I have just finished reading a great article where the writer was talking about her decision to approach her fears differently. Instead of saying “I’m afraid…” she is now saying “I’m aware.. ” Small changes in words, big changes in intention.
It may seem like playing with semantics but it changes “I’m afraid of coming out to my family” to “I’m aware that my family may need some time to adjust and understand but ultimately they love me”. It changes “I’m afraid of making some changes in my life” to “I’m aware that in order to make changes I am going to have to make some commitments to myself”. It turns “I’m afraid of being alone” into “I’m aware that things can change and I am going to love and enjoy the people I care about while I can”. It takes you from a place of anticipating the bad stuff to living more consciously and in a more productive way.
In my work in a women’s health centre I hear it all the time… I’m afraid to leave my abusive partner, get off the drugs, come out to my family, admit that the abuse I suffered wasn’t my fault, change my living circumstances, take the steps I need to get better….. Insert your own brand of sadness and difficulty here. Perhaps this new approach combined with lots of support could turn some really difficult situations into an opportunity to get back on track.
How much more empowering is it to say “I’m aware that things could be better and these are the ways I’m going to go about changing things” rather than feeling stuck and scared. I know that it is not that simple but surely it’s a better place to start.
Granted, not everyone is dealing with such difficult issues but we all have things that hold us back and keep us from moving along in a self directed and productive way. I’m going to try it the next time I’m alone in the house at night !
What are you afraid / aware of ???