Change is a lot of work. I’ve update my life and restarted more times than I want to think about. Packing, moving, unpacking. I went through a 5 year period in which we moved 5 times. Crazy. I’m the girl who has lived 40 plus years only 30 miles from her home town.
This week my office was doing some reconstruction around my cubicle. It’s funny to me since I’m the only one left in the area and I’m expecting to hear at any moment, “you have to move.” They’ve asked if I want to move and no, not really. I like my quiet corner of the world. It’s dark and I’m not bothered much. I sometimes feel like the old guy from the Disney animation, Up(2009)
I ponder buying a new car or moving to a new place like I’m looking at a spreadsheet of credits and debits. Is the thrill and novelty of changing worth the effort it takes to change? Even in just trying to set up a new habit, the benefits have to outweigh the effort. Some are worth it. For example, working out, or more specifically, running has been worth it. I enjoy it and miss the effort when I can’t hit the pavement. Even beyond the euphoria of the run, the sweat makes me feel I’ve accomplished something.
Most of my changes are for progress. It’s not the novelty that makes me put in the mileage or sign my money away. I will sweat and endure the pain if it’s important to me. Maybe we’re all that way.
I just watched a family member move to another city and state. It’s difficult to watch someone go. It’s difficult to see the emotions on their face. There’s the uncertainty mixed with the excitement. New experiences and new people. A bigger city means more opportunities for the activities you like, but there’s also the trouble of finding a place to live and new friends. It takes time for the new place to feel like home. Finding a favorite store or a favorite running trail.
If you’re feeling like the earth has moved out from under you, don’t worry. Just breathe. And remember why you’re doing it. Over time you’ll find your balance again.
I thought I’d never love again. I’m no longer the dopey eyed school girl who thinks life will end if the boy doesn’t like me. If he doesn’t call, my life isn’t over. I can just move on. I thought often that I’d become too hardened to ever feel, but I realize now that I still feel. It’s different. It’s a fresher aliveness I have in me now. My love no longer destabilizes me. I can stand and still love.
I’ve been told that to love someone means to lay your life down for that person. To give of yourself and make sacrifices. But those never come out even. One person always ends up making the sacrifice, becoming the lamb, while the other is holding the blade. Call me jaded if you want, but it seems that in this 50 + 50 = 100% equation, if one person gives up more, then the other balances by taking more and giving less. If the sacrificing person holds their ground then a relationship can happen. Give and take. Both. No one needs to lose their heart in a blood sacrifice. Stand tall. Love is still in you. This is a new day with a new type of love.
A lot can happen between now and never. If you want to build a better home, first you must demolish the old one. – Game of Thrones
Demolish the old life. Build a new one. Love again, just don’t do it the way you did it before. You’re not the person you were before and your love won’t be either.
A confident woman knows she holds all the cards in the relationship. If she doesn’t like the way he texts, calls, communicates, kisses, or commits, she can dump him at any time. – Evan Marc Katz
I went browsing on Realtor.com last weekend, just for kicks. I have pondered whether to fix up my place or trade to a place that has some of the features I’m wanting. With property values down I hate to add a lot of upgrades to my current place since it’s not going to be recouped for a while. This is my line of thinking at least. Thinking, mulling over, and obsessing. Here’s a bit of advice from others that I found helpful:
One of the human absurdities is the fact that we’re constantly thinking about either the future or the past. – Being Nobody Going Nowhere
Surrender literally means to stop fighting. Stop fighting with yourself. Stop fighting the universe and the natural flow of things. Stop resisting and pushing against reality. Surrender = Complete acceptance of what is + Faith that all is well, even without my input. It’s not about inaction. It’s about taking action from that place of surrender energy. – Let Go of Control/TinyBuddha
Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. Letting go doesn’t mean we shut down. Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave. It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment. It means we stop trying to do the impossible–controlling that which we cannot–and instead, focus on what is possible–which usually means taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness, and love, as much as possible. Melody Beattie
My fear is of being stuck with a piece of property that will be worthless. Remember the hot potato game we played when we were kids or even the dirty Santa game? No one wants to play the fool. Do I like where I’m at in life? Yes, I do. And not just my location, my lifestyle.
For me it’s not about keeping up with another person, it’s about pleasing myself. It’s not about someone else’s opinion. They can mind their own business. Only I know what’s best for me. It’s not about status, wealth, or fame. It’s about survival. It seems to come back to that a lot. Survival and getting stuck with the foolish choice. There is hope in knowing and wanting and then allowing things to happen. It’s hopeful to know that what I want isn’t a new house. It’s making a wise choice.
Kiva.org was foolish to think a $25.00 loan could help anyone. Kickstarter.com was foolish to think anyone else would care about up and coming entrepreneurs. Think of all the other fools out there. Foolishness could be bravery or shrewdness if the plan works.
We must learn to let go, to give up, to make room for the things we have prayed for and desired. – Charles Fillmore
As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break. – Julia Butterfly Hill
First, there’s the discomfort. It’s either boredom or dissatisfaction of where I’m at or how something is working. Inconvenience can trigger the discomfort also, like constantly walking around the same chair in my path.
Second, there’s dreaming, of wants, desires or possibilities. Do I like the chair? Should I put in another room? Rearrange the Living room?
Third, I bring it down to reality by choosing the most practical ideas. Sketch out my Living room furniture placement. Arrange it on paper.
Fourth, I write a plan. Maybe the easiest thing for today is move the chair into the bedroom.
Fifth, I take the first steps. Move the chair. I can decide over the next few days if it’s working.
What turns me into a confused ball in the corner of the room is a different solution popping up in front of me. One or two more ways of solving my problem and it starts my process over again. At that point I have to regroup and reassess. How does this change my decision? If I possibly can I like to ponder for a few days until I have my aha! moment. Otherwise I make the simplest choice first, like in my example of the chair. I can move the chair from one room to another easier than I can arrange the furniture again and again. Sometimes you have to do the big thing, but at least you’ve tried the simple ones first.
Sloppy vs Perfected
Life is about choices. Nothing’s inherently right or wrong, it’s only a matter of my preferences. Life is the rough draft and the final presentation is the last breath of life. In those last moments you review all the refining you’ve done. Sometimes the rough draft is alright. Hastily slapped together and just getting it done works better than not doing anything at all when it comes to kisses, food and proposals. I’d rather a quick kiss and an I love you than not ever, ever being told, but there comes a time for refining those choices. If you really love that person, eventually you have to refine your sloppy kisses into steps that have meaning. Whether it’s inviting them to coffee or not forgetting their birthday, you have to take the first step.
Society adapts over the years. Styles change like the seasons. Hemlines, sleeve lengths, fabric weights, these are all expressions we allow ourselves as humans.
Religion constrains. The Bible has strict guidelines, laws not generalizations . The rules don’t adapt. They are like a Polaroid snapshot that over time loses its relevance. 20 years ago that was a crisp photo of you in front of your first car. The memory is forever etched in your mind as well as on the photo. The car however is not as relevant. If you have it still today, it’s taken some work to keep it looking new. And if you compare it to the cars on the highway, no matter how good of shape it’s in, it’s not a current model.
Here are a few misquoted and misunderstood “truths”
Jesus taught us to love our neighbors. He was referring to the old testament’s teaching of taking care of your own family and tribe. Under Jewish customs, you never charged usury or interest to your people, the Jews.
Jesus taught others to walk the extra mile as a way to get along in society. His homeland was overrun by multiple armies. To stay alive, it was better to swallow your pride and walk the extra mile. It wasn’t about love for a foreigner. And it wasn’t about loving your neighbor.
Religion meets the need of governing people to build society. It’s an infrastructure of the people. That was its original purpose, as well as to explain all the unexplained. Thunder is a god bowling.
I once believed that Christianity was God reaching out to man instead of man reaching God. We have the only divine word and the only instance of God reaching out to man. All religions claim this. In Judaism, God spoke to Abram. And Mohammed. And Oral Roberts. And the crazy lady that drowned her children.
God doesn’t change. But I can read many times over that God changes his mind. If he keeps changing his mind, then who’s to know what to believe? Paul’s teachings don’t match those of most Christians today, but they are still considered the words of God. So who is wrong? Society, modern Christianity or the older teachings?
I have a theory about the people in our lives. We come and go, in and out of each other’s lives. It seems that when a person moves out of your life another person or thing of similar vibration takes their place. Which reminds me of the Buddhist’s teaching, even though a flower falls and dies from a bush, a new one will take its place. All things continue.
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
The form things come in our lives refuse to be planned. You may want love and kindness, but the more you try to control the form it comes to you in, the less likely you are of getting it. Control distorts.
I once had a beautiful birthday present. It was a year when I was very alone. Once, at work, I was talking to a complete stranger. I didn’t mention it was my birthday or about being lonely. I had been on break from my job and stepped outside to see the stars. While standing there someone started chatting with me. It was relaxing, refreshing, and exactly what I needed that moment. A casual friend.
Expect love, expect good things, just don’t demand that they walk into your lives on two legs. Love can come into our lives on four legs or even no legs at all.
“Today matters. Yesterday ees skin on a snake, to be shed many times.” – Beyond the Highland Mist, Karen Marie Moning
Would I be different if I wasn’t able to change things? I’m a bit spoiled in that most things in my life, I’ve had the ability to change. Sometimes it took persistence and work, but after the sweat and callouses, the job got done. But would I be different if, feel different, or give different advice if I couldn’t change things?
I’m a great believer in not accepting the status quo. If I have a problem, I research and try, try again to fix it. Even with my migraines, which I know aren’t curable, I still try to discover the missing link of why I have migraines. Surely something is wrong with my body.
Maybe I just overlook the things I can’t change. I don’t have a formula on how to decide what can be changed and what can’t but it’s probably not necessary. Let me know what you think.
Things I haven’t been able to change:
highly reactive personality
Here’s an interesting book for my fellow introverts or anyone wanting to understand them. It has a little to do with the subject above, but I learned a lot from it.
past I didn’t punch. Not because I wasn’t angry, but I always thought of retaliation as unbearable. Maybe I haven’t changed much. The only thing that I know has changed is if you punch me, I will punch back.
I’m probably not ever going to be an aggressive person. It just doesn’t suit me. There are times though when the fight wells up in me. It takes a lot of practice to get a naturally restrained person to go outside of their boundaries. To speak up when angry. To protest when offended. To say NO when someone pushes their buttons.
I do wonder, if you are trained to be assertive or non-assertive, can you retrain yourself to be the opposite? What happens when military foot soldiers come back into society? When someone that must be aggressive on a daily basis needs to pick up the toddler from daycare? Just a curiosity on my part. Hardly a science experiment, but I wonder if it’s as difficult as teaching a compliant personality, like myself, to push her boundaries.
My first tendency may always be to pull my punches. I run into a conflict, so I stop. Well, maybe I’ll wait. Another day would be better. I’ve even thought to myself, maybe it’s just not in the plan. What plan? Whose plan? I have to remind myself that I’m the one in charge of my life. My plan. I must stand back up, dust myself off, and climb back into the saddle. I’ll try again.
To take a snippet from Seth Godin,
Where, precisely, do you go in order to get permission to make a dent in the universe?
The accepted state is to be a cog. The preferred career is to follow the well-worn path, to read the instructions, to do what we’re told. It’s safer that way. Less responsibility. More people to blame.
When someone comes along and says, “not me, I’m going down a different path,” we flinch.
Most religious people believe that our moral goodness, our kind deeds, come from Christianity. At this I completely disagree. That’s like saying if you live in Wisconsin, you’re a Green Bay Packer fan. There are many cheese head fans that don’t live in Wisconsin and there are many Wisconsin citizens that are not football fans.
Morality is the main reason most religious advocates say we need the church. This is by formal religions such as Catholics and Jews, as well as fundamentalists. One debate I watched was a female minister who stated that without the religious community, our society wouldn’t have anyone to turn to in times of crisis. She disregarded much of the teachings in the Bible as literal fact, but still held to the concept of formal religion. She stated that it was the church, temple, mosque or chapel community that provided support after a death or during stressful times.
Is Christianity true to its heritage? Why say you’re a Christian? Most say it to mean that they are loving, kindhearted, and generous. They want to portray themselves as loyal to their country and family orientated. We have a picture in our head of the Christian as being the person who comes during a tragedy with the food supplies and blankets. If there’s a fire, the Christian is the kind person providing you with shelter. Why do we have to link Christianity with kindness? Can a person be kind and not Christian? On the other hand, can a Christian not be kind?
Friends are enemies sometimes,
and enemies friends. -Rumi
I want us to unlink these assumptions. The next time you do a kindness, think about it. Are you doing it in the name of your god or are you handing a child a glass of water because he’s thirsty and you are a loving person? Is that hard to imagine?
I’ve talked a few times about Dynamic Equilibrium, our bodies’ ability to adjust and re-balance after it notices changes in environment or its own status. It’s a constant balancing act.
I recently learned a new word. I read a book called Antifragile, which equates the opposite of being fragile with hormesis. The opposite of fragile isn’t just unbreakable. The opposite of fragile is strengthening with each blow, breakdown or fall.
Hormesis (from Greek hórmēsis “rapid motion, eagerness,” from ancient Greek hormáein “to set in motion, impel, urge on”) is the term for generally favorable biological responses to low exposures to toxins and other stressors. A pollutant or toxin showing hormesis thus has the opposite effect in small doses as in large doses. A related concept is Mithridatism, which refers to the willful exposure to toxins in an attempt to develop immunity against them. Hormetics is the term proposed for the study and science of hormesis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis
In the book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb mentions how he observed a bodybuilder to learn from him the best way of building muscle. The body builder lifted weights to the extreme, but didn’t do it every day. He would push himself beyond tired, beyond his normal limits, because he knew that his body would rebuild. His body would become stronger than it was before.
This is how our brain learns new patterns. It’s also how our bones become stronger. Our bodies harden and strengthen from use. We have to use it or lose it as the old saying goes. So today, I’m going to go just a little longer on the run. Give myself a challenge that I probably can’t handle and even if I don’t reach the goal, I still will have gone farther than normal.
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