“I have accepted fear as a part of life—specifically the fear of change…I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.” ~Erica Jong

Cathy Newton has been a speaker at one of my Midlife Divorce Recovery Boot Camps. She’s wonderful and fun! At the back of her book Living in Full Swing says, she is “an inspirational speaker, workshop facilitator and author who helps professionals take on challenge, improve performance and regain energy through purposeful risk taking.” She does the same for women who are facing midlife divorce and want to move forward.

She tells a story about living in an old remodeled farmhouse and her discovery of a 5 foot long black snake in the crawl space of their “un-remodeled cellar laundry room.” Her husband who had grown up on a farm told her that black snakes were “good snakes.” He got her a book and told her about why black snakes were actually good to have around your house. (Maybe not IN your house, but close by!) Armed with new information to quiet her pounding heart, Cathy grew to accept “Blackie,” and saw him on several other occasions.

She faced her fear. What is your snake? What do you fear? Moving? Supporting Yourself? Being Alone?  Learn about it. Evaluate its real threat. Get information and tools to deal with it.  Whenever I speak to large audiences, I initially  deal with a few fears of my own. I used to worry that I’d mess up.  But I would study and re-study my topic,take a deep breath and recognize the value of sharing my divorce story to help others and those things give me new courage.

And here’s the really cool thing:  the God of the universe has promised to give me “a spirit of power and love and self-control” as well.  I still have fears, but when I calmly face them, I can keep “my snake” in a place where it can do some good. What’s your snake today? Don’t let it stop your journey forward. Face it … and don’t turn back despite the temporary pounding of your heart!

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity and fear, but a spirit of power and love and self control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

P.S.  Every time we face a fear and move forward anyway, we get stronger!

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