Change is Scary; Do You Have the Courage to Face It?
At any given moment you have the power to say: “This is not how the story is going to end.”
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
I chose two quotes today because I love both of them and, today in particular, they seem to be yelling at me very loudly. I’ve recently been through a major change in my life, which I mentioned in my last post. I lost my father before Thanksgiving to pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in August and it was slow and painful. I couldn’t be there to care for him as he lived over 6 hours away and I couldn’t get away as often as I wanted. Since his death and funeral, I’ve had good days and bad days. I’ve spent most of those days with one earbud in my ear and music blaring so that I could just get through the day and get my work completed. I didn’t listen to any Christmas music because my heart could not take it. So I turned to my mp3’s and iheartradio and Pandora. I’m an eclectic music lover. I love everything. There is almost nothing I won’t listen to, except maybe country. Mostly I’ve been listening to alternative because that’s still my favorite. It’s helped, amazingly enough. Then, I did something drastic the week before Christmas. I dyed my hair. I know, I know, how drastic is that really? The thing is, I’m naturally blonde. The darkest I’ve ever dyed my hair was red, and even then it was more of a strawberry blonde. It’s so not blonde or red now. I originally thought I’d go light brown, and that’s even what the box said it was. Even the sample was closer to a dark blonde than chocolate brown. However, when the towel came off and I looked in the mirror, my hair was so dark brown that I almost thought it was black. Even after it was dried and styled it looked closer to my mom’s natural brown than light brown. But I loved it! I still do. I love how dark it is and I think it actually looks just as good on me as my natural blonde. For now, I’m planning on keeping it dark.
The point of that story is that it was a change and I wasn’t sure if I’d like it at first. But as it turns out, I did. It was a small change, obviously, but it was change nonetheless. I woke up that morning and I knew I needed something to kick me out of the routine I had started falling into. I looked at myself in the mirror and I knew I needed change. It may not have been as scary as, say, bungee jumping, but it was still an unknown. And being small, it meant that I could then face a bigger change than that. Suddenly, I was able to face some of the grief I’d been managing to not think about. I went out the next night to a Christmas party for a woman in need that my family and friends from high school had secretly helped, and I had fun. It was a joy to be able to be a part of helping someone in need, and it helped my heart to be able to be an angel in someone’s miracle. All of that then started this feeling that my life is starting to change again.
It truly is in the process of an even bigger change, and while I’m not sure yet what this change is going to hold for me, I’m choosing to face it even though I’m scared. I don’t know how I’ll be on the other side of this change. Will I make it through with grace and strength? Will my kids be alright? Am I going to have to fight for every inch of ground I gain, and how many steps will I have to take to make progress? I won’t be the same on the other side. The importance of change is that it is supposed to change your perception of your world, your life, and when your perception changes you are not the same as you were before. I know from experience how scary taking that first step is but I also know the regret you experience from not taking that first step. Change is inevitable and it will happen to you eventually. You have a choice in it, though. You can choose to be still, to do nothing, and let change force you into it, scared and fighting it all the way. Or, you can choose to face it with courage and grace, and kindness to yourself. You will make mistakes and bad decisions, but remember to be kind to yourself when you do. There’s no Facing Change for Dummies book out there that I know of yet.
I know I have the strength to get through my own changing world. As for courage, I’m starting to realize that if it’s something that scares me, then I’m on the right track. Courage isn’t the lack of fear. It’s choosing to face what you are afraid of and continuing on in spite of your fear. I’m afraid of what’s to come, definitely. I don’t know how well I’ll make it through, and I’m scared of who I will become. But what I’m more afraid of is staying where I’m at and never accomplishing my dreams. I’m leaving my comfort zone and taking that first step. I’m changing the ending to my story. I’m becoming who I was meant to become. As Loki says, “I am burdened with glorious purpose.” What about you? Do you have the courage to face whatever change is going on in your life? Are you brave enough to be burdened with glorious purpose?
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert (Dune)