Transitions….Change….they are not always popular concepts or experiences, though necessary to growth. In order to grow a seed is required at every level to undergo change..radically and consistently in order to survive and then thrive.
1. a realization of potential
You all know I love words and their definitions. This one is one of my favorites because within the process of entelechy ALL of life is encompassed into one tiny little power packet. Think ‘acorn’. The acorn is the perfect example of entelechy. Everything it needs to become a great oak tree exists in that little acorn. Anything an organism needs in order to come into being and reach its potential is right there inside one tiny seed pod.
Nature always wins.
Why then do we as human beings resist the process of change so much? Why does it have so much fear associated with it?
Maybe because it’s hard. It’s messy… and sometimes it’s REAL ugly.
I find it curious how even things that clearly do not serve us, cause us unhappiness, and even cause us harm can still be comfortable enough to stay in vs embark on the unknown. Dysfunction Junction what’s your function??? We fear what we do not know. Even things that no longer serve us are at least familiar and familiarity …the known…carries less fear. We may not like it…but we know it and there is an odd comfort in the monsters that we ‘know’.
Change is hard.
Change is inevitable.
Change is the only universal constant that we can depend on
So…great…maybe we can all consciously align with the idea that change is important and necessary and inevitable..blah blah blah…but that doesn’t mean that we can so magically act accordingly. We are biologically and evolutionarily hard wired for fear. Fear is a powerful force and often embedded deep into our lizard brain for survival. Good News, we no longer have to worry about being eaten by a Sabor Tooth Tiger, but somehow our brain hasn’t let that knowledge sink into the depths yet, so here we are still a slave to fear if we don’t address it.
I have not been a stranger to fear or change in recent years (or really ever). I consider myself a student of growth always and in all ways. Even in being very conscious of choosing growth and embracing growth…change is still not easy. I spent the last few years in deep change on both the internal and external landscape. When making the decision to move out of the home I had known for 20 years in the middle of a pandemic, I had NO idea how hard it would be to find another place to live. I spent 15 months in and out of temporary living situations, short term rental, staying with friends, staying with family etc while numerous real estate offers were passed over with an also unprecedented shortage of rentals. There was just no inventory! I kept trusting. I kept putting one foot in front of the other.
It was not until the day of my closing when my realtor/friend made it a point to tell me that she was impressed with how I have handled the last 15 months of not having a stable home to call my own. She pointed out that there were places that looked good on paper but to me did not feel right, there were places that felt super right and I even offered a higher purchase price but a cash offer for less won the day. I handled the disappointment with grace and trusted that it wasn’t meant for me (often with some tears). Where I ultimately landed is the last place I would have thought I’d be. In fact, it actually WAS my LAST choice at one point in time. In the end, it is clear it is EXACTLY where I am supposed to be, and it feels good. I have not slept so well in years as I have in the short time I have been here….even despite the mess of moving. What I realized in the moment listening to her recap these things is that if I HAD known how hard the last year plus would be….if I HAD known that I would NOT be able to find a home for that period of time or that my daughter would be displaced right along with me, I don’t know if I would have made the leap. It was only in NOT knowing that I could take that leap of faith and trust that what I was being called toward WAS my path. Fear would have ruled the day and made me choose stability…or the illusion of it. Staying where I was and not growing…I would have continued to wilt. The stagnancy would have been grossly unhealthy. How funny though, when she described it to me, I was struck by how I could have predicted the circumstances I questioned if I would have taken the action I did. Even if I had known I would land here and be whole….I am not sure I would have thought I could handle over a year of displacement…I question if I would have chosen what I perceived to be ‘safety’ even though I know it wasn’t healthy for me, even though it was not safe for my spirit. I would have chosen the dysfunction I knew….I could predict that dysfunction. I was intimately familiar with it. It gave me the illusion of control.
Even as I write this I can see how ridiculous it is to be comfortable with dysfunction because you have the illusion you can predict it and control it vs the fear associated with embarking on the unknown and trusting yourself and the path that you are being called to take…even knowing that it’s healthier for you. Somehow that ‘unknown’ is always so much more scary even if you know what’s on the other side is better for you. You still question whether or not to embark on the journey.
We all do it at one point or another. Sometimes repetitively. Sometimes consciously. Sometimes while asleep at the wheel.
The funny thing is you can’t set sail and still hold on to shore. What I learned by trusting, even while I could not see the staircase, is the single next step is always revealed when needed. That’s the tricky thing about faith. You have to believe in what you cannot see. Faith is not only in the context of specific religion or faith based practices. It is also for YOU…your faith in YOU. It is so important to cultivate self trust. There were certainly times mine was called into question…only by me..but still in question. Letting go of the shore was a bit of a baptism by fire. Leaving a home and life of over 20 years, not knowing where I would land….just knowing I had outgrown it and that the choice before me was: grow or wilt…nature always wins. I forged ahead….both the internal and external landscape had to change as a result.
For me to take that next big leap in my own evolution it became clear that EVERY. SINGLE. THING. of who I was had to fall away before the next thing could be ushered in. There is beauty in constraint. It shows you parts of yourself you might not otherwise see. The squeeze forces things to the surface that need attention. Everything had to be stripped bare, literally and metaphorically. When in new environments with little of my belongings or familiarity, I was forced to get clear on what mattered, what needed to go and what needed to stay and most importantly…what was never there before but needed to be called in to move forward. It is a very surreal thing indeed to watch the life you knew fall away, not just in bits and pieces…but in its entirety. One of my health care providers said, “You aren’t even going to know yourself when this is done.” She was not entirely wrong…but in a good way. My life looks very different in many ways…and yet in others I have never felt more like myself. If I hadn’t made the leap…not knowing what was next, if I had let fear stop me…if I had not trusted that the next step was there…I don’t know what life would look like now, but I do know it would not be good or healthy and I would be lucky if ‘wilted’ was all I was. I fear I would have irretrievably lost vital pieces of my own light.
Life IS transition and change. We have to trust our own entelechy. We have to KNOW with every fiber of our being that everything we need to become our greatest version of ourselves is already within us. We have to plant ourselves in fertile soil and allow the process to unfold. We have to go where we are led.
Grow or wilt. For me….growth is the only option. Thanks nature for always winning.
The next time you are faced with fear of the unknown or the comfort of dysfunction I hope you challenge yourself to take the leap of faith and trust that the next step will be revealed as soon as you put your feet firmly on the step in front of you.
So I ask you…Where have you gotten too comfortable? Where are you underinvesting in your best self and starting to wilt? Today is the day. Take the leap of faith and engage in a conversation with ‘change’ in a very intentional and meaningful way.