“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
The word CHANGE. What does it bring up for you? Do you notice joy, fear, excitement, anxiety, or dread? In the marketing world, I’ve been told, “Don’t use the word “change” in your marketing, it will scare people, they don’t like change.”
So that’s exactly why I’m going to talk about it. Because I like to talk about things that I know will be helpful for you to hear in order for you to live a more happy and peaceful life.
You can think about change in two ways:
The kind of change that it’s your choice to decide, and you’re looking forward to the change like, “I know I am done with this job. I can’t wait till my last day, and I have my dream job lined up to start next week” or “I’m really excited about this new house I’m moving into, I love the south facing windows.”
And the other kind of change that we either don’t agree to, or are resistant to, sounds something like, “My spouse just left me and she/he has moved out” or “I’m not happy at my job, but I don’t know what else to do, and I have lots of bills to pay.” You sense there is a change coming, but you don’t know where to go, or what to do, and feel somewhat paralyzed and either depressed or resentful about staying in your job, or really scared about taking a step forward, or both.
What I’m going to address is the change that we resist. The change that we don’t want. The change that keeps us up at night, the change that causes anxiety, causes fear, causes depression, and causes pain.
In general, we don’t like change. Why? Because it’s scary. Why is it scary? Because it brings us into the unknown. It also breaks apart beliefs we have been carrying with us for maybe our whole lives, or shatters a commitment we thought was important, or causes us to dig deep into our soul and ask for help from others. It causes us to be uncomfortable, and sometimes vulnerable.
And often, this kind of change is a step in letting go of the person we thought we were or the life we thought we wanted to have, to create space for the person that we are meant to be and the life that we are meant to have.
There have been phases in my life where I was literally grieving over letting go of some part of myself and who I thought I was or should be, or a job that I thought I liked but didn’t feel right, or a relationship I thought was perfect, but wasn’t.
Sobbing in bed, or feeling deep sadness helped me let go of these things, along with TRUSTING myself and what my body and heart were telling me. And, WoW, was there resistance at times. Everything in my body yelled “NO, NO, NO.” That’s the struggle that we feel, the tightness in the chest, the sleepless nights, the mind running rampant, the fatigue. We are resisting what life, intuition, and our body wisdom are telling us.
“What we resists persists.” I still hear these words echo in my mind as I recall sitting with my teacher Matthew at each of the four retreats I’ve attended with him. He said these words at every retreat. Why? Because it takes a lot of repetition to actually hear it!!
The more we resist, the more struggle we have, the more anxiety, the more sleepless nights, the more fatigue…you get the picture. It’s like leaning against a wall believing that if you push hard enough it will go away, and actually what happens is that the wall gets bigger, and thicker, and taller, and grows limbs, and hair, and hands to push back, enough to knock you to the ground. And the wall is not external to you, it’s within you, in your psyche, in your beliefs, and in your resistance to change.
In reality, the only constant in life is change. You are not in control, and you never will be. Let go. Surrender. Open to what is. Open to the unknown. Trust. Trust that life will work out. This is not an acquiescence to life, a giving up, or throwing in the towel. It’s allowing the possibility that life is being lived through you. And when you open to this possibility, the struggle will stop. I guarantee it.
Categories: Conflict & Forgiveness