I'm preparing to let go of my safe space in the new year, my word for the year is 'fearless'. But what exactly does this mean? To be without fear is to be able to eliminate all risk and uncertainty before acting. To have perfect and complete knowledge, control every outcome. Is that really possible? Waiting for that level of certainty and knowledge, might mean we will never be 'ready' to act. The worst kind of procrastination.
So for me, 'fearless' does not mean to be unafraid, but rather to acknowledge fear and act despite it. Be ready to start with my 'imperfect' knowledge. Let go of the need to control every outcome.
I remember this poem I first came across in my teens. It has meant different things at different times, but always resonated with me for the beautiful, daring, and sometimes painful, process of change. And the gift that's waiting on the other side. What do you have to let go of, so you can take that next step?
YES IT HURTS
Yes it hurts when buds burst.
Why otherwise would spring hesitate?
Why otherwise was all warmth and longing
locked under pale and bitter ice?
What fever for the new compels it to burst?
Yes it hurts when buds burst,
there is pain when something grows
and when something must close.
Yes it hurts when the ice drop melts.
Shivering, anxious, swollen it hangs,
gripping the twig but beginning to slip -
its weight tugs it downward, though it
It hurts to be uncertain, cowardly,
to feel the pull and call of the depth,
yet to hang and only shiver -
to want to remain, keep firm -
yet want to fall.
Then, when it is worst and nothing helps,
they burst, as if in ecstasy, the first buds of
when fear itself is compelled to let go,
they fall in a glistening veil, all the drops
from the twig,
blinking away their fears of the new,
shutting out their doubts about the
feeling for an instant how this is their
to trust in the daring
that shapes the world.
_ Karin Boye (translated from the original Swedish)