facing-fearA great block to nourishment of the soul is distrust. We don’t trust ourselves, so we stay rooted in the easy and convenient. We eliminate as much pain as we can from our lives and end up painted into a corner we call safety. Safety is the most unsafe spiritual path you can take. Safety keeps you numb and dead. People are caught by surprise when it is time to die. They have allowed themselves to live so little. ~   Stephen Levine

If you are longing for change in your life, ask yourself what is holding you back. Are you stuck and miserable because life keeps you that way? Or are you creating the obstacles in your path?

Sometimes the journey from suffering to wellness is as simple as allowing yourself to be open to the moment,  to letting down your defenses for a brief time and saying yes to life.  Doing this is very often difficult, especially when you feel uncertain and afraid. It involves putting aside your perceived inadequacies and the pain you hold in your heart and trusting that you can make the right decision– that you can learn from your mistakes and succeed where you once failed.

The next time you are facing an important decision, don’t ask yourself, “Should I do this thing?” Instead, ask yourself, “What options do I have?” Life doesn’t give you the choice of moving forward or staying in one place. You either grow and evolve or you stagnate and decay.

You do not need take a giant, scary leap to make a difference in your life.  You just need to trust yourself enough to jump off that first step.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Journaling Exercise

Confronting your fear of taking control of your life is the most difficult thing you will ever do, and the most important. Until you stop being afraid of taking responsibility for what happens to you, you will never find real meaning in your life, and you will never know who you really are.

Today, begin the process of dismantling your fears by making a list of the thoughts and beliefs that stand in the way of your taking charge of your life. Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of success? Are you afraid of embarrassment or humiliation? Are you afraid of losing the love of people in your life? Be specific. Write down exactly what you believe will happen if you do the things that you are afraid to do. Then ask yourself two questions:

How realistic is this fear?

What is the worst thing that can happen if it comes to pass?

Challenging your fear with logic will not make the feeling of being afraid disappear, but it will help you find the courage to act in spite of what you feel.

Next exercise: Gratitude

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