You, there. Yes, you. I know what you're thinking. This is too hard. You can't do this. You don't have the energy it takes to re-invent yourself. You're not strong enough to start at the beginning again, but guess what? You're wrong.
Not only can you do it, you can do it well. There have been forces at work that have brought you this far. You have had a taste of inspiration that has led you to believe that there is more for you in life than you have previously experienced. You are being drawn to the threshold of change like a "moth to the flame."
You may not completely understand why you have been experiencing this uncomfortable feeling, but consider how the butterfly must feel just before he emerges from his cocoon. He stays in that restrictive, almost claustrophobic environment, while it serves its purpose of helping him change and grow, and when the cocoon no longer allows for progress, he breaks free of it, to begin life anew in a way a caterpillar never could.
What has been holding you back? What is it you are longing for?
Over the last several months, I have had a mantra of peace in my heart. Every time I asked myself what I wanted most, the answer was always peace. If I weren't feeling peaceful, I would ask myself why. Sometimes I discovered I was giving up my control to external circumstances, and allowing others to dictate how I felt.
Peace, like happiness, is a choice. We need to orchestrate the details of our lives in such a way that those internal feelings are always within our grasp. If something is holding you back, and it is within your power to remove the restraint, you know what you need to do.
Each of us finds ourselves being challenged, and desiring to overcome certain things in our lives. Some of us desire better health. Others are seeking to improve our financial situation. Some of us find ourselves in relationships that are unhealthy, or stifling our growth. Once we realize how uncomfortable we are, we have to be willing to push through the discomfort, to break free from thought patterns and old habits that are holding us back.
Do you believe in synchronicity? Let me define my terms, in case it's still a new concept for you.
Synchronicity, according to Carl Jung, is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect, and that is meaningful to the observer.
I have been compelled to see how certain events in my life are preparing me for a larger purpose. It is as if I am drawn to certain books, specific quotes, particular speakers, and unique experiences that prepare me for new information that allows me to come to a greater understanding of the big picture that is my life. Synchronicity is alive and well in my corner of the universe.
One of my favorite Buddhist proverbs is "When the student is ready, the master will appear." This is one of those quotes that seems to surface time and time again, as events unfold to reveal that divine intervention seems to be at play in my day-to-day life.
Knowing that I am being prepared to learn further makes the awkwardness and pain of growth bearable. I am learning to lean into the discomfort, as Brené Brown encourages us, as we communicate the truth of our hearts, and expose our true selves to those closest to us.
For awhile now, I have been gathering quotes that give me hope. When I am going through a period of growth, I am aware that my happiness may feel threatened, and that my beliefs may be challenged. I never want to lose sight of the bigger picture of experiencing peace and joy in my life. I never want to lose hope.
For those of us who are struggling, for those of us who feel uncertain, here are some words of encouragement, that have helped me. I hope that if nothing else, you will feel a sense of calm, and see a glimmer of hope for yourself.
"Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it." (Buddha)
"If you want to change, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable." (source unknown)
"Put yourself into life, and never lose your openness, your childish enthusiasm throughout the journey that is life, and things will come your way." (Federico Fellini)
"Be okay with not knowing for sure what might come next, but know that whatever it is... you will be OK." (www.bravegirlsclub.com)
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." (Andy, from The Shawshank Redemption)
"Everything is going to be all right." (Jackie)
This is the last thing my stepmother told me when I left her in Virginia a couple of weeks ago. Both of us were dealing with the heartache of burying my dad, her dear companion. Both of us were facing uncertainties and fears in our personal lives, but in our hearts, we both knew that no matter what happens next, we will survive, and we will be happy. I tell myself "Everything is going to be all right," over and over, when I feel my breathing quicken and my heart race. I remind myself to breathe slowly, and to seek the peace that is mine for the asking.
Whether hope is "smiling brightly before you," or is a dim flicker of light on a distant horizon, hold tightly to it. Do not give up. You truly are braver than you know, and you are destined for greatness. I would like to share with you the following video featuring Sara Bareilles. The song is called Brave, and it has served me well these last couple of weeks. When I'm not sure how brave I'm feeling, it has given me courage.
As I was driving away from my life as I knew it a couple of days ago, this song came on the radio. I resolved to find my happiness, and find how big my brave is. If you are feeling less than brave about the challenges in your life, I offer you this song. May you live your life with hope, and bravery. You can do this. You must. You will.