Why do we resist change?
Why is it that so many shy away from changing something in their life that makes them feel sad and miserable? Is it because they dare not trust their own repeated observations and feelings that pop up on a daily basis? Do they not trust their own gut feeling that this particular situation or relationship does not do anything good for them? Or maybe they feel they have to just accept certain things and that they have no influence on what goes on in their life?
Is it a helpless feeling and one of simply not knowing how to change things? Are they numb to feeling sad or miserable? Do they think that this is just what life is? Have they just not been taught how to take control of their life? Are they afraid they may make an even bigger mess of something already existing? Do they feel it is less painful to stay in the pain they are in than to go through it and come out the other side, because they fear what is on the other side?
Do you know of these feelings? Do you know anyone who has these feelings?
I know these questions are very blunt and to the point – and I also know that decades of psychological studies have provided answers and reasons – often deep and complicated answers – to most of them. I know we are made up of layers of thoughts, beliefs, experiences, rationales, reactions, feelings etc. and that this is how these above issues arise.
I empathise with these issues. I know them, because I have also been through some of them – I may run into some of these issues again, in different guises.
Living behind sunglasses and drapes
But I was thinking this morning, about being open to changing your ways if you feel stuck, and not just put on sunglasses and shut the curtains and live on like that in a way that will only shrink you, i.e. it will not help you sprout with the life and soul that is inside you. Just think of all the things you don’t get to see if you walk through life with lots of sunglasses on and the drapes shut, not willing to let in the light, or all the opportunities around you.
Even if everything you see does not seem like an opportunity for you, then you know that you can choose the things you want to focus on and that do resonate with you. Think of your focus as a lense that zooms in and everything else leaves your field of vision and attention and interaction – so whatever you focus on whether it is a situation, or a person, or a relationship, will show you more and more details of itself, because you give it attention and focus. But if you close your eyes and put sunglasses on and close the curtains, you will not be able to see the opportunities and the chances for you to have or do or be all the wonderful you are and deserve. Give yourself the gift of opening your eyes and your senses to change.
What is the pattern? – And leave the coat that wears you down
If you are feeling unhappy or unsettled in a relationship, a work place, or a location, then go ahead and take off your sunglasses, open the curtains and walk away if you have to, find a new place, make a fresh start – or maybe stay and see if there is anything you can change about your own ways, how you interact with others, how you communicate, how you delegate, what words come out of your mouth, how you put your ideas into action, what ideas you feed, what beliefs you hold about yourself … all these things play a part in how you feel.
If you bump into the same challenge repeatedly, as if your life follows a pattern that just keeps going on and on – then you can change it. You don’t have to try and change your inner core, your inner values or beliefs, but only those outer layers like your thoughts and beliefs that put yourself down, or minimise your own worth, or make you feel like you are owed something, or make you feel that you are more than others … those are the things you can look at. Are they present in your life? Do you meet some of these thoughts and feelings? Then those are the things you can change about yourself.
Your inner beautiful core with your unique gifts is still there inside, within. That core is who you are. All the other elements like the beliefs and thoughts that weigh you down and do not breed something positive for neither you nor others around you, are just a coat you are wearing. A coat that has accumulated in childhood, previous life experiences etc. But no matter what coat you are wearing – and are consciously aware of in this lifetime – it does not take anything away from your very inner core. In your core lie all your talents, your gifts, your skills, your compassion, your love for life. This is what you want to access and bring out. Leave the coat behind.
What makes you smile blissfully even when no one is around?
Go do something that makes you feel good, that makes you smile even when no one else is around; do something that benefits you and also benefits others around you. And then keep doing that. While you keep your eyes and other senses open, the sunglasses off and the curtains open. Go meet your opportunities and focus on the ones that make your core resonate in joyfulness.
Marianne Johansen, March 2019
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