We are people who live each day by handling and managing a broad spectrum of emotions. Everything from anger to enthusiasm and anything in between may come across during the course of one normal day in our life. As adults we have learned – mostly – how to handle our emotions and process through them. The emotions themselves are not really the challenge, the problem is knowing how to process, live and learn through it all without feeling like a complete basket case or mess.
I had a conversation with someone this week about taking a new path in their future. They talked about facing a new stage in life and were not sure how they truly felt about it all. I told them this quote:
I reminded them that doubt and fear are natural when things change, even if we are choosing to make a change. What we will face in the future is unknown, and that can be scary, disconcerting and even frightening. We have become so settled in our current way of things that the thought of making a change pulls out all the emotional stops. I reminded them that change is ever present in our lives, a welcomed release from horrible circumstances or even makes unplanned happenstances a joyous surprise. Each day we navigate change in all shapes and sizes, we get used to it to the point that when we choose to change things doubt and fear creep in. It is going from the known to the unknown that makes us navigate, activate our resilience to a whole new level.
We then talked about the positive side of doubt. The things it is making them think about, process, dream could happen. This is when faith gets charged up and leads us towards that glimmer of hope knowing we have gotten this far so why not charge full steam ahead into a new phase of life? Why not choose to believe that what is coming will be better, exciting, different and invigorating from our current place? Faith and hope have the power to dare us to believe that we can handle the future, the new things, the possibilities we are facing. It reminds us that we have come this far and have the skills to handle what comes our way tomorrow. Faith is the twin brother of doubt, just like it yet very different.
We ended our conversation with a task. I asked them to write down all the things they are afraid of about the newness of their future. What do they doubt about, write it down. Get it all one paper. Then I asked them to write on a second piece of paper the things they are excited about, what makes them hopeful, giddy, even passionate about making a change. Finally, compare those lists and decide which one is the list they prefer to focus on. And when the emotions around change come rumbling into their brain, pull out the lists and remind themselves of what they think.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves in tangible ways WHY and WHAT we like about our lives, and what we want to change to make it better. A piece of paper and a writing tool are cheap methods to get it all out there. Doubt and faith are indeed twin brothers – fraternal twins in fact – that can rule us if we do not process all they bring to the table. Take time in your own life to process through your own upcoming changes. I think your life is worth a little paper and pen time.