I believe I hold the Guinness Book of World Records for the most moves in 25 years. (Ok, just a little sarcastic humor for you, I don’t really hold the record…I think.) What I am saying is that if anyone knows about change, it is me.
As we begin another New Year, most of us start contemplating our lives and we begin to take stock of our current situations. Are we where we want to be in our lives? Have we accomplished everything on our “bucket lists”? I imagine that most of us will answer “No.” Isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions are all about? We dig deep into our lives and unearth what is wrong and set about what it will take to make it better.
Yet to make things better, we need to incorporate change in our lives…and let’s be honest, change can be scary. No matter how badly we want something, the steps that we need to take to get there can be daunting to say the least. It takes courage, faith, a sense of adventure and yes, a great deal of strength to change. Whether you are changing your place of residence, your relationship, job, or simply changing something about yourself you don’t like, it takes a strong person to change. It takes strength because it is uncomfortable at best, painful at worst.
A friend of mine wrote the following beautiful description on her blog, speaking about a current situation she is going through:
“Surrounded by a growing city of stacked cardboard boxes, I’m pretzeled on the sofa, staring out the window, watching it pour. I had to do this, start building this city of boxes. I cry my heart out to the storm-wet streets and weeping trees, not because I wanted to find someone else, but because I needed to find myself. And maybe that sounds more like selfishness than salvation. But the streets and trees, bearing witness to my many a tearful walk, know better.”
One of the most painful changes we can make is ending an unhealthy relationship. I would know as I’ve been there. It took the death of my mother to open my eyes to my own life. Just days after her death, I pondered my relationship and how unhappy I was. I realized that I didn’t have that many years left to live and I thought “Am I going to spend the rest of my life being miserable?”
I had grown comfortable in my misery. It was easier for me to accept the status quo than face the unknown of being alone. I wasn’t sure if I could muster the strength to take a leap into the darkness, because I knew I would face loneliness and pain…and cause pain. Was I being selfish? Or was it more selfish to stay together and continue to make each other unhappy?
As I pondered these questions in the darkness of the night, I fell to my knees and poured out my heart to the heavens. And somewhere in the darkness, I found my strength…and I moved forward with my life.
Please understand that I’m not advocating divorce. I think marriage is one of the most beautiful gifts that any man or woman can experience. I believe that real love exists…I know it does. I believe that sharing your life with someone who truly loves you can be a little bit of heaven on earth. And I still hope for that kind of relationship for my own life.
But oh…if I could shine a light on anything, it would be this: sometimes you have to sink to the depths of sorrow to rise to the heights of joy! The sweetness of learning to love yourself again, of finding laughter free from all pain, and above all, finding love that builds you up instead of tearing you down…all this waits for those who take the step into the unknown and find the faith to change. And maybe that step into the darkness will ultimately be a step into the light. You won’t know until you try.
Don’t be afraid. You won’t do it alone. Here…take my hand. We’ll take that step together into the light…