So many people are afraid of change. There is even a word for it: kainotophobia. Who knew? Ah, I love learning new words!
Any change, even change for the better, is accompanied by discomfort, fear and anxiety. And why wouldn’t it be? Change is fucking hard. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and in many cases, forces us to examine the choices we have made in our lives to date. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Sadly, I know many people who are unhappy in their marriages, miserable, but unwilling to separate or even address their unhappiness with their partner. They are afraid of being alone, breaking up their family, fearful of their spouse’s reaction, worried about a change in their financial status, terrified of raising their children on their own and so many other excuses.
In my less than professional opinion, I suspect that most people are afraid of the unpredictable nature of change; how your world can suddenly alter and present you with an entirely different set of experiences. Change also reminds us of time passing, and ultimately, of death. Why would we want to be reminded of death? Total downer.
While going through my own separation & divorce, I set a goal with the help of Bev Pugh, my amazing therapist: to live my life with authenticity. Choosing that particular goal was an extremely personal decision, and one that I work daily to achieve. My definition of authenticity is that I remain true to myself, to keep an open heart & an open mind, to not hurt others, to have compassion, and to forgive. And if I do mess up, as I do once and again, I will admit it, apologize and do my best to right my wrong. Most importantly, I have vowed to never be afraid of change, but to always look at it as an opportunity for growth.
I seem to be quoting Anais Nin a lot lately, but once again, her words have perfectly articulated my current state of mind: “And the day came when the risk it took to remain light inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” My new Pyrrha talisman represents change. My original necklace – the Martlet reference in my previous post had to be returned because the person who gave it to me turned out to be less martlet, more chicken. Someone who was unwilling to change. His actions wounded me, but in trying to stay true to my goal to forgive, I sincerely hope that one day, he too will achieve authentic happiness.
So, coming full circle, I had better go change: I have a date tonight