We are all well aware that change is an inevitable part of life. It can be exciting and scary at the same time. Even the best changes aren’t easy. They come with a new set of adjustments and a time period of shifting. Some changes we go through are self imposed, and other times the choice is made for us. But without change, life would stand still. The growing pains we experience with change are uncomfortable and often scary even if done for the better. It has been my experience that even when change seems negative we glean so much learning from it, that we can choose to see it as a positive in some way. It’s in choosing to see that silver lining that we are able to grasp a deeper understanding. Often times learning more about ourselves and others. Everyone, on some level, is searching for a deeper understanding of life, and often it’s because of this search that we often question why things happen. Why them, not me? Why me, not them? Why did it workout that way? Why didn’t it work out? Why me? Why not me? Why?
As of late I have noticed the winds of change have been gusting more fiercely than usual. Many of my friends have found themselves going through the growing pains of change, myself included. Even though in each case their movement is for the better, new job, new, business, new hobby, new home, new city, new lease of life, there still tends to be a sticky transition period.
Change may not always seem ideal in the moment, as the winds are gusting and blowing leaves in your hair, and dust in your eyes, often, the part we get hung up on the most, is the place we are currently standing. Recently, a friend, who has made the decision to make a career move, called me saying, she could do this now, or wait until after the Christmas parties and maybe she should wait all the way into the new year. New year, new start, right? Wrong. It was even obvious to her that these were just excuses, the prolonging of the inevitable. She was letting fear keep her where she was becuase it was safe, it was comfortable and it was known. I didn’t need to point this out to her, she said, that even as she told me this, and heard the words, she knew she was just looking for an excuse to stay because she was scared. Sometimes it’s easier for us to stay stuck, because we know that space. We understand it, we may not like it but and it takes zero effort for us to stay there. Warm, cozy, but small and not expanding.
Fear is a tricky thing. It’s elusive and often dressed up as “what’s best” for you. It’s main goal is to keep you alive, it’s one of our primal instincts that has kept humans roaming this planet for a long time, but now our fear doesn’t come in a big furry brown package with teeth and fangs ready to gobble us up. It comes in choices. Sometimes steering us away from that short cut through the park (good fear), and sometimes keeping us from living our true potential (bad fear). Luckily we are smart cookies, born with some level of discernment and if we can’t see it hopefully we have a friend or a trusted someone who will see it for us. Sadly, sometimes we don’t see it and others don’t want to get involved and don’t show you.
That’s when you have to get really honest with yourself. This can feel brutal. But deep down you will always know what is best for you. No one else on this Earth can tell you what is best for you, not your parents, not your grandparents, not your siblings, your best friend, your favourite teacher, your family, or coworkers, no one. The only person who in the end, when all is said and done, has to live with the choices you make is, yourself. And no matter how much people want to and try to, no one can help you. You are on your own in this capacity. Which doesn’t mean you have to do things alone, but you have to choose to seek out and find help, such as opinions, all the tools, and resources you can muster, and all hands on deck, but in the end the choice is yours to make. You can do it. I believe that your purpose in your lifetime is to expand and grow or you wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t need to be. We all have lessons to learn, places to go and people to learn from. Our existences impacts everyone around us, no matter how little or large.
Fear’s purpose is to keep us small. If you sit down and ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Say it out loud or in your head, or if you like to write, just start writing. The answer will come to you. Recently, I did this, during my time of transition and I had two answers, they were, “I am afraid of being controlled and losing my sense of freedom. I am afraid of wasting time.” Once I had acknowledged and accepted these fears, which looking back has controlled many of my decisions in life, I was able to try and reason with it. Think about how silly this was, and how this couldn’t happen even in the worst of circumstances. I have many career options I have worked hard to obtain, and they will always be my options to have. Nothing can take them away, if want to change it up I can. Freedom. Everything I have done in my life has lead me to this point. No time has been wasted. Time cannot be wasted. This honesty has helped me start to put these fears to rest, or to at the very least stop letting my decisions be shaped by them.
I realized that fear wants to keep us small. It wants us to stay in the safety of the known and not grow or expand. If you don’t try for more you will never have it. If you don’t go after a dream, it cannot be realized. If you stay where you are, you will not live to your highest potential. That should be your greatest fear. At the risk of sounding like an after school special, you were meant for great things. Even if only one person ever benefits, or knows about, or is affected by it. It matters not the size of the impact, as I know that impacts of all sizes are felt throughout the universe, what matters is that you did the thing. You went after it, you tried. Whether or not it all works out, you put your best foot forward, or what might seem like your worst foot forward, you gleaned knowledge about yourself and the world that you would not have known otherwise.
When you opt to stay small and not expanding, you become frozen in time, and this will always leave you miserable. Whether it’s a job, or a relationship, don’t under value your happiness. We are not given this life time to tolerate misery and be joyless. We are here to be happy, find joy, and expand in love. Really, nothing else matters. Of course, there is responsibility. I’m not suggesting you run around recklessly making decisions that purposefully hurt others. Have discernment and enough courage to be honest. If you’re not 100% honest, you’re lying. I am advising to make your choices from the heart, from a place that is truly best for you, no matter how scary it is. What’s best for you is best for those who love you, even if it seems they would be unpleased.
My favourite poem on this topic is by William Ernest Henley. I thought I would leave you with it, it has helped me through many, many changes. Hopefully, this post serves as a virtual high five, you got this! Enjoy!
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
-William Ernest Henley
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