It was once said that the only thing constant in life is change. It is an inevitable force that encompasses every aspect of our lives. Perhaps a greater part of us knows and appreciates this, yet we can all relate to struggling with and resisting change when it begins to rise in our own lives. We become attached to circumstances as they are, even if they are not what we truly want, even if they are unhealthy and are limiting our growth. It is this strange comfortability, quiet resignation and satisfaction with settling, that I find so fascinating. The culture of our society oftentimes has a tendency to encourage materialism, ownership and easy comfort. So, in turn, we become attached to everything in our lives: from cars, clothes, the fancy watch and jewelry to our relationships and daily routine.
Recently, I found myself at the end of one road and the beginning of another. Though there were many unhealthy aspects to the relationship dynamics in the household I was living in, when it became apparent that something needed to change, that something was changing, I felt myself strongly resisting. After chewing on what exactly I was feeling for a few days, I discovered it: I was afraid. I was afraid to stand on the precipice of the unknown. To be leaving the comfort of what I had become accustomed to over the last three years despite the fact that it was no longer serving me, and had not been for some time. I was comfortably uncomfortable and I observed my fearful mind attempt to make excuses and justifications for why things should stay the same, “It’s not that bad”, “These people are like family to me”, “I won’t be here for too much longer anyway. Now is just not the right time. I’m not ready”, “I can still do good here and take care of myself at the same time”.
I sat and took deep breaths, letting these thoughts take their course. When my breath and thoughts finally began to slow, I recognized several things. First, that it is okay to grieve what feels like loss when you are met with change in your life. Those emotions of sadness, confusion, and even anger, are real and have a place in the process of letting go and embracing the change that is occurring. Regardless of what is changing, it is difficult, and the more we can view it as a universal force, just as we do gravity, the better we can move through and accept it with grace as it comes. Second, that this change is happening for a reason. I truly believe this. When change comes into your life, it brings with it growth, new lessons and realignment on your path and direction. If you can imagine observing through a bird’s eye perspective, you begin to see the inherent synchronicity behind everything that has ever happened and has yet to happen in your life. When you look back on the moments of your past that once were challenging and difficult, you realize that it truly could not have unfolded any other way. It brought you to this moment and led you through the lessons and experiences essential to your growth up to this point.
The day spent in transition was difficult, yes. Packing all of my possessions and seeing them collectively together was a strange and almost surreal experience -- shining a light on all of the things important to me and also highlighting those that I was ready to let go of. It was more than just a physical move. It was an emotional shift as well, in which one chapter of my life was closing and another was about to begin. The next day though, I woke up feeling more rested and revitalized than I had felt in a very long time. The feeling that I am now freed from caretaking for other people, spending all of my energy making sure everyone else around me is okay and content, was a massive weight off of my shoulders. I am responsible only for myself. I can wake up in the morning and think about what my goals are for myself and the steps I can take each day to reach them.
Although I am so deeply grateful for the lessons I learned from these individuals and for their enormously generous and compassionate hearts, I am also recognizing the value in this change and I look forward to having a healthier relationship with each of them given by the space that this shift has brought about. If we allow ourselves to breathe through change, it is absolutely amazing and the gifts that await us on the other side are worth the discomfort we may feel in the transition. Change is an intrinsic aspect to our human experience and the lessons that we encounter along the journey are there to guide us on our path. Have faith and embrace change, for it is always an opportunity and though we may not recognize it until later down the road, it is also a blessing.