Now is the time for change.
We’ve all experienced a situation that didn’t quite happen or end the way we wanted it to. And I will even be so bold as to say, that that memory haunts you. It crops up in your mind from time to time, or you’re reminded of it everywhere you go. It’s like a weight, stunting you from going forward.
Shed what 'was' to embrace what 'is'
We all have quite a few of these memories, but why do they hang around?
It’s because you aren’t willing to embrace what is. There is part of you that doesn’t want to let go of what was or what you thought should have been.
I know that’s quite simplified, and I don’t mean to make this process sound easy. I know myself it’s not! We all have things we wish had happened differently, but didn’t. But, like many things in life – we must practice in order to triumph.
Why is letting go so hard?
Most of the time it’s because there is a familiarity, or some level of desire, in the memory, so you think what ‘was’ is better than what ‘is’ right now.
Or for others there may be a sort of ‘satisfaction’ in upsetting yourself (believe it or not), like a self-inflicted consequence for what happened. As if you ‘penalise’ yourself over and over again with that memory.
You rethink what you should have done. You replay what would have happened. You rehearse all the things you should have said. And part of your ego gets satisfied, but in reality – nothing has changed.
What ‘was’ is still what was. And what ‘is’ is still what is.
At some point though (if not right now) this memory will become a weight around your ankles, then the shackles continue to grow until it imprisons you and becomes self inflicted torture. I think many of you now are thinking, “Yup, I know what that feels like!”
But to make this helpful, let me explain this in a way that’s not so gloomy. As many of my blog followers know, I like analogies, so here we go 🙂
The life of a caterpillar...
The life a caterpillar leads, is the only life it knows. It crawls along, stuffing itself full of leaves. Munching away.
Then one day, the caterpillar starts the process of change, a transformation. This change is out of its control – it just happens when it’s time. The result? A dramatically different creature to what it started out life as: a butterfly.
We’ve all see butterflies fluttering about, enchanting us with their lightness and beauty.
But can I ask, how many butterflies do you see purposefully carrying around their former shell? An empty cocoon packed up in a bag on its back. Ones who hide their wings, or try to crawl instead of fly?
Imagine seeing that! A butterfly who refuses ‘what is’ because she liked ‘what was’ – so she tries to go back through the cocoon. Over and over again. But without success.
And when she realises she can’t change, she carries the memory of what ‘was’ with her, everything she sees reminds her of ‘what was’. Her fluttering about is no longer fun but now tiring, she loses her lightness. She soon gets weighed down and she can’t fly as far or do as much.
She becomes wary very fast.
How come? All from using much of her energy in trying to hold onto what ‘was’ (her caterpillar self), instead of embracing what ‘is’ (her butterfly self).
We’ve all been in this situation, where we want to roll time back or change something that’s happened. But just like the butterfly – we can’t go back. We must accept what is.
So what do we do?
Every time we notice we’ve picked up that old shell, or are repeatedly thinking of what ‘was’ instead of looking head – we need to make a conscious decision to change the behaviour.
Shed the old to embrace the new.
And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an easy task for many because change can be a scary thing. Even when that change is going to allow you to grow and flourish.
But don’t worry, just like you, I’ve had to face many challenges and do my best to push through the trepidation of what that change may bring. So, if you need a bit of help with this process you might want to check out two specific blogs of mine:
- Practicing acceptance is more than just tolerating what is.
- Pack it up, put it down, walk away. How to truly forgive.
As we enter the last phase of this year, it’s a great time for us to reflect on what we’re going to carry forward into the new year, and what we’re going to leave behind.
Are you going to try and squeeze back into that cocoon? Or perhaps continue to keep carrying around things which no longer serve you?
Or are you going to finally accept what is, and shed what was, so you can truly fly?
Namaste, Melissa #biglove