When change is hard

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAEven though we may have a broad goal like losing weight, being healthier, living happier etc, we are in different phases of change and acceptance for the sub-components that make up those goals. For instance, losing weight requires changes in several different areas, from what we eat, to how we work out, to how much sleep we are getting and what our stress is like at work. It might be impacted by things like social situations and alcohol, or binge eating. We may accept that some of these areas will require change more readily than others; and yet, in certain areas we are still very resistant to change. Sometimes the biggest challenge is not in powering through those areas we feel resistant about, but rather learning how to acknowledge, accept and empathize with the resistance as a part of our current experience.

Most of our dissatisfaction with our current situation arises from comparing where we are in the present moment to where we were in the past, or where we want to be in the future. This is a natural way of thinking for the mind. It sacrifices present moment awareness in order to re-evaluate the past, or try and predict the future. The thing is, there is no such thing as the past or future. These are just linear constructs we use to understand the relevance of our current position in space and time. But while our current situation in some ways depended on our past to get us here, in actuality, it was just millions of tiny present moments strung together. The only thing that got you to where you are now, is where you are now. The only thing getting you to where you want to go, is where you are now. The only “you” that ever has been in existence, is the you that exists in the present moment.

Learning to accept our entire experience for where we are in the present moment, as it relates to larger goals we have set for ourselves, is the biggest challenge. Its easy to set a lofty outcome goal, and then fail because we don’t understand the process to get there. It’s even easier to fail when we don’t allow for resistance or ambivalence as a natural part of the process. When you feel a part of yourself push back against a change you want to make, gently observe with empathy and love. Understand that the resistance is related to underlying feelings and needs that are begging to be addressed. Start exploring the deeper issues without needing any particular outcome of the exploration. What you learn might be the exact missing link you needed to taking that giant leap forward towards your goals.


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