Beginning means change and most often we don’t particularly like change. Oh, we want it, even speak of its need, and how that might all come about, but when it comes to actually moving into that change, we fight it. It’s hard, it’s work, it’s frustrating to even remember why we wanted the change to begin with. We even screw it up in little ways, trying to convince ourselves that it just isn’t possible. It feels overwhelming, even small changes do, because change has a ripple affect.
For change to be affective, it has to be done on all levels. That means it has to be accommodated on the physical, mental, and emotional planes. If we choose to skip one of them, we invite failure and the change doesn’t have much of a chance of actually seeing the ultimate fruition we are hoping to achieve.
That’s because we are connected to all of those planes at once. They are entwined, and reliant, one upon another. We may decide to engage in a physical fitness program, but that decision is a mental and emotional aspect. As soon as we begin, we discover that we aren’t too good at it. And it actually hurts. We don’t like the feelings of pain and inadequacy, so we find ways to drown them or appease them, ultimately sabotaging our own efforts. We may begin knowing that these things will actually happen, but reality is a lot different than simple anticipation.
I am a writer and have been writing for well over thirty years. Yet, there are mornings when I get up and don’t want to write at all, would prefer to do almost anything else, and might even consider going to the gym for a workout, rather than sit to this keyboard and begin. It might be because what I am writing about is something I need to explore more deeply, something I’ve been ignoring or putting off knowing. It might also be because whatever I am writing about is headed toward knowledge that would definitely demand a change, and I don’t want to change.
Change really is hard work. It takes emotional, mental, and physical commitment. It means accepting that, for some time, one will not be as comfortable as one has been in the past. That’s a biggy. We really don’t like being uncomfortable. It’s both frustrating and aggravating to be uncomfortable. The thing we seldom stop to think about is that we initiated the change because we weren’t all that comfortable with the status quo to begin with.
The other thing we fail to see is that we need that discomfort to fuel the change. If we were really comfortable why would we even consider changing in the first place? We are imperfect living and breathing creatures constantly in movement: either evolving or devolving. We can either put all of our energies into standing still (staying comfortable), or place ourselves in the path of change to hopefully more satisfying places.
And we make those choices every moment of our existence. Do I eat that wonderful looking piece of chocolate that promises a stolen moment of delightful taste satisfaction, or do I forego the chocolate and take a walk in the sunshine, perhaps risking meeting someone who has something invaluable to teach me? Either way I will not be comfortable.
If I eat the chocolate and my weight rises, I will be uncomfortable in my new jeans, not like the way I look, and want to hide for having failed once again. If I take the walk, my back will probably protest, it might rain, and I probably won’t meet another soul who is foolish enough to be out here doing this anyway. And so it goes, round and round.
We only complicate it by defining our choices as good or bad ones. They are only choices. Some are more efficient than others, leading us in small tiny steps toward the places we would prefer to be. Others, like the chocolate, might be instantly gratifying, but will they lead us anywhere except back to that couch potato existence?
Making choices can be as much hard work as changing. But, living in a world where the only stable factor is change, means doing both. Choosing not to change is still a choice. One that might actually make one far more uncomfortable than all of the changes put together. The consequences of not choosing only multiple with each moment that passes. The same way that a small change will eventually lead to even bigger ones.
All of this is no more than common sense. But just because it is familiar, probably heard repeatedly, doesn’t mean we know it and understand all of it. We need reminding. We are constantly moving and that means we are always letting go of some things, while grabbing onto others. Choosing to change, is moving into our own creative possibilities. Giving ourselves the opportunity to find new ways of being and evolving.
Who knows? We might actually find more than just a bit of momentary satisfaction. We might actually find ourselves, and even learn that invaluable lesson we alone can impart. I think that calls for sunshine and maybe even a walk.