August 18, 2009
Honoring Life Changes
The Wisdom of Fear
Anything worth doing will always have some fear attached to it. For example, having a baby, getting married, changing careers—all of these life changes can bring up deep fears. It helps to remember that this type of fear is good. It is your way of questioning whether you really want the new life these changes will bring. It is also a potent reminder that releasing and grieving the past is a necessary part of moving into the new.
Fear has a way of throwing us off balance, making us feel uncertain and insecure, but it is not meant to discourage us. Its purpose is to notify us that we are at the edge of our comfort zone, poised in between the old life and a new one. Whenever we face our fear, we overcome an inner obstacle and move into new and life-enhancing territory, both inside and out. The more we learn to respect and even welcome fear, the more we will be able to hear its wisdom, wisdom that will let us know that the time has come to move forward, or not. While comfort with fear is a contradiction in terms, we can learn to honor our fear, recognizing its arrival, listening to its intelligence, and respecting it as a harbinger of transformation. Indeed, it informs us that the change we are contemplating is significant, enabling us to approach it with the proper reverence.
You might wish to converse with your fear, plumbing its depths for a greater understanding of the change you are making. You could do this by sitting quietly in meditation and listening or by journaling. Writing down whatever comes up—your worries, your sadness, your excitement, your hopes—is a great way to learn about yourself through the vehicle of fear and to remember that fear almost always comes alongside anything worth doing in your life.