“Sometimes, I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments, I’m hurdling across space between the trapeze bars.
Mostly, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to the trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control. 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 looking at me. It’s empty. And I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new 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, I hope – no I pray – that I won’t have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moments in time I must hurtle across space before I can grab the new bar. Each time I do this I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurdles I’ve always made it.
Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless basin between the bars. But I do it anyway. I must. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call faith. No guarantees, no net, no insurance, but we do it anyway because hanging on to that old bar is no longer an option. And so, for what seems to be an eternity but actually lasts a microsecond, I soar across the dark void called “the past is over, the future is not yet here.” It’s called a transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are the illusions we dream up to not notice the void. Yes, with all the fear that can accompany transitions, they are still the most vibrant, growth-filled, passionate moments of our lives. And so transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to “hang out” in the transition zone – between the trapeze bars – allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens.
It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening. Hurdling through the void, we may just learn to fly.”
Danaan Parry’s Warriors of the Heart
I love this passage. It explains perfectly the thoughts and emotions that arise during times of growth and change. Change is terrifying. As humans, we naturally resist the unknown. We weigh all of the options, try to think of all possible outcomes and still sometimes resist or turn our backs on something because we cannot bear not knowing how it will turn out. We accept our present circumstances, not matter how bad they may sometimes be, because we are comfortable and we know what to expect and how to deal with it.
But what if that change, that trapeze bar swinging out in front of you, could be the best thing that ever happened to you?
What if that terrifying transition could lead to the love of your life, the job of your dreams or whatever else you may be wishing for? How will you ever know unless you give it a shot, embrace the unknown, get comfortable with being uncomfortable?
You may be thinking, “well what if I fail?” So what if you fail? You will learn from the experience, make a different decision and move on. Maybe that failure will take you to an even better place. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that the hardest years of my life would have led me to my dream career and the happiness that I now have in my life. The terrifying years of sickness, worrying about money and paying medical bills, not knowing whether I would ever feel better again. But it’s always darkest before the dawn. Our darkest hours lead to our brightest days. The Universe wouldn’t have it any other way. Everything we go through takes us closer to our true selves. The lives we are meant to lead.
So next time time that trapeze bar of change comes to you, don’t turn away because of fear of failure or fear of the unknown. Embrace the change with your whole heart. Enlist the support of those you love and take a chance. Trust me, you will land on your two feet. It may be an adventure, don’t get me wrong, but you will feel empowered, alive and vibrant. Have a little faith and see what happens.
Peace, love and taking chances,