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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Greeting the Unknown

Leaving the familiar behind is not something all of us do easily. It may create stress, worry, and fear, and therefore many people do their best to avoid it. Yet it is at the threshold of the unknown that growth, expansion, and adventure may take place.

How else was the New World discovered, how else did the first moon landing take place? How else were so many of the objects we take for granted invented? The submarine, the airplane, the microscope, and the printing press, not to mention digital technology in all its wonders that lead us to even more 'magical' discoveries!

I am also reminded of a 2008 movie I've enjoyed so much that over the years I've seen it several times. It relates the true story of a journalist out to get a coveted scoop, yet who winds up on some strange by-ways due to the vagaries of his situation, and is then faced with the unknown which he not only fears, but which - in modern terms - freaks him out. Nevertheless, he takes on the challenge, never realizing the riches that will come to him thanks to it. The title of that film is The Children of Huang Shi.

And on a very personal level, when you leave a familiar job routine to take on a promotion with greater responsibilities, even if you remain within the same firm, or when you leave a comfortable job to take on a new one, even if it's in the same city, but with new colleagues, new systems, and many other unknown factors, or when you start a new relationship, when you have a child, when you move to a new city or country, when you start some inner work on yourself (whether in therapy or otherwise), when you start a degree at university, or even simply when you dare to change your appearance in ways that are apparent to others, and hence expose you to comments (good or bad), you are taking a step into the unknown.

How do you greet it? Do you look forward to meeting all the unknown elements of this new sector of your life, in the knowledge that this will change you in ways you are not yet familiar with, and that in that changing, you will not only grow, but also become more of what you can be? Do you allow yourself to see the miraculous in that possibility? Do you actively look for change of this type?

If the answer is a lukewarm yes or a maybe, or perhaps even a downright no, then please remember what I wrote above: it is at the threshold of the unknown that growth, expansion, and adventure take place. Crossing thresholds always implies risks, but frequently also fear. Allow yourself to greet the trepidation, worry, or fear as a friend that has the potential to bring you to new places, and such potential is worth gold. Saying hello to the unknown is frequently akin to greeting a stranger who will somehow show you riches beyond belief.


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"Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin"


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