In a conversation on the phone today, my best friend said something brilliant and noteworthy. (He is given to doing this on a whim). He said, “A great many people have compromised their souls in the name of safety and security.” (Told you it was smart. And yes, he actually talks this way, which is one of the reasons why he is fabulous and I love him). And I agree with him – so many of us fear the uncertainty and pain of growth and change to such a degree that we sometimes fight very hard to keep things the same, often sacrificing important budding pieces of ourselves in the process. Of course, I relate to this feeling- though change excites me, it also terrifies me. I fear the prospect of not knowing how things will turn out, and I am not enthusiastic about diving into a story if I don’t know that it has a happy ending tied up with a pretty bow.
The reality is, of course, that we can never really anticipate how our stories will end. And, we cannot keep our circumstances from changing, no matter how hard we try. Change is an inevitable part of life. Beautiful and important things end, or morph themselves into something else, other and new, and we have to ride the currents of them, or pull our hair out in the process of trying to force them to stay the same (hint – resistance to change is futile). And, as difficult as this is for me to admit as a person that Capital-L Loves control, in reality, our belief that we have control is almost always an illusion.
Change is also a great gift. In times of change, opportunity exists for us to tap into our guts to learn about the nature of our true wants and needs. This is because we really have no other choice – times of change and transition force us down there, to the murky, sticky places where distraction techniques and the busy-ness of life are (blessedly) no longer effective in drowning out our inner conversation. We have the distinct privilege of being unable to avoid what our gut is saying to us in these moments. It is rarely so easy to listen to what is stirring inside us as in moments of change.
We are right to take time out to seize the moment and pay attention. These hard and important transitions, times when our bodies are speaking out clearly to us, are almost always a catalyst for growth – a call to manifest ourselves as the phoenix rising from the ashes, a chance to become something different and maybe, something better. As hard as change is to sit with, if we ignore these moments, we pass up our opportunity, and choose to remain as we are. And that person may not be who we are meant to be any longer.
Are you living in a period of transition or change? Is your gut speaking to you, and are you listening? If so, who are you becoming?