Posts Tagged ‘change’

“Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted.” ~Unknown~

In my work with clients I talk a lot about acceptance, the importance of realizing where they are today and what changes they need to make to improve their current circumstances to get them where they want to be tomorrow. All too often I see individuals who are stuck in the past, recapping and reliving what has already happened with little hope that the future can or will  be different. I’m one who used to be stuck in a similar way.

As the quote above suggests,we can accept our lives or we can change. In past posts I’ve stated that acceptance doesn’t mean we must like what has happened, what we’ve done, who we are. Rather, acceptance is simply saying, “This is what was. This is what is.” It’s acknowledging the fact of the matter. Before we can do anything to improve ourselves and our lives, we must accept things as they are and make a decision about what needs to change. It’s necessary for moving forward when we’re in a place of “stuckness.”

Many times individuals fear the change that needs to take place because staying comfortable is what most of us prefer. Stepping outside the box to explore things with no gaurantee that those things will work can be scary. However, in my personal experience, I’ve found that the thoughts surrounding stepping outside the box made it seem much more intense than it actually was when I chose to give it a go. No, I’m not saying it was easy. I’m saying that it was easier than what my mind made it out to be and for that I’m grateful.

The only way to improve situations, relationships, illnesses, etc. when they are causing distress in our lives is to first accept that the distress is there and what’s causing it (often times distress can be a result of our thinking) so we know what we need to work to change. Once we do this, action plans can be developed and we can find ourselves moving forward with momentum we didn’t know we, or life, had. It’s a great and beautiful feeling to be able to say, “I did this! I accepted my life and worked hard to improve areas that weren’t working for me. Now, my days are more satisfying and my life feels more fulfilling.” I know because I can say this to myself today.

Change isn’t that horrible thing others make it out to be. It can be amazing. We’re given free will in life and that free will allows us to be and do whatever we choose. It gives us freedom to accept and freedom to change, which can lead us to live a life never imagined. It comes down to what we want to do in this moment. Are you willing to give yourself a chance at a new beginning?

I leave you with the challenge of accepting at least once thing in your day. I’ll go easy on you and not challenge you to accept one thing you don’t like, but that would indeed be better practice. Either way, let me know how you did and the result of living with more acceptance of what is.

Until next time…


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when I took my first step. And I’m clinging to the promise, He’s not through with me yet.”

Christian artist Ginny Owens sings the above lyrics in her song “If You Want Me To,” and it is a song that reminds me of just how far I have come in my personal journey.

I was reflecting on some things this evening – including my own successes over the past year – and I said to myself “I never want to go back to where I was before. I was miserable and now I have hope.” I wonder how many of us are able to see when we have made strides and how many of us long to go back to the person we used to be even when we know we weren’t happy then.

In my entire life, I have never been more grateful than I am as an almost 29 year old. I could rehash my life for you, but I’ll save that for my memoir. I will say, however, that what I experienced in the past wasn’t always pleasant and was at times nothing less than chaotic. I was unhealthy, unhappy and unwilling. I was waiting for someone to come in and rescue me or for someone to change me because I believed I couldn’t change myself.

The good thing is that I did change myself. I am changing myself. I wake up every morning and face challenges, as we all do, but I’m more capable now of managing those challenges and working through my concerns or problems utilizing the skills I’ve learned over time. I never, ever, ever thought my life would change. I had resorted myself to the fact that I would be the way I was forever, which included being a single woman who would eventually end up with a dozen cats living in a small house that no one ever visited. I thought I was destined to be only what I was becoming by following an unhealthy lifestyle.

Then it hit me that I had a choice to make. If I wanted to end up alone and miserable with no goals achieved, I could. Or, I could take my dreams and make them a reality. I chose the latter and although it’s been tough, I do not look back. I do not regret.

I’m not who I was when I took my first step.

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Among all of life’s uncertainties, there are few certainties. One such certainty is that if we want things to be different, we must be willing to change. You may recall the definition of insanity… “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” It’s a pretty accurate definition and when we stay on the path leading to nowhere, we can drive ourselves crazy.

The question is… Where does change begin? It can be daunting to think about all of the things we feel need to change in our lives, but in thinking of ALL of them, we become overwhelmed and may continue on that same path. To put it into perspective let me give you an example I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been able to relate to: You get up in the morning, head out the door into mad traffic to get to your job downtown. You find yourself anxious and beeping before you even pull into the parking garage. Then, it’s time to go into your office, sit in your cubicle and open your email to find that corporate has changed policies… Again. You go about your day with the looming question of how you can keep up another day doing a job you like, but don’t plan to remain in forever. In fact, you secretly wish to work as something completely different and in an office closer to home. You watch the clock and finally it’s 5 p.m. You head out the door, back into traffic and eventually make it home where you’re dreading having to get up in the morning for another day at the office and you completely miss out on the experiences of being at home. Worry takes over and you’re keyed up, taking it out on everyone around you when in reality you just need a change.

Sound even somewhat familiar? You may not have that exact experience, but you may still be able to relate. Changing our lives is certainly not easy and what’s more, how do we know where to begin? How do we determine what will get us closer to what we want? How do we determine if it’s we who need to change or it’s our circumstances?

Change in any form is difficult. I’ve touched on this in past posts, but it warrants another mention. Allow me to self disclose for a moment. I have low self-esteem. Surprised? Probably not. I tend to beat myself up so much at times that no matter what accolades others could give, I can’t see what they see. I take on people’s problems as if I was the one who caused them. I laugh at the wrong times. I talk too much at times and I tend to assume no one at all likes me. If people do say they like me, I tell myself that they’re just saying that because it’s impossible for anyone to like me. Sad, isn’t it? As a result of this irrational thinking, I have told myself more times than I can count that I need to be different or that I need to apologize for everything I’ve ever done and pray that I wake up different the next day.

What I have been trying to do, however, is accept those parts of myself that will be the way they are regardless of what happens and identify parts that could use some real work. I realized only more recently that I was trying to change way too much at one time. I was spending so much effort complaining about the way things were and the way I was that I missed some very important things in my life. I missed many opportunities to just live life. Change is inevitable, but I was overly focused on where my change would begin or how it would begin that I never actually changed. It was the same story over and over.

I encourage you to consider whether you’re trying to change too much in your life or if you are able to make small changes that will lead you onto a new path where you’re feeling happier, healthier and more able to enjoy the life that has been given to you. Once you identify the change, determine where you will begin and don’t sit on it. Take action and you will be amazed what can happen.

Until next time…

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