What has changed for you over the past week?
This week, I worked on ‘leaving the past behind and moving into the now’ with everything I did. I set my intention to do that, and noticed how, every day, there was something that gently pushed me into putting that into action, even when I resisted. (Because, let’s be honest, ‘leaving the past behind’ is hard. Painful).
On Sunday, I found myself cleaning one corner of my garage. I was sad and tired, and I was just going to collect boxes for recycling. But, since I had help from a few loving people, I started going through some boxes, packing toys and things to donate, and letting go.
This changed me a little bit. It hurt at first, but then, on Monday, I woke up lighter, filled with less anxiety and a lot more hope and even joy.
Life, circumstances, tragedies, and gentle nudges of the soul change us.
Hopefully it does this in the direction of growth, healing, and expansion of love and compassion.
The scary part is that, when we grow, the life that’s behind us doesn’t fit us any more.
We HAVE to let it go.
Author Glennon Melton said it so perfectly: “When you let yourself die, there is suddenly one day: new life. You are Different. New. And no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot fit into your old life anymore. You are like a snake trying to fit into old, dead skin, or a butterfly trying to crawl back into the cocoon, or new wine trying to pour itself back into an old wineskin.”
And this side of change can be scary. What if people you love stay in the ‘old’ life where you don’t fit anymore? What if those who loved you before you changed are now disappointed?
Someone recently asked me if I still had the Tajci doll from my teenage years. When I showed it to them, they said, with disappointment: “Oh, it doesn’t look like you.” Well, no. I’m not 19 any more, but even then, the doll didn’t really look like me!
Just like with the doll, we all might have ‘one frozen, unchangeable look,’ or one state of being in which we experience acceptance and approval from other people (at our job, in our family, neighborhood or church.) It becomes a ‘safe space.’ We feel comfortable in it, but so do people around us.
We resist change because we fear losing that safety.
Of course, if we change an unhealthy habit and the new lifestyle makes us more compassionate, more pleasant, kinder, calmer, the people around us will approve and accept us with open arms.
But what if we change a belief that makes us more compassionate, pleasant, kinder and loving toward people who aren’t accepted in our ‘safe’ zones? Like people of different religions, political views, sexual orientation? What if we, ourselves change our views and beliefs?
I’m fascinated with this… with being on the other side of change – changed. New. Different. Perhaps it’s because I grew up under Communism, where it was pretty unfathomable to change your views or beliefs, I am very sensitive to anything that might keep my beliefs ‘frozen’ and rigid. Growth is in letting go, in constantly letting parts of us die, in order to be reborn in deeper love and compassion.
And, yes, it hurts. And it’s scary. And we may be criticized and rejected.
But when we set up an intention to heal deeper, love more and serve others, and we allow the change to happen within us, we will wake up lighter, washed over in Grace, with more gratitude, hope and joy.
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