They say that the fear of not doing something has to be greater than the fear of doing it in order to move forward into the scary unknown. I’ve heard the Isrealites standing at the Red Sea to be an example of this. It was scary to move across a sea that had opened up to reveal dry ground, but the fear of not doing it, succumbing to Pharaoh’s army was worse.
I have reached a point in my life where the fear of NOT doing something has finally become greater than the fear of the pursuit itself. Schooling has always been a large area of shame for me. An area where I have felt like an imposter and fake. I avoided post secondary education because I had the option to not go. I decided that making my own way provided me with more immediate self-satisfaction, rather than facing my fear and investing in a better version of myself for the long run.
Time has proven that self-improvement is always the better option. The longer I go without facing this fear, the larger the fear of NOT doing it has become the driving force.
I realize that I am of an age where I am still young enough to pursue something great, but old enough that I do not wish to spend the next half decade to a decade in education. I have found my educational foe in the form of a Counselling Diploma offered by The Kelowna College of Professional Counselling. I start August 8th.
Why counseling you ask? I’m so glad you did.
Anyone who has known me a decent length of time may recognize this to be an excellent fit for me without explanation. Perhaps our friendship has actually felt like counselling sessions as we verbally processed our way through life’s trials. Maybe you’re old enough to remember when I was a camp counselor and this seems fitting. Perhaps you were part of the youth ministries I was apart of, and again, counselling seems like a good step for me.
One’s life’s ambitions often come out of a realization of what is lacking in the world, and we can only realize what is lacking when we search for the need of it ourselves and come up empty. No, the world is not lacking in counselors, but being such a relational profession, it can be lacking of those who explicitly understand where we are coming from.
Having an addict in your life is not a unique situation, and resources on discovering what an addict is and the way to recovery are plentiful! When I went on my own journey to discover resources of what it is to be married to an addict, I found there to be little to absorb. I saw a number of counselors on the topic and also found many of them to offer amazing resources and help in trying to understand my husband and his addictions, or how to support him. But what I longed for was someone who knew me, what I was going through and how to walk me through this.
Writing my book was a small step in this journey, a way to offer up an empathetic story to those in similar circumstances. A way for someone to know that what they are experiencing is not uncommon, nor are their chaotic situations and swirling feelings abnormal. Others have been there. I’m realizing that a book and podcast interviews can only go so far in reaching those who are suffering in this journey. If I truly want to have an impact in this realm I need to receive the training required to mentally and emotionally walk alongside people.
I have long-term visions of creating and offering workshops to educate people on what addiction is, how it affects the family and how to best support the addict in your life. I was so naive on this topic walking into my marriage and would have loved the opportunity to learn more about addiction from a supportive standpoint, as well as learn how to self-support.
Looking ahead I no longer see fear in the unknown of my future, I see hope, I see a future where God can use my pain to create something amazing. The fear of not doing it is the only fear surrounding this now. The fear of looking back in five years, wishing I had done it and imagining where I could be if I had only risked it is actually frightening to me.
What have you always put off because it’s too scary? What have you thought about doing but pushed aside thinking it wouldn’t really matter or change your life for the better? Is the fear of not doing it becoming greater than the fear of risking? Listen to that fear. Use your fear of not doing it to motivate you forward, instead of looking at the fear of doing it as pushing you back.