Yesterday, my overwhelming thought was about how much we resist change. (I recognize that I am writing “we” because it is a little bit more comfortable than “I.” ) I found myself twisting and turning in my head, trying to find a way to hold on to something even though I know it doesn’t work any more. I am not talking about “stuff” here, but rather about situations. “If I do this…” or “if I don’t do that, then I can…”
Most of the time, we have to let go of something in order to accomplish or make room for something else. A child looks across the length of the deep end of the pool and decides to let go, to trust in her abilities to cross to the other side. A young woman ends a relationship that isn’t so bad, but isn’t so good either because she wants more.
It’s the second situation that is the hardest, I think. If there is abuse, if the relationship is bad enough, then it is easy for an observer to say, “End it. Get out. You can do better.”
(It just occurred to me that as you are reading this you might be thinking I am hinting about my relationship with my husband; I am not. We are solid! I am speaking in general about all sorts of relationships and situations, really.)
It is easy to make decisions when the parameters are black and white. But the majority of our decisions are made in the gray. What is bad enough to warrant a change? When is it worth the risk? Or is it the potential benefit that motivates the shift?
I think the fear of failure keeps most of us holding on to the status quo. (See how, I just switched to the “us” again! I really don’t want to own this, do I??)
“It’s good enough.” Or, “It’s not so bad. ” Or, “It could be a lot worse.” Or, “I should be grateful for what I have.”
But how much of our soul do we sacrifice to force ourselves to fit into something that no longer works? How much of what we do today and will do tomorrow is based on what we have done, not on what we would choose today if we really believed we had a choice?
I’ve been spending a great deal of my head space doing cost-benefit analysis. I keep trying to figure out the worst-case scenario of what could happen if I tried something completely different and failed.
Could I survive that?
I wonder why I don’t spend as much time considering the costs of NOT changing.
Yes, change feels scary, and leaving things as they are feels safe, but is it? What is it doing to my health, my sanity, my joie de vivre, the essence of me? How much am I willing to give away?
My sister-in-law had cut out and posted a quote on her wall (a real wall, not Facebook!) as a reminder to seize the day. I copied it down, printed it up and posted it in my bathroom. It is the first thing I see in the morning and the last I see at night. Not sure of the source, but here it is…
Life is not a hobby. It is a precious gift. And you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to experience everything it offers. Live it with a desire that cannot be contained. Love it. Turn every day into a rewarding experience. Surround yourself with the best life has to offer–from people to places to passions. Rise up and push yourself for more. For your life. And those in it. This is your time.