know will always have my back no matter how successful or unsuccessful I am. 
4. My gift of creativity & my hunger to keep creating & the happiness it brings me when I'm in the zone
5. My faith that has always gave me hope & strength through the darkest times.

Now here's the breakthrough: those things can never be taken away from me. A creditor can't come & repo it. Money can't buy it & I don't need a loan to have it. I don't need to purchase a policy to insure it. Also, I don't have to search or work for it. I already have it. Plus I have it in abundance & it's a never ending supply! 

The breakthrough is that I already have everything I could ever want! The breakthrough is that I could never lose it no matter what the world tries to take from me. The breakthrough is that I don't have a want for anything anymore!

That's huge because we are always in pursuit. We are always in hustle mode & once we get something that's not even meaningful, we want more of it. Riches. Fame. Status. They become drugs & we get hooked.

But only now, at 4am, that I realize I already have everything, am I suddenly free to do anything without anxiety. Without fear. Without panic. 

My wife said to me a few weeks ago that there's still a lot in me I have yet to reveal. Maybe it was out of fear I didn't reveal those things. But now I'm realizing what she meant. Now I'm realizing what it really means to lay down your burdens. 

Damn. There's a lot of freedom that takes over you the moment you realize you don't need anything more than what you already have.