When we first encounter an unknown in our life, we struggle with our fears. We wrestle with finding “the right answer”. Anxiety, frustration, and often tears accompany this process. We feel irritable and, secretly, a bit crazed.
But all this wrestling does not imply we are stuck, have a “problem”, or have done anything wrong. It is something we all must go through on the way to acceptance.
Recently, I grappled with trying to make a particular career decision that I felt had to be made. Upon finally figuring it out, and making a choice, I felt frightened when things didn’t seem to go “as planned”. Parts of me grew desperate, and I began formulating arguments and plans of action in my head of how I could twist my situation into my expectation.
As the day wore on, I could feel my anxiety rise and nervous energy stream through my body. The entire day I felt distracted as if I were searching for a safe zone and finding none. When I finally realized my mind was struggling with an awareness of something I could not force, I relaxed.
Something in me was morphing into clarity and acceptance by going through this ‘boogy-man” fear phase. This realization didn’t make it go away, but it did provide some distance and a bit of relief. I didn’t have to control it, I just had ride it out. Feeling lighter, I took a panoramic view of the situation and saw various paths. I knew in order to be free I had to release the situation. I had to get neutral.
We get neutral by trying on each outcome. Visualizing the “worst case scenario” isn’t a bad thing. It helps our minds feel prepared. And with a plan, even a tentative one containing just a next step, we feel the confidence of “I’ll handle it. I’ll be okay”. Once we calm the part that fears for our safety, we are able to let go.
By stretching toward conscious surrender (and rarely gracefully), we finally break through the paradigm of fear. The gates are released, and we walk out free of our need to control a future or situation. Sanity returns and we are able to stand right where we are, present again in our lives and not in our heads.
Grappling through your fear grounds you in a deeper truth because you face the fear and reach a calming certainty in yourself. No longer trusting certain outcomes for your safety and happiness, you trust your Self.
“God’s plan for your salvation will work, other plans will not… [In God’s plan] is your full release from all your insane attempts and mad proposals to free yourself. They have led to depression and anger, but God’s plan will succeed. It will lead to your release and joy.”
A Course in Miracles