Before we jump in, let me be clear upfront - I’m not suggesting that by simply “embracing change” you can make the process itself easier or faster. Change doesn’t work that way, my friend. In fact, the truth is change of any kind can be hard, and in some cases really fucking hard. Breaking up with unhealthy habits, behaviors, or mindsets is never a fun process.
When we start working on change, many of us (myself included) fall into the all-too-familiar trap known as excuses. These often are a byproduct of the power of habit that is controlled by our self-doubt and low self-esteem. Excuses are one of the reasons why transformation stories are rarely linear. They produce many ups and downs along the way. At the end of the day, though, the excuses are just bullshit, my friend. So, to keep moving forward, we must commit to overcoming these bullshit excuses. Are you with me?
Let me share with you a glimpse into my hard truth tunnel. The image you see on the left was taken around the time I started going to therapy. I had suffered a loss that my mind and body could not deal with. At this time, I didn’t know how to be vulnerable nor how to let go. Even the simplest tasks triggered overwhelming emotion and I couldn’t keep it from bubbling over. My life was a fucking mess and completely un-purpose driven, but I wasn’t ready to admit it. Enter excuses…
A little progress each day adds up to big results.
Now, it certainly didn’t happen quickly, but as I took micro-steps towards self-awareness and self-love, it finally started to hit me - I was not fine at all and “why” was deeper than my grief. I recognized that my emotional health was in full crisis mode. I could feel this hard truth manifesting through extreme mental conflict and physical turmoil.
Your mind captures everything you’re feeling and your body harbors everything you’re thinking, my friend. I did not fully understand this at the time. The terrifying discovery of my emotional crisis only made me want to resist vulnerability even more than ever before. I did not want to live that truth - my truth. Not yet, at least.
Change is not good or bad. Change is just different. And “different” can look many ways to each of us.
My therapist was the first person to introduce me to words of affirmation. I can remember hearing these soothing 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 of this credo demanded that I live and learn my truth.
I read a book titled Bullshit several months after that put this affirmation statement in another context. Sometimes having a concept explained in a slightly different way is the best form of effective communication which leads to better understanding. To readers and non-readers alike, I highly recommend this book (especially Chapter 8 entitled the “River of Resistance.”)
Most people know how to live a perfect life. The problem isn’t knowing. It’s doing. - Bullshit by John W Wright
Consider this next - You’re probably familiar with the term “empty calories” when it comes to food, right? These are calories derived from items containing essentially no nutrients. Yes, you feel a momentary sensation of satisfaction, but let’s keep it real, because what you’re consuming does not actually serve a purpose for what your body needs, you are never truly nourished. One could argue that your body is not given the proper fuel to live a purpose driven life.
Friend, this is a literal and metaphorical chapter in my story. It’s the chapter that launched my transformation. At last, I finally understood that 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.)
The power of habit has the ability to take the form of excuses, when driven by self-doubt and low self-esteem. It keeps you in a revolving door situation. But here’s the deal - all you have to do to make it stop is step outside the spinning door box.
Excuses controlled my actions (and inactions) for way too long and it was devastating to all aspects of my life. I opted to keep spinning around instead because I believed it to be the easiest choice that required the least amount of effort. The path of least resistance, right? Well that, my friend, is an excuse and complete bullshit. Your health and wellbeing should be priority #1!
You are entirely up to you.
My friend, change looks differently to each of us. Self-discovery and personal growth come in many shapes, sizes, and speeds when we allow our mind and body to fully connect. 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 and to want a fresh start. Adjusting and overcoming requires immense effort, bottom line. It’s often scary and filled with unknowns when you step outside the revolving door.
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 challenging for me to this day. This is the illustration of my crisis and my transformation.
I had to fight really hard to overcome my struggles with vulnerability and self-doubt. This was the only way to finally cut the shit and excuses out for good. No doubt, it was a difficult choice to embrace all the changes to follow, to learn how to let go, and to trust the process of living a purpose driven life.
What you see on the right side is me as the best version of myself, but I’m also a never-ending work in progress in so many ways! My body, mind and soul are now stimulated and fulfilled, which is what I lacked in the pictures on the left side. Abundant life is a gift when you find yourself. It’s the result of overcoming all that keeps us stuck in the revolving door to nowhere. This is what victory over bullshit looks like to me.
So, what’s holding you back from that needed change? What’s your excuse?
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