Fear of Change


Fear of Change

It is interesting to me how fear and anxiety can keep so much of life at bay, locked up and hidden away. We (myself included) shrink back from fully living out of anxiety. The fearful unknown that blocks our path. Keeping us from the unrealized possibilities we sense within us.

I had a reminder of that recently. After Christmas I went for walking holiday in the Wye Valley along the Welsh border near Symonds Yat.
I was walking along the Wye river on a cold, clear winters day. The valley was wreathed in fog and frost, just kissed by the low winters Sun. I was walking in the bright open fields, glorious sunshine and frosty sparkles on every tree.  I was delighted at first, snapping away merrily with my camera. The light steaming through the misty trees was ethereal.

I walked for a while before coming to a bend in the river where the path plunged into a copse of trees. In time the path became quieter, darker, the fog chill and dense. The kind of scene where to creepy music starts playing at the cinema. Then I saw it ahead in the gloom. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, and not because of the cold.

Fear of Change on the path
A fearful Spectre on the path
Ahead of me on the path, twinning itself in wraithly mist, was a gravestone. Rising out of the cold sodden earth it barred the way forward.

I half expected a black wraith to emerge from behind the stone and drag me away.

At this point I was thinking perhaps the pub back at the start sounded like a great idea. Turnaround, bit of pub lunch, a beer, or two, nice fire.

I wavered with the choice. Go ahead through the fear or head back to the safety and security of the pub?

I inched forward, not out of any conviction of actually passing the stone. More a sense that my path was ahead and whatever fearful dangers, real or (entirely) imagined, could be challenged.

With fear quickening my pulse I eased forward, snapping away with my camera. I figured if this WAS the Blair Witch project I wanted at least to get some good photos out of it!

As I eased ever closer to the stone,the gloom began to fade. I realized that the path did not end at the gravestone, as I had feared. It turned a corner at the stone and went around.

Fear is passed
A protected remnant at the turning point

The stone was enclosed in a iron fence which protected it from vandals. It was the stone that needed protecting, not me! Phew.

From this angle, the stone was a remnant of the past.
A marker of a turning point in the path, a place with difficult history, but with courage and sensitivity it could be crossed, in time, to a new direction.
It is curious to me that the more I work with people the more I realize that the fearful, difficult places within us are remnants. Remnants that need our protection and understanding to become what they are now. Markers, touchstones in our lives that we can fully appreciate and move on to new directions.

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