"Change" and I have a bit of a complicated relationship. On one hand, I love the idea of change, the thrill of taking a risk, the endless possibilities of the future. I was raised to believe that the world was mine for the taking, that I could do anything I set my mind to, and that I could make a real impact with my life.
But when it comes down to it, change actually petrifies me. There have been several instances in my life where the transition from one season to the next sent me into a full-on panic:
The evening I knew I was getting proposed to.
The night before my wedding day.
[I promise this is no reflection on my sweet husband, lol]
The moment we put in an offer for our first home.
That time when I decided to quit my secure job to become an entrepreneur.
The conversation where we agreed to start trying for kids.
The decision to scale up our business (multiple times, lol).
I can vividly recall my feelings before each one of those moments: stomach in knots, head spinning, face all warm. And I hate to sound ungrateful, because all the things listed above are nothing but blessing after blessing! But still... it's change. It can be a scary thing, and I don’t think we talk about that enough. That it's okay to be apprehensive, even of the good things in life. It's how you cope and move forward that counts.
The people in my life who know me and have walked me through these moments could probably write a manual on how to get me to cope: Some breathing. Reminders of what is true, while not dismissing my fears. Giving me space. And, gracefully always, the room and permission to back out if I feel uncomfortable and unready.
But each time, in each one of these instances, as I was white-knuckling the present, I knew that the only thing holding me back from the goodness that was to come was my own fear.
Fear of commitment.
What if I feel trapped in marriage?
Fear of failure.
What if WonderHere bombs?
Fear of the unknown.
What if I'm not maternal enough?
But I promised myself long ago that I would not live a life dictated by fear.
Take a look at deciduous trees, for example. They spend spring and summer flaunting their bright green pigment. Then, autumn approaches and it's showtime. Their leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. People hike to them, flocking under their branches for the perfect snapshot. Children collect their lovely leaves as keepsakes. An unknowing tree might think it has hit its peak.
Then, winter comes. And one-by-one the leaves fall to the ground, their stunning shades succumbing to a moldy brown. The tree has all but appeared to die.
What if, in trying so desperately not to die, the tree were to try to hold on to those autumn leaves? It would never see its greenness again. But the tree knows the cycle of life. It knows it must surrender to a new season to be made whole again.
We cannot reach new levels in our life without embracing surrender to the new season ahead. And friend, you were not made to stay stagnant. You were made to flourish so very vibrantly. Live in that truth today.
[I'm currently working on a simple tool to help decipher feelings of fear and anxiety... something that has worked for me in the past. Let me know, how do you cope with feelings like this? (if you have them). Comment below!]