Before we jump in, let me be clear upfront - I am not suggesting or implying that embracing change makes the process any easier. In fact, I believe change of any kind can be hard, and in some cases really fucking hard. When we start working on change, many of us (myself included) fall into the all-too-familiar trap known as excuses. At the end of the day, though, the excuses are just bullshit.
The image you see on the left was taken around the time I started going to therapy. I had suffered a loss that I could not deal with. I found myself hanging on by an exhausted thread every single day. Even the simplest tasks triggered overwhelming emotion. I was devastated and needed help. I was not fine anymore, and yet, I continued to resist vulnerability. Overtime, however, I began to peel back the layers and discover more about myself than I ever expected to. I actually felt so much more than just grief inside. This was a terrifying realization.
My therapist used to say this credo to me…
Change is not good or bad. Change is just different. And remember that “different” can look many ways to each of us.
I can remember hearing the words as she spoke them to me but not fully comprehending their meaning or significance. I had no clue what she was really saying. Better yet, I had no clue what she was really saying to me. Uncovering the meaning would come in time.
I read a book that put this mantra in another context. To readers and non-readers alike, I highly recommend this book (especially Chapter 8 entitled the “River of Resistance.”) The book is titled Bullshit.
Most people know how to live a perfect life. The problem isn’t knowing. It’s doing.
- Bullshit by John W Wright
You’re probably familiar with the term “empty calories” when it comes to food, right? These are calories derived from items containing no nutrients. Yes, you feel a momentary sensation of satisfaction, but because what you’re consuming does not actually serve a purpose for what your body needs, you are never truly nourished.
This is a literal and metaphorical chapter in my story. I was continuously running (on empty) from my opportunities to explore vulnerability all because I feared the reality of the truth and change that much. I feared the “doing” aspect of all of it (which is/was obviously the most important piece.) And so, like others, I opted to dangle by the tired thread instead because I believed it to be the easiest choice. The path of least resistance, right? And that, my friend, is an excuse and complete bullshit.
Remember, change looks differently to each of us. The exchange of less of “this” and more of “that” is unique to you. In any form, it takes profound commitment and grit to transcend your status quo. Adjusting requires immense effort, bottom line. It’s often scary and filled with unknowns.
The images on the left were in the midst of my war-zone, while those on the right are recent. Sharing these side-by-side images with you is incredibly emotional for me. This is the illustration of my transformation. I fought really hard to overcome my struggles with vulnerability. It was a difficult choice to embrace change, let go, and to find authentic balance.
What you see on the right side is me as the best version of myself. My body, mind and soul are now stimulated and fulfilled, which is what I lacked in the pictures on the left side. This is what victory over bullshit looks like for me.
So, what’s holding you back from that needed change? What’s your excuse?