when change feels scary, remember this

twinkling lights

We are getting close to the New Year and the annual tradition of resolutions and committing to changes we’ve been meaning or wanting to make but haven’t for whatever reason. Last year I talked about how I don’t make resolutions and I’m not changing that this year, but I am taking time to say hello to the energy of change with a bit more intention, and to what an amazing thing that is to have in life… even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

Let’s be honest, even when it’s exciting change can also feel super scary, uncomfortable, frustrating, gross, weird… I could go on but you get the gist. I mean just look at how hard it is to get a silly resolution to stick and those are things we consciously want.

The thing about change that I find most confusing and magical and mysterious all at once, is that change itself is the process that takes us from what isn’t working for us anymore to something new that is just right for us. Seems simple and great right? But that process, even when we know we want what is coming, can still feel super uncomfortable, and if the change is taking us to new things but we don’t feel ready or we are unsure, well then put on your seatbelt because things will probably feel even more intense and weird than if you were welcoming it with open arms. Super. Awesome.

There are two different big-picture experiences with change that can feel simultaneously very similar and different while going through each:

The first is when we are actively consciously wanting and seeking change… we know that what we have going on – our house, our job, our love life, whatever it is – isn’t working for us… it isn’t feeling good, we aren’t growing, it isn’t challenging or fulfilling or what we need, and so we start shifting and making changes to get to what we do want, what is better for us.

The second is when we are in change and we don’t realize it. This can totally happen on an energy level. The best I can explain it is to think about your body and your spirit as two things that are sometimes really in sync and sometimes pretty out of sync, or are in more or less communication with each other. Sometimes things aren’t working and we don’t know why… we start to feel like we are failing, we wonder why things feel so hard, or we feel discontent, we kind of feel out of touch, kind of out of love – with our space, with our job, with our relationship… you are changing but you might not be consciously aware of it here… this one often feels a lot more uncomfortable and we can get stuck in a lot more resistance here so the change takes longer – like I was saying, super awesome.

In both of these examples things are ending and beginning in many ways and we may feel good things and bad things all at once… so it might get a little confusing to navigate.

Last weekend was graduation at my meditation school; I just finished my third clairvoyant training program, learning to read energy and tune into and raise my awareness of my own intuition more and more, which is a pretty big deal for me and a big accomplishment and commitment over the past year and a half. But afterwards instead of feeling totally happy I was feeling kind of sad, and I realized that this is something I pretty much always feel after finishing or achieving something. Sounds weird I know, but when I thought about it… and more about change, I realized that feeling sad, in addition to all the other things I’ve already mentioned, is totally normal, maybe even a good sign.

Whenever you finish something and are taking a next step, you are inevitably ending and saying goodbye to something else, which could potentially feel either good or bad – often both. We put a lot of ourselves and our energy into things, it’s an amazing part of life. We invest, we feel, we love, we work and struggle… all of that means something to us as we put more and more of our energy into it over time. Each thing we are involved in is also shaping us in ways that we often aren’t even consciously aware of until later when we look back at them in goodbye.

So of course we feel sad to go. Even when the next step forward is the right one for us – maybe it’s moving into an amazing dream house that’s perfect for us, maybe it’s moving on to a new job that’s a much better fit, maybe it’s ending a relationship that we’ve outgrown – no matter how ready we may or may not feel, and no matter how much we want the next thing, there is a very real and valid part of us that is sad to leave that thing we’ve put so much of ourselves into – behind. We have to pull all of our energy back out of the things we are saying goodbye to. You can’t really move forward when all of your energy is out in things that aren’t working for you anymore. But instead of perceiving those feelings as negative, now when I feel super frustrated and uncomfortable about change, or when I feel sad when something ends, it’s kind of validating… in a very real way it’s acknowledging and honoring the significance of what we are leaving. It’s really quite beautiful when you think about it, for example with my class – I really loved it, it was a really big deal for me in my life and I went through a big personal transformation; being sad that it’s over is a wonderful acknowledgment of it’s importance. Even when something that I never liked ends, I can still see it’s value in my life. Sometimes some of our most uncomfortable miserable experiences help us grow and transform the most. Yes, we’re ecstatic when they are over, but they are super valuable just the same – maybe some of the most valuable. It’s like a signal of how big of a deal something was in our lives, in transforming who we were into who we are, so that we can be in the right place to have the new and amazing things that are coming.

I for one am beginning to see the difficulty of change and the sadness we feel when something ends as our way of pulling all of our energy back out of those things we are saying goodbye to so that we can really move forward. How easy or hard that is to navigate is just a matter of being able to give a hello to the beauty and importance of what was, and seeing that even though it might not be right for us now doesn’t mean that it wasn’t ever right and beautiful and transformative. Being able to say goodbye without feeling like that thing is wrong, or you are wrong for leaving, is pretty huge. So give whatever you a leaving… or what isn’t working but you’ve been resisting saying goodbye to – the amazing thank you it deserves, then take your energy back and keep your eye on the prize – of what is perfect and right for you now – and is waiting for you just after this goodbye.

2 Comments

  1. What I always think of in times like these (and here lately that’s often; I’m moving) is something that Anatole France wrote: “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

  2. I love that, so beautifully put, and just what I am saying… thanks for sharing!

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