“Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.”
When I was in the thick of therapy, and trying to make decisions about whether I was going to remain in my marriage or leave it, the driving force to stay was for my children.
I was telling my therapist that I would leave if it weren’t for my children. I realized I was ready to go and wanted to go, but for their sake I wouldn’t.
The response I got was that “people never, ever remain in a marriage because of love or because of their children. They’ll tell themselves that’s why they’re staying, but that’s never the real reason.”
“People remain in unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships because of fear. Possibly fear of being on their own, fear of failing, or of never finding love again. Whatever the reason, it’s always because of fear.
“We want to tell ourselves it’s love”, she said. “but love would never settle for anything less than the best. It would never settle for a dysfunctional relationship that keeps you unhealthy and emotionally twisted. Love always demands the best for us and of us.”
Fear is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Fear disguises itself as love, but you can recognize that it’s fear because it will keep you living from your smallest self, in a state of confusion, uncertainty, and self-doubt.
Whether it’s staying in an unhappy marriage, or staying in a job that no longer fulfills you, if fear is directing your decisions, it will keep you small.
Make your decisions from a place of love – never fear. Love feels expansive, light and freeing. Fear will feel heavy, restricting, and small.
Alexandra Franzen shares a beautiful story about love choice vs. fear choice. She was teaching a writing workshop and shares a conversation she had with one of her workshop attendees:
“…are you joining us for dinner?” I ask. “It’s not mandatory. But most of us are going. Should be groovy.”
Lindsay pauses, just for a beat. And then, with a face as certain and calm as the dawn, she replies:
“My Fear Choice is yes, I’ll come. Because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll miss out on something important. But my Love Choice is no, I’ll skip the group dinner. Because my body wants to rest, and my mind wants time alone to recharge and integrate what we’ve worked on today. I have to go with my Love Choice.”
I splutter out four words I rarely utter: “Can you repeat that?”
Because every decision on the horizon just got twenty times simpler. Like boom.
Fear Choice vs. Love Choice.
Which will you choose?”
I love that. Get conscious about which choice you are making today. Fear or Love? You get to choose!