Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Change…not the kind you get the jingles in your pocket. It’s the kind that occurs as you keep living. Change, as they say, is inevitable. Some of us adapt to it easily. Some of us fight it tooth and nail. However, at the end of the day, it happens. Change!
There is an old Gospel song that says, “As I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say, that I’ve been blessed, I’ve got a testimony.” Each and every one of you can say the same thing. Each and every one of you can testify to how the changes in your life affected you. I often hear of the tragedy of change that occurred in a child’s life when their parents split up. One day it was a “Leave it to Beaver” (young folks, Google it, LoL) lifestyle, the next day it was the first day of the rest of their lives. Riddled with feelings of rejection, fear, anger, insecurities. All these things, left unresolved, unchecked, manifested into teenage and adult behaviors that caused lifelong issues. Only those who were able to stop and say “I may have been dealt a bad hand in life but I have the ability to change the trajectory of my life,”are the ones who can make positive changes in their lives. At some point, I am speaking to myself as well, we must choose to change. We may have been dealt a bad hand. We may have been unloved, hurt, rejected. All of that may have left us harboring ill feelings and resentments. We may have been labeled as one of those people who are “angry at the world.” However, it does not have to be that way. At some point, we have the power to make the decision to change our lives.
Someone once told me that “if you don’t like the way your life is going, you have the ability to change it.” That stuck with me for a long time. I can’t recall when, how, or where I made the decision to change but, I made the decision to change. You can make the decision to change if you do not like the trajectory of your life. However, before you can do so, some things need to change. This is just my opinion based on experience. I hope it helps you as well.
You must look at what areas of your life, you are dissatisfied with.Why are you angry? Why are you fearful? Who are you angry at? What are you afraid of? Why do you feel you are not capable of accomplishing your goals? Why do you think so negatively? Why are you so pessimistic? You get the picture. So those questions are just examples. You can certainly utilize them, but you can also come up with your own customized questions.
Secondly, you must begin to answer those questions honestly. So, let’s take a couple for example. Why are you so angry? Possible answer, “I’m angry because my mom left us when we were kids and it made me feel abandoned, angry, and mad at the world! The ONE person I am supposed to be able to trust with my life, just left!” You can plug in father, husband, wife, whoever fits the scenario. Ok, so let’s walk through this. As a result of this person walking out of your life, you have spent many years with the wounds from that experience. The wounds that have not healed properly. Those improper healings have manifested into you being resentful, combative, stand off-ish (is that a word?). You know what it has done to you. What needs to happen for you to heal properly. For me, it was addressing that person, for me it was letting them know how their behavior made me feel and how it affected my life. Now I approached this with NO expectation. Meaning, I was not looking for them to fall on the sword, confess how much of a horrible person they were, and beg for my forgiveness. We always must remember that we cannot control, dictate, or manipulate the behavior of others. We can only control our own behavior. I went into this experience saying to myself “Regardless of whether or not this person acknowledges or accepts responsibility for how their behavior affected me, I will walk away with the satisfaction of knowing, they heard me. The words that came from my mouth landed in their ear and traveled throughout their being. It is an empowering experience in that you will hopefully, feel a sense of freedom and relief. Now, you may be saying the person or persons are deceased. I have had this experience as well. Again, I can’t say this will work for everyone, but it is worth a try. I wrote a letter to them, a loooong letter! Once finished, I destroyed it with the idea of also destroying the negative energy that plagued be for so many years. Now I am not suggesting a specific way to destroy the letter. I will leave that up to you. It helped. I hope it helps you.
You have taken some first steps to heal from these past issues that are preventing you from healing so that you can make positive changes in your life. There is still work to do. I read a book once entitled “Buried Feelings Never Die” by Karol K Truman. The title alone speaks volumes. I compare those buried feelings to what I call the light switch syndrome. So, your electricity goes out. You know the electricity is out but what is the first thing you do when you enter a room. Hit the light switch to the electricity that you know is out! It’s called muscle memory. You are going to react to circumstances based on that sub conscious experience or habit that has been embedded in you for so long. You may need some help digging up those feelings, habits, etc., and doing the work to resolve those feelings and be able to respond to things differently. To feel differently about things. Yes, I’m talking about counseling, therapy, talking to a professional. Interview a few of them until you find one that you are comfortable with. Now please do not confuse this with a Psychiatrist. While their services may be needed, they only prescribe medication. You want a professional that is going to help you unlock your past and heal! Trust me, from experience that is not an easy journey BUT I can say it is well worth the trip!
I have been told that “Paula you have changed so much over the last decade or so.” Yep! Sure have! Why? Because I made the journey to the place called Change. I did the work. Lord knows it was not easy! I was determined that I was not going to continue to live the way I was living or feel the way I was feeling. It was mostly the feeling which hindered my life’s journey. A photographer that I worked with in the past once told me during a conversation: She said we spend our adulthood, trying to get over our childhood. I use the word “trying” intentionally because some of us are not successful at getting over those childhood traumas. We must be there for each other and encourage each other to take the journey to Change.
Our world today has changed so much. At the time of this writing, we are amid a worldwide pandemic that is changing not only our lives but our world. Many are anxious about what lies ahead on the other side of this. Many have lost family members. They have not been able to get proper closure due to our nationwide quarantine status. No travel, no large gatherings. People are dying in hospitals alone because no one, except medical staff are allowed in the hospital due to the aggressive nature of this pandemic. People are not being buried properly due to the overwhelming number of deaths that are currently happening daily. It is depressing. It is overwhelming. This season of our lives will definitely force us into some sort of change. A change some of us may not be open to, yet we will find ourselves amid, perhaps, and unwanted change.
However, this season may also present an opportunity for you to self-reflect, honestly. Yeah, I know it’s hard to hold up the mirror and have a transparent (no pun intended) conversation with yourself. You have got no where else to go, nothing to do, but spend time with, yourself. Great company! Are there aspects of your life that you know need to be examined? You certainly do not have to answer me but turn within and seek an honest answer. I invite you to try some of the suggestions mentioned to see if you can search your soul for all that has harmed you, and see if you can find everlasting peace and freedom from those hurtful experiences.
I invite and challenge you to make the changes you need to make to become a better you. I encourage you to take that journey and to know that you are not alone. While it may not be an easy journey, you are not alone. I am a witness. I believe in the power of prayer and I have lifted my share in the process. Whatever your faith may be, whomever you reverence as a higher being, I invite you to seek your source in prayer. Now some of you Christian folks might criticize me for wording it that way, but it is birthed out of lessons I have learned from worldwide travel. The God as we (Christians) know as omnipotent, omnipresent, all seeing and all knowing, truly is God of the universe. I believe that He can choose to speak to His people around the world, in whatever format He chooses to do so. Who are we to limit how He speaks to His children? For Christians, He speaks through the blood of Jesus Christ. Let us not condemn our brothers and sisters who God chooses to speak to through different means. Just my opinion, as is all of this. I hope it helps somebody. Until next time…embrace the journey.