Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Happens to us all. Whether facing an old foe or a new one, we sometimes stand startled at what lies ahead.
When forced into a change—be it job related, a personal transition, a realization that your way of being isn’t working anymore—so often we feel as if punched in the gut. So often we feel that forces have conspired against us.
Any change is hard, and the closer to your core, the tougher it is. That’s part of the reason we stay in bad relationships—it’s easier to deal with the demon you know than let go and face the unknown. Ditto with a bad job situation. When thinking of either of those that devil pops up and says, “You’ll be all alone. You can’t make it on your own. Who else will ever love you? What if you starve?” Or any litany of deep fears that arise to grab you by the throat.
In our parents’ generation, for example (or perhaps grandparents’!), people tended to work for the same company their entire lives. Not so today. And while those in their thirties may be used to switching jobs and movin’ on up, that gets harder in your forties and fifties. Older workers forced into job (or career) changes face not only their own trepidations, but having to interview again for the first time in decades, and dealing with negative perceptions of whether they can do the job as well as younger cohorts.
I’ve talked with countless (yes, this is pervasive) women in their thirties, enmeshed in abusive relationships. Many with children, many without. A part of them wants to leave, to begin again. But the litany of difficult issues that arise can stop them in their tracks. Unfortunately, often an “event” is needed to force them out. And that event is never pretty . . .
Or perhaps whatever is occurring in your life is strictly about you and your psychology. You know you need a change in x, y, or z, which sounds simple enough until you study what that journey of self-discovery will be about, and then daunted, you sit back and try not to panic.
Our fear of change comes from the little self, that part of us attached to our labels. “I’m a teacher.” Or, “I’m Mrs. So and So.” Or, “I run marathons.” Or, “I live in Highland Park.” And while yes, this is your outer self, the one people see, it’s not really who you are. It’s the literal tip of the iceberg, the true part far greater as it descends into the deep. Who you are is devoid of labels, the truly changeless part of you that cannot be taken away, no matter what. It cannot be birthed, it cannot be killed. It just is.
Whatever stands before you, great courage is necessary to face it. Because again, change of any sort hits us where we live. God knows I’ve had to be forced into it, sometimes kicking and screaming, in order to take that first step.
As Father Richard Rohr says, we resist change “Because it asks us to let go, and we’re not good at letting go. We’re good at holding on.” https://cac.org/richard-rohr#
Pretty much sums it up.
But here’s the deal: Once you take that first step, the second one is easier. Because the first step is about committing, and the second is action. Any time the body or mind focuses on the action, it takes a tiny bit of the fear away and uses it as energy. The more steps you take, the more you whittle away at that fear. And the more you can use its energy to help you fly.
Connect to that boundless soul within you—whatever you perceive that to be. And then face the biggest fear first.
You can do this. I know you can. If I can, anyone can! Gather up your courage—it’s there. I promise. Face the thing, whatever it is. Begin your life anew—in whatever form that takes. Richness lies down that path. The kind that sustains you.
Truly, I believe in you.