Opportunities for growth are everywhere in our world, everywhere.
We can expand our knowledge in a myriad of ways. Bookstore and library book shelves are full of self help and growth books. Church pews are packed every Sunday in the hopes of growth (of soul saving and being absolved of your day to day sins). The internet is overrun with videos and workshops available for any affliction, there are support groups, self help and spiritual gurus ad nauseam, not to mention legitimate mental health professionals ready to assist.
SO, why are we so resistant to changing or bettering ourselves?
Why do we so often require great, if not catastrophic pain in order to change? Why do we run to the current most socially accepted rehabilitation program to outwardly absolve ourselves of our behaviour only to repeat the behaviour until we lose everything, until we hit bottom? All one has to do is look to the rise in claims ofsex ’addiction’ when husbands and wives are caught on a dating site or sexting photos of their penises or breasts. They claim addiction in order to absolve themselves of responsibility and accountability.
I have been in great pain and I have been in a state of great resistance to change. It was not until I was fully broken open that I was able to start my journey to my necessary deep change.
I believe that you can be shattered and then you can put yourself back together piece by piece until one day you wake up and you realize that you have put yourself back together completely different. You are whole and strong but in a totally different way, you are a different shape, a different size and you show up and move in the world in a different way.
Change has occurred.
This sort of change, this revolution does not just happen; we do not typically avail ourselves of all options that exist to help to us. Usually this sort of change occurs when you sit in your own pain, deep in your own pain. It is my experience that most people do not ‘change’ until the pain of remaining the same becomes unbearable, unfathomable and undesirable. In essence you reach a pivotal point in your journey where all you have been and all you have known no longer feels good, in fact, knowing all you have known now hurts. It is as if your skin feels too tight, as if you do not belong inside it yet you can’t claw your way out.
I know for certain that no transformation can ever take place until one stops buying their own bullshit.
Let me say that one more time, no transformation can ever take place, cannot even begin until one stops buying their own bullshit.
Real transformation does not come from other people’s insistence to change you. It must come from you as you are the single most important player in your life and the common denominator in all your consequences.
Whether your consequences are from seemingly unimportant decisions, poor emotional choices, unaddressed trauma reactions or methodically calculated decisions, make no mistake you are the common denominator.
You are the common denominator in every job you have lost, every relationship that has failed, every single success and every single failure you have experienced, YOU have been an integral part of all of it. Granted some other influences are at play but you are the constant.
Often we give lip service to change, we apologize, we bemoan, we promise, we despair when we are in the midst of turmoil with no real, true intention of change. We don’t really want to change as much as we don’t want the unpleasant consequences or pain anymore but that is not how life works is it?
If there is unhappiness, dissatisfaction, discomfort, conflict, addiction or any other disempowering behaviour or undesirable result in our lives we need to look to ourselves for answers.
We need to ask really hard questions and we must demand the truth from ourselves (remember the bullshit buying). We need to face ourselves for all we are. A funny thing about people, we KNOW. We say we don’t, we pretend, we play the ostrich but we KNOW IN OUR SOULS the changes we need to make.
Yet we are SO resistant to looking at ourselves, critically, realistically, and with brutally honest compassion. We resist being HARD on our behaviour and gentle on our soul but to do any less is to keep ourselves as victim of happenstance, victim of other people’s whims, victims of our old thinking and behaviours, victims of life.
There is no personal power in being a victim.
The irony is you have to surrender to pain and change in order to grow; yet, most view surrender as a victim type of behaviour. NOTHING could be further from the truth.
We all come to points in our lives where we have choice; we can put down the sword and pick up the white flag of surrender. We can choose to go down the same old path of destruction followed by deep, often blaming despair OR we can take the unfamiliar path that will require us stand up, be accountable and change.
THIS WILL BE THE HARDEST WORK YOU WILL EVER DO.
Amazing things happen when we undertake this endeavour. Through the pain and ugliness comes compassion and healing, a shedding of old and growing into new. It is painstaking, difficult, ugly work and you will feel broken but being broken is ok. We are all broken; it is what we fill our cracks with that can make us either bitter or loving.
I know you are scared. We all are. But this is necessary for growth. Often the changes we dread the most contain our very salvation.
You need to die in order to be re-born; you need to shed your old skin for new. Consider the metamorphosis of a baby chick coming into the world, when the shell becomes too confining, it must be broken. You must break through your own shell in order to breathe, in order to walk, and in order to live or you shall die inside never knowing all that is out there, on the other side.
This will take courage. Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. Courage happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.
I know you can do this work, for I have done it. I have fought valiantly and I have surrendered with trepidation. It has not been an easy journey but it has been immensely rewarding.
People have said that I am wise. If so, I am wise because I have been stupid Painfully repeatedly, stupid.
People have said that that I am deep. If so, I am deep because I have been embarrassingly shallow.
People have said that I am brave. If so, I am brave because I have been SO afraid.
If I can change, trust me, you can and don’t you deserve your very best effort!