“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path toward happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it.
And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart…where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.” —Everwood
This quote speaks to my soul. When I look back at this entire year, I see a lost girl, aimlessly wandering with the wrong people thinking she will mysteriously find her way again, with zero effort. What I wasn’t willing to accept, is that positive change only comes with the effort you put in. And that zero positive change will occur when you’re living an unauthentic life.
If you find yourself in this same position, at any point in your life, stop what you’re doing and reflect. Take a couple days to look back on the last phase of your life. Analyze it by removing each layer individually; from friends, environment, job, relationship, free time, hobby, passion, etc. Which part of those things lights you up? Which parts drain you?
I’ll tell you a bit about what happened to me.
I started in the friend column. The people I was surrounded with didn’t allow me to be me. It doesn’t mean they were bad people. They were just wrong for me. Realizing that I had spent the whole spring and summer acting like someone I wasn’t, burned me on the inside. It took a lot of self-convincing to understand that I didn’t waste those seven months. The lessons I learned about what I deserve and who I am are irreplaceable and probably would’ve taken much longer to determine if I hadn’t gone through that.
Then, I looked at my free time. I took some time and let my body talk to me. How was I feeling? Did I feel healthy…strong? Both of those answers were negative. So, I asked why? Well, the obvious answer was that since I began my lesson filled summer, I had stopped working out regularly—something that has always been a form of therapy for me. From that moment on I made it my mission to turn health and fitness into a habit again. And, now, I feel like I’m on better track in that department than I’ve ever been.
Another issue with my free time was writing. I wasn’t spending nearly as much time with it as I needed to. Once again, I asked why. The answer I came up with was simple. How could I write from an honest place if I wasn’t being my most authentic self?
This whole year, I’ve known that the number of changes I could make is very significant. The tricky part is taking the steps toward making those changes. It’s scary. It’s the unknown. What’s going to happen when these changes are made? What if it doesn’t help me at all and I end up losing a job, friends, or an opportunity? On the other hand, what if I follow my gut and things end up working out exactly as they should?
Moments are temporary, and they are limited. We don’t get to do this thing forever. Knowing these simple facts, why do we allow ourselves to suffer in situations we have the power to change? It’s true, change doesn’t happen overnight, but that’s no reason to stay where you are. Besides, the journey to your goal is the real reward.
Life is one giant journey with a bunch of small ones in the middle. Let’s keep moving toward the things that light us up. We’re better off that way.