It is possible to embrace change.
Sometimes, when we have been in crisis for some time, we feel like we are fighting everything. Whether the crisis is self- or other-imposed, after it has dragged on for awhile we can feel exhausted, worn out, out of options. Yet, it is what we tell ourselves about the change that matters the most, and also contributes to whether we feel drained or renewed when change occurs. For instance, when spring shifts to summer, and then summer to fall, we just accept it. We don’t fight and resist, wearing ourselves out by railing against the unfairness or telling everyone who will listen how unnecessary it is. In the same way, when we can drop our sense of being at odds with change as it arises, we can see that any temporary discomfort we may feel is not from fighting change, but rather is the direct result of our efforts to embrace change as it occurs.
This week I resolve to: Recognize that often what I perceive as fighting change is really my attempts to accept it, and change my story about what is happening to give myself more credit and support.
Rest in what is.
When we really stop to breathe in the moment, rarely will we discover that our world is actually falling apart, regardless of what we may have been telling ourselves. Rather, it is just a moment in time, followed by another and then another, and for each of those simple, single moments, we truly are okay. We can get through anything when we remember to come back to our breath and rest in what is. We can also more fully enjoy life’s good times in this way.
This week I resolve to: Stop, breathe, and simply rest for a moment when I find myself feeling wound up, stressed, out of myself, out of control, or otherwise ill at ease in my own skin, in the midst of living my own life.
It is okay to feel afraid.
We often expect ourselves to leap towards every new goal or undone item on our to-do list with confident enthusiasm. But how often have we actually ever made any kind of change or progress while feeling this way? Most of the time, for most human beings, we feel some fear, some trepidation, some inner dissension, some reluctance, or some resistance to trying something new. To expect any more of ourselves is both unrealistic and unkind, and to refuse ourselves the right to take action until our feelings improves is even more so.
This week I resolve to: Accept that feeling fear or resistance is a normal human response to taking on new challenges, and encourage myself when I notice my fear and refuse to let it stop me from moving forward.
Being a work-in-progress is underrated.
Mother Teresa struggled with depression for most of her life and ministry, often wondering whether God even existed. Princess Diana struggled with an eating disorder even as she visited families suffering from AIDS. There are many more stories where those came from – of imperfectly great human beings reaching beyond their own insecurities, inadequacies, and limitations to stay connected and offer what they could to participate in the world we all share. You are the same. We are all the same. In little and small ways, as we live our work-in-progress lives, hurt is healed, anxiety eased, hope rekindled, and progress made.
This week I resolve to: appreciate myself for the work-in-progress that I am.
There is always a moment of pure innocence.
Sometimes we do things or say things that we regret. Sometimes we don’t say things or do things that we wish we had said or done. We are not going to live perfectly – nor will anyone else around us live perfectly. But we can always find that moment of our own innocence. We can know that we are doing the very best that we can do in that moment as we live. We can learn from less-than-perfect experiences and carry that wisdom forward with us. We learn to forgive. We learn to embrace the present moment. We learn to love. We truly learn to live through our moments of imperfect innocence.
This week I resolve to: find my moment of innocence when anxiety, pain, fear, anger, regret, or loneliness lets me know I am judging myself for any action or decision I can no longer change.