“Which do you want: the pain of staying where you are, or the pain of growth?” — Judith Hanson Lasater
We laugh at the idea of improving ourselves, or what we have, because it’s easier to shirk the responsibility we have for our lives than it is to face the crippling vulnerability that we want more, and then reaching for it.
Realising we want something different, something bigger, wider, something that fills us in a different way to that which we’ve already got – within ourselves, from our job, in our relationships, within our family – feels disloyal, somehow. To who we are, to who we’re surrounded with, to what we’ve already achieved. That by wanting change, we’re criticizing. Saying it’s not good enough. Silently admitting that the situation, the dynamic, the spoils aren’t fulfilling you feels like, at first, saying you’re better than it.
That’s not it.
Taking stock and assessing that there are spaces in your being, gaps in the wholeness of your self, doesn’t make you a jerk. Your business isn’t anyone else’s business, but even if it was: you’re not trying to be better than anything – but you sure as hell can be bigger than something.
You have to clip the wings of an eagle to keep it caged, and you deserve to soar.
If you wait even a second longer to fly all that happens is that you get older. The second has passed. They stack up into minutes and days and weeks and lifetimes and before you know it, the cage is all you’ve ever known.
It might be a nice cage. Full of people you love and coffee you like drinking and fun things that take your mind off how you’re not really living up to your potential. But a gilded cage is still a cage.
Change is precisely hard because we don’t know what it looks like. Feels like. What it will mean for us. We don’t like to change because the unknown is a headfuck and what if it won’t be like we hope it might?
Oh, my darling – but what if it is?
The thing is, making something – a grander life, more meaningful art, a gratifying career or a loving family – creating something, putting yourself out there, means that you can be judged. It can be easier to disappear into the wallpaper of life, blending in, unnoticed and void of criticism. Nobody can say anything if you ain’t doing nothin’.
Wake up to the beauty of your own possibility. You are alive! Do not waste this. Do not squander your energies, your potential. Expand your heart, open your mind, follow what feels good. Believe in magic, and you’ll find it. Believe you can be different to who you are today, and you will be.
Change doesn’t have to be all, or nothing. A 180-degree alteration of your course. Change doesn’t have to be external. In fact, it probably won’t be – at least not at first. Change starts with an internal shift – a re-arrangement of the mental furniture that doesn’t dare let you believe some other version of yourself might be possible.
Nothing will ever be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. We hesitate in the face of change because we worry it might not work out like we planned: release yourself to the fact that you’re absolutely right. It won’t. That doesn’t mean you get a free pass. Quite the opposite: it’s exactly because we don’t know what will happen that you have to try. So that we do know.
Be unconditionally present in your own life by seeing what you are, what you want to be, and bridging the gaps between to the two.
Change is work. It will piss a lot of people off, because it forces them to figure out if they might want to change, too. Change can be a big leap of faith or the courage to alter the position of your sails just minutely. A tiny amount, changing your destination just enough. Change can be whatever you want it to be.
You owe it to yourself to find out.
And you can do it any time you want.