Here we are, approaching the end of January!
How are your resolutions and intentions holding up? Have you magically changed all the old habits you’ve been trying to break for years?
That answer is most likely NO!
How could you? How could anyone suddenly get off sugar, booze, or drugs overnight? How can you stop retail therapy, stick to a budget, and immediately get out of debt? How about that yearly gym membership? Still going every day and eating clean?
Big changes are hard! They don’t usually happen with a single declaration of intent or even two weeks of well-meaning action, and especially not with constant self-criticism and condemnation.
Big changes need time, nurturing, and guidance.
Big changes happen when we stop demanding perfection of ourselves and start loving and accepting ourselves.
Big changes happen when we make many little changes on a consistent and persistent basis.
Big changes happen when we acknowledge all the little daily accomplishments we DO make.
Big changes happen when we let others help us.
For the past 25 years, I have been on a journey of self-discovery, healing, and inner growth. Looking back, I can’t even relate to that former version of myself. I've learned that when the inner heals, the outer reveals. A deeper truth, I know not!
After uncovering layers of self-loathing, fear, and old programming, I realized that I was a whole new person - a fun, funny, caring person who enjoyed life, helped others, and faced fears. Those who know me today can’t believe I used to be a depressed, demanding, impatient, screaming rage-a-holic.
So, as I sit in the hospital emergency area with a family member, waiting for a room to open for over 9 hours, I am perfectly content to wait for several more if it provides them comfort. I can be helpful, kind, and patient, and I am happy to do so.
I wasn’t a bad person; I was just wildly unaware, scared, and self-absorbed. Through self-love, self-acceptance, and many tiny little changes over time, I am truly living my best life today! I am now happier, healthier, and more loving than I could have imagined. I have amazing people in my life who care about me, a career I love, and the time to do what I’d like.
Does this mean I have everything I thought I wanted or that I’ve finished growing, evolving, and healing? Of course not. There is always room for growth!
I am not special. I didn’t do anything heroic or even unique. I just became willing and teachable. I surrendered to the realization that I don’t know what I don’t know and embraced a journey of learning and discovery. It didn't happen suddenly, with one grand intention; there were highs and lows, twists, and turns, but learning and growing became interesting and exciting, and soon I became passionate about evolving into the best version of myself.
I love crystals and energy work, and they are certainly a part of my journey; however, the answer wasn't just one thing. It was a collection of teachers, experiences, introspection, trials & tribulations. It was staying on the path, even when the path got rocky. It was not quitting on myself, seeking out support, and doing the inner work that all led me to learn to love and accept myself as I was so that I could see more clearly the direction I was going. I didn't have to stay stuck!
One thing we can easily do is to start acknowledging the good we do each day - while it is so easy to berate ourselves and take notice of what we didn't do, didn't do well, or could have/should have.... we often forget to celebrate the small wins we achieve each day.
Some days it was getting out of bed and getting dressed; other days, it was cooking a healthy meal or cleaning a room. But each time I acknowledged myself, something began to change inside, and soon, I was willing and able to do something more for my self-care, self-growth, and my future self.
When asked how you eat an elephant, the reply is always, "one bite at a time."
When we break down our overwhelming, "all-or-nothing lives" into a series of small steps, small achievements, and small changes and become open to new ideas and ways of doing things, the impossible becomes possible. Somehow, we achieved the big end goal we were so overwhelmed by.
At least, that is how it happened and continues to happen for me. I just don't know what I don't know. And there is a big world of ideas, people, and ways of doing things that I couldn’t even fathom.
Einstein defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”.
Not knowing isn’t a curse; it is not seeking that keeps us stuck.