Change is one of those things that is inevitable. It does not mean that I particularly change but that things change. I do change and I particularly like it when it is a change for the better. But, alas, that is not always the case.
This year with resolutions and hopeful thoughts change looks like a good thing. But it is also a difficult thing. Especially when it bumps up against my long held comfort and safety mechanisms. Those things that I turn to to feel either safe or comforted. And although those things were insanely helpful at one point they have ceased to be helpful in quite a few ways.
Hiding, is a big one for me. Things get scary or are not working right and I want to go to ground and hide until the storm passes. This was very helpful as a child and even as a teenager to a great extent. Yet as an adult it is not that helpful. Whether I want them or not I have responsibilities that I have to meet and battling the desire to hide and run away is very difficult. But I am getting really good at not running. No matter how much my stress headaches want to take over.
There are some things that we do that are so very comforting to us but oh so very not healthy for us. Everyone has those things. It is not just those people who have had trauma. Everyone has a fall back plan to lay low and lick their wounds after a bad day. For some it is a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or some other ice cream. Or it could be anything. The point is everyone has them.
But the main point is that when you have a large list of them and you know that they are not helping you anymore and are actually hurting you it is time to look at change. The biggest thing I am finding as I try to change how I am dong things is that I try really hard not to create a void. Creating that void has always led to filling it with much worse or far more of the bad thing than I originally started with. The void is created by taking something bad away but not replacing it with something good. I am still going to need something to help on a bad day or when things have totally fallen apart. And I would much rather it not be potentially harmful down the road.
New thoughts and replacing habits can meet up with resistance in our minds. And that is okay. Change is not always easy. If it was we would do it all the time. We just need to keep revisiting that change and thinking about it until we can sit easier with it. And then make the next step to ward changing. First I need to see the change and then I can do the change.
Taking stock of all the positive things that I do not have to change gives me some space to look at what I am doing that needs to be let go of. And then I can move on. I know I can do this because I have done it before. Everyone has done it before. We have all replaced something in our lives with something else. To do this we need compassion for ourselves and allow ourselves to make mistakes and view each day as a new day to try again.
Because everyday really and truly is a new day. Everything gets another chance.