Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I admit it. I stayed in an unhappy marriage for too long.

Initially, I did this for all the right reasons or what I call my favorite reason…LOVE.

But ultimately even I was smart enough to realize any type of unhealthy relationship cannot be defined as love.

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That’s when the secondary reason for staying hindered me more than the first…FEAR.

I think we all look forward to the New Year for the same reasons – Hope, Promise, Renewal, and Change.

It’s exciting to grab some old fashioned pen and paper and scribble down our internal promises. Or design a graphic laptop presentation for an audience of one.

If only we kept our word to ourselves as well as we did with others.

I think perhaps there is a way to finally be diligent to our one true self. Rather than pen the pounds we plan on losing or the new devotion to volunteer work, we ask ourselves one life changing question…

What do we fear most?

Is it the fear of leaving a job or switching to a new career?

Is it the fear of leaving a bad relationship or of meeting someone new?

Is it the move to a new town even though you have outgrown your current world?

Certainly, we ask ourselves some of these questions when we make our brand new bucket lists. However,  just writing resolutions without diagnosing all of the accompanying fears can hinder them from happening. And none of us really want to write our ugly apprehensions next to those pretty new feature accomplishments we demand of our next 52 weeks.

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But if we do not examine our past we are unable to change our future.

And often, we devotedly pack our fears up and carry them on from one year to the next. 

Case in point:

When I put a divorce on my list of resolutions, literally, the next morning I was singing in the shower. Had I been wiser, I would have shadowed it with a list of accompanying fears. I naively believed I was conquering all my fears at once. I would leave without retirement (who needs money – I have my kids and future happiness). I would be a single woman again. That was certainly scary.

I was in denial. I told myself leaving alone was conquering my worst fear. And it was to a degree but I pushed those other fearful realities deep down inside of me. This isn’t all bad. Many of us would never divorce or tackle a new business had we known exactly what we would encounter. But I am a grown woman. I knew there were most certainly other fears I believed I could avoid.

But I could have been more honest with myself and more educated about divorce. I should have looked at the worst case scenarios. The greatest fears. Being out in the world potentially starting over with nothing. I believe had I done that I would have achieved my goal the first year. Instead, it became a three plus year goal.

It is no different for smaller goals such as losing twenty pounds. 

We swear to lose the lbs. Make the gym a priority. We never really confront and document the fears that may accompany our individual goals. Will staying in this town that I hate prevent me from achieving this weight loss? Will I ever walk away from the wine long enough while I stay in this unhappy relationship? Will I be motivated to rise early enough as long as I barely want to wake up for the job I hate?

We can’t accomplish our goals fully until we address the secret fears which may potentially thwart them.

Now I would make a resolution which looked something like this:

GOAL:

A divorce and to be happy starting over in the New Year.

FEARS TO FREE IN ACHIEVING SAID GOAL:

  1. Are you willing to leave your home immediately if need be?
  2. Are you willing to walk away with zero money if need be and not just retirement?
  3. Are you willing to disrupt your entire comfort zone for this one change?
  4. Are you willing to walk away from friendships?
  5. Are you willing to ignore judgments?
  6. Are you willing to accept the antiquities of the legal system?

The answer would have been no. At that time, I didn’t believe divorce could mean confronting so many fears. I thought I could baby step my way into a brand new world. Do I regret my decision? Not one bit. Do I wish I had been more prepared and achieved my goal sooner? Absolutely!

To achieve our happiness we have to be ALL IN!

Life changing goals are not for the faint of heart!

To lose that twenty pounds, we may have to ask ourselves am I bold enough to change jobs, relationships or move in order to achieve this?

Our fears must be confronted to keep our internal promises to ourselves.

If not, we limp along wasting time as fear keeps nipping at our toes.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels )
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