Change can be excruciating

There are times in our lives when we need to make a change. Sometimes these changes will be small, baby steps. While these may help carry us forward and may be monumental in their own right, each act requires a relatively small amount of effort on our part.

And then there are times when the change is much larger. Instead of simply taking one small step forward, these changes can feel like we have to rip out something from inside ourselves to allow us to truly make and embrace the change. And, of course, this second type of change is often much more difficult and challenging to make since it may require changing not only our actions but also the way we see and some of what we believe about ourselves, who we truly are and who we would like to become.

We must be willing to pull out that part of emotional ourselves that is no longer helping us, at least not in the way we would like it to. This can lead to tears, anger, confusion, uncertainty. It can feel like we are leaving a void within ourselves, with only the hope that it will be filled by something even better and more wonderful and meaningful.

We can hold onto pain of one kind or another for years not because we enjoy it but because it’s familiar. We may not like it, but there is a certain kind of comfort that can be found in what we already know and recognize even when it hurts.

Sometimes this ‘ripping’ out can be the result of small steps. Sometimes we have to push ourselves to do something that scares the living daylights out of us or leaves us feeling open, vulnerable and scared because that is really the only way we can ever imagine being truly free.

But even when we know what we need to do, which may not always be the case, and even when we deeply feel that this will help us long-term, it’s the doing in the moment that can be agonizing. We are putting ourselves out there. We are surrendering into the hands of a Higher Power, understanding that though we each have our own role, we are drops in the ocean of the world. Maybe we cry out in prayer. Maybe we fall to our knees in prayerful and/or anguished tears. Maybe we reach out for someone to listen and offer comfort and encouragement. Maybe we look within to learn as much of the lesson as we can. Maybe we do all this knowing that this is somehow for our ultimate good though it may not feel it in the moment. Or maybe it already does.

Maybe we continue ‘ripping’ out that piece from within because we have G-d willing already found the something beautiful to hopefully take its place. Maybe that scares us more than anything because it may feel like there’s G-d forbid more to lose. We may feel like every part of us is all of a sudden full of more uncertainty. And so we reach for the stars and hope that there is something or someone that will be there to catch us if we stumble or fall. We share more of ourselves with the world and hope that they will feel it’s good enough, worthy and valuable. We put a smile on our face to hide the uncertainty, even as our hearts race within our chests. And then there are times when, try as we might, we cannot hide the tears.

We realize that all along we have been waiting to be more and more ourselves in the middle of a world that seems to want us all to fit a certain mould. And when we find that place within that allows us to step forward as more and more of our true selves, we awaken to a new reality and see that pretending to be someone or something we’re not or holding on to who we may have been once upon a time is not the reason we are here right now. Today is a new day, and we are each called upon to bring our newest, fullest and best steps to the dance that is life, flowing with the rhythm and reaching out to the Divine.

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