Conquering the Fear of Beginning a New Year

Last week’s post was how to look back with gratitude and appreciate the year that passed, this week’s is about looking forward to the year ahead and conquering the fears we have that accompany change.

I heard recently that only about 8 percent of all people keep their New Year’s resolutions and I believe the reason is that while we may seek positive change we cannot help but internalize the fear of failing to keep the promises we make to ourselves.

While our primitive ancestors had the fear of trying to survive on a day-to-day basis, our fears lie more in our ability to thrive in a world filled with possibilities. Knowing we have these possibilities, and that we may not live up to our ability to fulfill them, is more fearful than facing an external enemy of obstacle.  
To compound it even further, we often times blame ourselves for a lack of discipline to conquer the fear and that adds blame and shame to the equation. For the record, I could easily be the poster boy for this conundrum, but recently I deal with it better – probably the most beneficial part of aging.
Our best answers lies not in having a magic pill or some secret methodology, but in continuing to continue. As I ended last week’s post with the words and wisdom of the great theologian and poet John O’Donohue, I once again turn to his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, for some solace.
Beginnings often frighten us because they seem like lonely voyages into the unknown.  Yet, in truth, no beginning is empty or isolated.  We seem to think that beginning is setting out from a lonely point along some line of direction into the unknown.  This is not the case.  Shelter and energy come alive when a beginning is embraced.  We are never as alone in our beginnings as it might seem at the time.  A beginning is ultimately an invitation to open toward the gifts and growth that are stored up for us.
When the heart is ready for a fresh beginning, unforeseen things can emerge.  And in a sense, this is exactly what a beginning does.  It is an opening for surprises. Beginnings are new horizons that want to be seen; they are not regressions or repetitions.  What is the new horizon in you that wants to be seen? 
For a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown…
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
To find out more about John and to get this cherished work please visit:
May you all awaken that spirit of adventure and soon realize the wonder that awaits you.

Feel free to leave a comment by clicking on “comment” just below this post.

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