We Change When We Have to

January 1st. People declare their New Year’s resolutions. But the truth is – we change when we have to. We change when the balance on the scale tips to one side overwhelmingly – when it is more painful or difficult or deadly not to change. We change when it becomes more difficult NOT to.

Change is not the easy way, and let’s face it, we lead busy lives. Change takes effort and a lot of it. Who has the energy? You do, that’s who….but you need to have the resolve to move forward. A skeleton plan and determination are necessary. And fans. Supporters. It is helpful to have a few (or one) key people in your corner to help in moments of self-doubt. Pray for the best possible outcome. Adopt a mantra (or mantras) to help you through.

Change is hard for everyone. However, for empaths, we don’t want to cause others pain – because we can feel it. Resistance from others is very tough for us. That’s why you need resolve and support. Because not everyone around you is going to be happy about your decision for change. You will also need to give yourself permission to express your pain. Outlets are necessary – you’ve got to find yours.

It’s true that hindsight is 20-20. Change implies struggle, and in the midst of struggle, we can’t see clearly what will come out of it. (We just need to get through the day!) But at some point, you will. It may be days, months, or years down the road before you gain a clear perspective, but you will. Change and struggle, though not wished for, bring growth that otherwise never would have happened.

My current mantra to keep me going down a path for change, that will be very visible to others, is a quote from Zen Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, ” No mud, no lotus.” It helps center me and keep me on my path with my gaze ahead.

When making changes, give yourself the gift of time. Change is a process. Be gentle with yourself.

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