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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Danaan Parry, Fear of Transformation

we are at the beginning of our journey. i stumbled across this excerpt while doing some reading and it really really struck a chord with me. i definitely feel this way as we are making a life change, an attitude change, a view point change.

Sometimes I feel that i my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I'm hurtling across space in between trapeze bars I spend most of the time hanging on for dear life to mytrapeze-bar—of-the-moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I'm merrily (or not so merrily)
swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. |it’s empty, and I know, in that place that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth;my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present, well-known bar to move to the new one, Each time it happens to me, I hope that I won't have to grab the new one. But in that knowing place I know I must totally release my grasp on the old bar, and for some moment in time hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new one. Each time, I am filled with terror. It doesn't matter that in all my previous hurtles across
the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on the unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of "the past is gone, the future is not yet here." |it’s called transition. I have
come to believe that this is the place where real change occurs. I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a "no—
thing", a no-place between places. Sure the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new one coming towards me, I hope that's real too. But the void in between? That's just a scary, confusing, disorienting "nowhere" that must be gotten through as fast and unconsciously as possible. What a waste! I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up, to avoid where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places.
They should be honored, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can (but not necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives. And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but Rather giving ourselves permission to "hang-out" in the transition between trapeze
bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the place where change happens. lt can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.