There comes a time when you realize that what you want–like really want, like rich, meaningful relationships, peace, freedom, love, happiness–aren’t going to happen if you keep thinking and behaving in the way that you currently are. There comes a time when you realize that you need to make a change, and change is hard. It’s really hard.
Just this morning, I was thinking back to the beginning of my decision to change– remembering how many times I felt tired–downright exhausted–and hopeless, almost. Maybe hopeless isn’t the right word because there was something that kept me going… so what was it?
Where did my hope come from? What was I holding on to? –because there were many times along the way that I really felt like it would be easier to just quit, go back to where I was, and hide there. At the same time, I knew I could not go back. So what was it that kept me going?
- I had support. I found people in my life who were there for me, who understood change, who saw me for who I really am and not just who I was acting like I was. People who were willing to be there for me, to listen to me, and sometimes just talk to me about seemingly insignificant things. These people gave me encouragement and reminded me often that I could do it and that what I wanted was possible. Some of them were equipped to give me the tools I needed to move past what I was feeling and actually make the change I was wanting,
- I had results–big and small–and I clinged to them. I allowed myself to do hard things. I took small steps outside my comfort zone, and on the other side of that hard, I found amazing bursts of life-breath–excitement, accomplishment, fun, and so many other feelings I was looking for. Even today, remembering those moments with intention when the next step feels too hard really gives me something to fasten my ropes to so I can continue to climb.
- I had enduring faith in God. Even at times when it was really hard and I could have told myself that my faith was waning, I remembered to turn to scripture and prayer and to seek for evidence that the things that I was wanting to attain were attainable. I looked for confirmation that what I was wanting was the right thing for me. In seeking and praying with that intention, I was able to discover new hidden meanings or hidden treasures in scriptures that I had read many times. The meanings suddenly became less general and more applicable to me and my life. I guess not suddenly because I was diligent in searching, and as I searched, the meaning deepened and I was able to find the hope and the proof that it was right for me to keep going.
- I had (and still have) reinforcement–books and podcasts and youtube videos of people who are living the life or experiencing the results that I want to have in my life. Making time to read or listen to the inspiring words of people who have walked the path of change remind me of the possibility and teach me the steps that it takes to create the life that I wanted.
I am immensely and eternally grateful for all of these tools–especially the people–and as a way to give back, I have dedicated my life to being that kind of person for other people. Deep down, I know that this is the reason for which I was born.
I remember what it feels like to be where I was, feeling like what I wanted was impossible, feeling like I wasn’t good enough or worthy to have the things that I wanted, but because of the people who stuck by me–and still are there for me–I now KNOW that it is possible, and I want everyone to be able to experience it. I feel like this is what God wants me to do, and I strive every day to be that person who offers an inkling of hope, compassion, and companionship. I desire every day to be the example or the VOICE that lets people know that you are not alone. I’ve been where you are. Sometimes my mind still tries to take me back there, but I can’t go back. I have experienced the feeling on the other side where life is fun and joyful and filled with possibilities. I want to be able to offer the kind of hope and be the “hand up” that helps others believe that you can do what it takes to experience the love, peace, and happiness that life has in store for them.