By Beth Gillem
With fall quickly approaching, it seems that the mad rush to do all the “lasts” of summer begins and the “to do” lists for the start of fall rapidly grow. It happens every year.
There is an implied ending and beginning that happens in September. People ask, “Have you had a good summer?” or, “Are you ready for fall?” There is something about a fresh start—a new school year, new backpacks, and new notebooks—that brings a nervous, excited energy with it.
In You’ve Got Mail, Joe Fox attempts to woo Kathleen Kelly with a line that I believe we all connect with: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
The potential for growth, new ideas, and possible adventures in a new season is almost palpable. But with this excitement, questions and doubt can loom overhead causing us to stall. We start replaying scenes from our past where we get hurt again or make a fool of ourselves or fail. We can’t ignore how scary new beginnings can be.
In The Healing Path, Dan Allender writes: “We will project the past into every new moment and either repeat our past themes of victimization or marvel at the work of God in redeeming us in spite of our questions and doubt.”
There is hope in new beginnings. Hope that we can have another good year or hope that this year will be nothing like the last. When we listen to our fear and talk to someone about it, it can propel us to long for more rather repeating the past. We can forge new paths with an awareness that fear will always accompany us in unfamiliar territory.
In The Voice of the Heart, Chip Dodd says the gift of fear is wisdom and faith. “Fear brings us strength. It is the feeling that allows us to experience risk, trust, dependency, collaboration, and, ultimately, wisdom because it helps us realize our need for help.”
What kind of energy does the fall bring you? Is it the end of vacation? Are you starting a new school year? What does watching the hustle and bustle of new beginnings bring up in you? Do you feel stuck in the mundane when everyone else seems to be experiencing new beginnings?
If you need help moving forward in a new season, contact a Sage Hill counselor today.
Beth is a therapist and group facilitator at Sage Hill Counseling in Nashville. She provides a place for individuals and couples to begin to live integrated lives by helping them explore their story, engage their heart, and develop a deeper passion.