The challenge of moving forward

Curved country roadEven though we know that life is continuously moving us forward, our experience of time can be more that it is stagnant rather than fluid. Especially when we find ourselves in the same jobs, same relationships, same locations etc…the lack of change almost makes it seem like time stands still, until that day we look in the mirror at a face being reflected back to us which we no longer recognize. At some point, we encounter situations that force us to change and propel us in forward moving directions that we might not have pursued on our own. How can we harness the energy of the impending change in order to guide us into life’s next phase?

The first challenge is accepting that change brings with it uncertainty that is often uncomfortable. We place so much importance on the sensory information received by our five physical senses, that we forget to listen to the inner sixth sense about our lives. Because we are looking at our immediate surroundings, whether it be within the home, job or relationship, we fail to see beyond at what might be possible. Or when we do, we think of all the obstacles and pitfalls that await us. There is no mystery why we think this way – our minds have evolved to identify threats to ensure our survival. This has been of great benefit to us, but at a cost. The single hardest thing about embracing change is our fear of what is yet to come. That even if we try to get our dream job, either it won’t work out or we’ll show up and realize it wasn’t what we really wanted. It’s the classic choice between the devil you know, and the devil you don’t.

This is a challenge that reaps huge rewards if we accept it. If we can calm our nervous system enough from the fear of change, we might benefit from looking back at our individual histories and noting when uncertainty brought us the greatest treasures in our lives. Not knowing exactly what is to come is probably life’s greatest gift to us, for it allows anything to be possible beyond our wildest dreams.

When moving forward in any endeavor that brings with it uncertainty, it is helpful to connect to those core things about ourselves we can still be certain of. For instance, no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can be sure that we will always try to be kind to others. Or no matter how alone we feel living in a new town, we can be sure that we will get involved in the community and see what happens. In the midst of uncertainty, we can always be sure that we are worthy of love and belonging. These things, that do not change, are really all we need to feel grounded in life. Everything else that does change, just allows our wings to open so that we can take flight.

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