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Letting go of fear and self loathing

This blog post is written in response to two articles I´ve read tonight. I am extremely affected by these essays and I hope you read them. Both essays deal with the sense of sorrow and loss many of us feel watching, as we do, the world crumble before our very own eyes.
I strongly recommend them.

Learning how to die in the anthropocene and
Learning how to live in the anthropocene


When we left our old life behind I said goodbye to my ambitions.
“Fare well, my ambitions, I am so tired of you now” I said, I whispered, I screamed.

I was so tired of trying too hard, never succeeding. I was so tired of failure.
I was exhausted and I suspected that this intensively cultural focus on the individual (and the actualization of the individual, the success of the individual) was only there to enslave us and keep the productivity high.

I hated the ambitions. I truly hated them so I threw them out, I threw them in the garbage bin which is a lie because my ambitions were too big for the garbage bin- I had to go to the container at the landfill.

And then what happened?
After we had fought like crazy for our new life, our own life, after we found another, more kind, way of existing (not easier, but more kind) success happens. All by itself.
I wrote a book. It sells really well (I am grateful, thank you!) and I´m invited on all kinds of talkshows and into all kinds of lady magazines and there I sit, smiling, saying

“I think the world as we know it is coming to an end”

and then I´m the doomsday prophet only I´m not because there´s the pretty smile and the there´s the lingo and these are the cues and this is the game.

But there is something deeper, something underneath, I hear it, it´s a rumble.
It´s in all of the mails I receive, it´s the hugs from the old ladies, tears in their eyes, it´s in the anger in the young mens eyes, it´s everywhere, more and more people are sensing it….

Something is off.
Something is not quite right.

“Thank you for saying it like it is” they tell me and suddenly my ambitions are not only my ambitions, something rotten and impure, no, there is a higher purpose, a goal, there is a meaning to it which makes it more ok (for me) to do what I do.
(Hey, look at me, I´m a woman APPOLOGIZING for taking part in the public debate (sic!)

But seriously. I have come to realize how malnourished we have truly become – since telling it like it is, just being honest, open, trying to be yourself , admitting that you are struggling, that you have fears, doubts – is something rare like that. As if the whole world is made up by spin and bullshit and commercials.

This was only the intro.
Here is what I wanted to say:

Lately Sigurd has become very afraid.
He´s 3 years old now, it´s quite to be expected. The world has become so much larger to him, his relations and his image of self is changing.

Sometimes it overwhelms him and here´s what we do when that happens


We build a bear cave and we eat cookies



He says
“Mom. I don´t want you to go hunting anymore.”
We are bears, you see. The cup misses me when I´m out there in the world, standing on my soapbox, smiling, smiling.
And then I tell him that I haft to, sometimes, and it feels ok. Because I DO haft to.
And then we speak. He tells me about all of the trolls and the evil guys and the things he has seen in movies, he tells me about some kid in kindergarten, he says he´s afraid to die and never want to grow older.

It really dosn´t help to suppress these emotions. If we don´t build a bear cave and speak about these things he throws temper tantrums and fits.
He needs the cave. He needs the safe place.

So this is what I think we must do- in these times of civil unrest and climate change, in these moments of confusion and blurred senses.

We need to talk! Honestly!

We need to talk out in the open public spaces, we need a new dialoque – but we also need it at home.
Mostly at home, I guess.

He has decorated the wall above his sleeping place with these stickers and this dream catcher, he says they all protect him, they work for him.



That´s the second thing I think we need.

We can´t demolish and dismantle the stories of heroism.

I know we have done this to our selves, for too long, drifting on the currents of apathy and “oh well, what can one single person do anyways”- but we can´t do it to the children.
And actually we shouldn´t do it to ourselves either.
Because what do we have if we do not have the stories? The dreams? If we do not strive for something better? If we do not fight for what we believe in?

Let´s be heroic! Come on!
Let´s not devalue and overanalyze everything, lets not search for flaws and contradictions, onwards, onwards!

Seriously. We can´t tell them that you can´t change anything, we can´t leave them with their fears, all alone.




This entry was posted in Blog.

10 comments on “Letting go of fear and self loathing

  1. Hey Andrea.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for letting go of letting go 🙂
    We really need to start aiming at becoming heroes instead of always declaring others to be it, we need to believe that we ourselves can be heroes. Maybe it’s dangerous to claim the title but at least aim for getting it 😉


  2. Andres says:

    Thank you!


  3. Den bjørnehule fik mig til at græde. Tak for det.


  4. Maria says:

    Amazing ❤ Thank you!


  5. Ensamvargen says:

    This wanderer is temporarily in Babylon earning monopoly money. Will be back this spring in the wild. Thinking of you and old times. Life on hold now. The city can not hold me for long.

    Ha det fint. Hilsen Alex från första lägret.


    1. andreahejlskov says:

      Dear wanderer. Come and visit us soon! Much love


    2. andreahejlskov says:

      Åh, Alex- hvor gott at høre ifrån dig!!! Please come by for cofee, it would be nice to see you again! 🙂


  6. Lisbeth Petersen says:

    Hej Andrea, hørte dig på Louisiana fornylig, jeg er psykolog så det er spændende at høre at du er børnepsykolog. Arbejder du som psykolog i Sverige? Held og lykke fremover, Lisbeth


    1. andreahejlskov says:

      Hej Lisbeth. Jeg er ikke psykolog, men jeg har studeret psykologi og undervist i personlighedspsykologi på KU/psykologistudiet og arbejdet som børnepsykolog i skive kommune mens jeg skrev mit speciale… som jeg desværre aldrig blev færdig med pga hverdagen. Jeg arbejder ikke som psykolog men lever af at holde foredrag- så tak fordi du kom! 🙂


  7. Just found this post and read both essays…
    I am taking a back…. Not because I am surprised of learning something new, but because it confirms what I already knew. Deep down…. I have to let it settle for a while… Felt like….. BOOM…


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