Die to old beliefs and to what doesn’t work and old ideas and rise up new and fresh.
“Sometimes I Feel” by Danaan Parry
Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging onto a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in life, I’m hurtling across the space between trapeze bars. I’m hanging on for dear life to my trapeze bar for the moment.
But for most of the time, I spend my life hanging on for dear life to my trapeze bar. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the right questions, even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I’m merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along, I look out ahead of me in the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging towards me.
It’s empty and I know in that place in me that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It’s my next step – my aliveness coming to get me. And, in my heart of hearts, I know that for me to grow, I have to release my grip on the present well-known bar to move onto the new one.
Now, each time this happens to me, I hope, I pray that I won’t have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on the old bar, and for some moment in time, I must hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar.
Each time, I’m filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of knowing, I have always made it. Each time, I’m afraid I’ll miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks at the bottom of the chasm between the bars, but I do it anyway. Maybe this is the essence of what the mystics call “the faith experience.” No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy. You do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer on the list of life-giving alternatives.
And so, for an eternity that can last a microsecond of a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void. The past is gone. The future is not yet here.
It’s called transition.
I’ve come to believe this is the only place where real change occurs. I mean, REAL change. Not that pseudo change that only lasts until my old buttons get pushed again. I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a ‘no thing,’ as a ‘no place’ between places.
Sure, the old trapeze bar was real. The new one coming towards me, well, I hope that’s real, too. But the void between is just a scary, confusing, disorienting nowhere that must be gotten through as fast and as unconsciously as possible. What a waste. What a waste.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and that the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid the void where real change occurs.
Now, whether my hunch is true or not, it remains that the transition zones of our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored and savored. With all the pain and the fear and the feeling of being out of control that can accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, growth-filled, passionate moments in our lives.
And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather giving ourselves permission to hang out in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab the new bar is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where real change happens. It can seem terrifying. It can also seem enlightening in the true sense of the word. Hurtling across the void, we may just learn how to fly.