Change is hard. Even when we plan for the change, it can be very stressful. And change is scary. Maybe this is how you have always done it or maybe this is what you identify with. If you let this go, who will you be?! How will you cope? But, change is inevitable. Whether we choose it or not, change will happen.
What if the very thing that you are so afraid and resistant to let go of is the one thing that is standing between you and peace?
Resisting change is a way of resisting happiness and peace. Resisting change is resisting growth.
We often resist change and letting go of things purely out of fear. We don’t know what it will be like on the other side. And we think that we are in control by choosing not to let go. But, really, we are being controlled by whatever it is that is keeping us stuck.
Our thoughts revolve around protecting what we are afraid to let go of because we don’t know what it would be like without it. Our unhelpful behaviors support the patterns to “protect” us from what we fear. We experience emotions like guilt, sadness, and disappointment for continuing to hold on to the same cycle of madness that is taking us nowhere. And many times, deep down, we know that we need to take that step; to make that change.
This applies to a myriad of situations. Perhaps we are stuck in an unhelpful thinking pattern of being the victim and never taking responsibility for our own personal power. Perhaps we are using alcohol or drugs to numb ourselves and to ‘cope’ with stress. Perhaps we are making ourselves crazy with perfectionistic expectations. Whatever it is that we are doing because it is comfortable or easy or what we have always done, it is doing nothing to help us move forward and experience the full expression of our life.
Even when we are aware of the need to change, it can feel almost impossible to take that first step. And once we get several steps in and realize how difficult change can be, we may want to run right back to where we were. But, this place of mindful challenge is where our character is refined.
In yoga, one of the teachings on how to live a good and ethical life is called Tapas. (Not the Spanish appetizer…) It literally translates as “heat”. The Niyama Tapas is all about sticking in there when things get tough; pushing through; walking through the transformative fire. The teaching of Tapas also tells us that the hardest times in our lives can lead to our biggest leaps forward. That we should, in fact, be grateful for the hardest times.
“So often, we don’t even know what it is that has us in it’s grip; it seems dark and overpowering. In those times when we don’t know how to get through the next minute of what seems unknown and overwhelming to us, can we hold on? Can we hold on to what has us in its grip, gripping it back and not letting go until we are somehow blessed by it?” – Deborah Adele
What if on the other side of that fear of letting go is a huge blessing? What if things are better than ever after we let go? I often remind myself that nothing good ever comes easily. Growth begins where our comfort zone ends.
But, only you can make the choice to row out into the middle of the storm of change and come out transformed.
Maybe it is time to take inventory. Take a look at your habits and thinking patterns. Notice if there is anything that is controlling you and consider taking a break from it. If it seems very scary to be without it, that is a sure sign that you should try letting it go and see what happens. You can start small- go a week without it- or 40 days or forever. That part is up to you, but I promise the growth will be worth it.
I am jumping into the fire with you and I am excited to see the good things that come from our refinement.
Talk again soon.