Fear and changes

When I began writing this article, I didn’t know where to start. Fear is such an integral part of our lives that I had difficulty putting the concepts on paper.

Fear – defN : A painful emotion or passion excited by the expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger; apprehension; anxiety; solicitude; alarm; dread. – an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)

Synonyms and related words: Fright, horror, panic, concern, care, anxiety, revere, awe, weak, falter, debate, unease, anticipate, suspicion, and the list goes on and on.

Looking at these definitions, synonyms and related words, we can start to see the impact fear has in our lives. Take the time to look around and notice how we are often in a state of fear. We have learned to make it part of who we are. So where does that leave us when we try to become our SELF?

Most of us have learned that becoming our self is not a good thing; it’s not the right thing. We try to define who we are by how people want us to be. How often have we said, done or not done something because we thought it would make another person happy or unhappy? How many of us tell ourselves that ‘it makes me happy when I make you happy’? Why does it become a problem when the other person doesn’t recognize what we have done ‘for them’? There are always consequences for the choices we make. Often it is oneself who ends up paying. We learn to become what we think ‘others’ want us to be but not our Self. When we finally make the choice to become ourselves, we come across so much opposition from others, and, most importantly, from our self, that it would seem much easier to revert back to the way we were than to make the change.

We are very capable of lying to ourselves about our own fears. We develop our own mechanisms that can convince us that we are not afraid. “I just don’t have the time, the energy, the space, etc”. The time excuse is a very common one, we have all used it. We don’t have the time because we don’t, or won’t, make the time. Why don’t we make the time?, because…. Most of the time the ‘because’ hides something deeper. The partner, the kids, the job, the neighbour, even the dog; all other things are worth the time and effort but NOT ME. How many of us put our life on hold until life passes by…. How many people have thought: “Oh, I’m just a little person, nobody important. I don’t have ‘grand’ things to accomplish, to do, to say.” Stop thinking like that. Every person has his or her own worth and nobody else can have that value, that importance and that place, no matter how big or small each of us may seem to be. Our worth is UNIQUE. People often think that if we are not ‘big’ we have no value, no importance. I’ll try to explain how important and necessary we ALL are by giving some analogies.

Take for example building a house. All of the pieces have their importance, from building the structure to the final little nails that add to the finish. Every piece has its place in the puzzle, no piece is without its reason or importance, whether it be to hold the structure or finish it off so that it looks good.

The following is another possible example. If we take an area rug made of wool and look at it when it is nice and new, and all the threads are in place, we get a beautiful pattern that looks fantastic, as a whole. If we take ONE small thread out, all of a sudden, we miss a bit of the pattern and we see the missing piece, it stands out. It doesn’t matter that the thread is big or small; it is visible that the overall pattern is ‘not right’

The same concept applies when we take ‘our’ place in our lives. We become part of a whole. We complete OUR part of the story and if everybody completes their part, we will have a whole that is complete and ever changing.

Change doesn’t mean: change houses, change jobs or change your spouse, it comes from within. Only when we can welcome the change in us and start being our true SELF, do our surroundings become a reflection of us.

Fear of change, fear of becoming who we were meant to be is very powerful, it can take hold of us and stop us in our tracks. We all have fears and they show their myriad faces at very strange times. However, if we decide to look at them, recognize them, accept them, integrate them, learn to work with them and use them to guide us, we could definitely have a powerful ally. Fear is not our enemy; it can be our ally if we know how to use it as such. To demonstrate what I am trying to say, I’ll use an example. If we were to see black ice on a lake and were unsure of its safety, we would use our fear of it, to be cautious, to move very slowly, to test small areas, but we would still have fear as our ally. If we sense that the ice is unsafe, fear will make us stop from going any further. That is when we have an ally and when we can use it to propel our self towards change in our life and in our SELF.

If we observe ourselves in order to notice how much we let fear dictate our choices, then we can start moving towards some change. Change is not an easy choice. There is a lot of fear involved in making changes and once we have decided to make the change, we come across more fears as we move forward. By keeping in mind our destination, our goal, our vision, our future, we can transform our fears as we encounter them. This demands that we have faith in our choices, in ourselves and in our future. One must also believe that change, regardless of what we knew before, regardless of what we have learned, of what we have lived, of what we have thought before, is not to be feared.

We must dare to have the audacity to look at ourself differently, to live the changes that are required to becoming whole, to Being our SELF. There is nobody else that can be us. Each one of us is unique and must find the way to define what makes us inimitable.

A great teacher once told me to ask myself this question when I was afraid of something/anything.

If I wasn’t afraid of (fill in the blank) what would I do?

Next time you are afraid to move forward, ask yourself this question and let your answers be your guide.

Often we make our choices based on our fears rather than on our goals. Set a goal, aim for it and ask yourself how and why you want to attain it. Give yourself the chance to learn this new part of yourself and grow into it so that you can transform it into a solid part of your SELF.

Most people have forgotten that learning is a process not a result of a decision. Once you have made the decision to create a change take note of your fears, see if they are preventing you from going after what you want and then find the first step in order to create this change in your life. One step at a time allow yourself to learn to integrate this into your life. This is when you know that your decisions are not based on your fears but based on a need to create a change in your life: A change that only YOU can make.


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