May 14, 2014

How to Walk Clear-Eyed & Barefoot Toward Unknown (& Unwanted) Change.


Her heart feels strangely set free.

She’s struggled and moped and hobbled her way through these last few weeks, only to come out on the other side a little bit stronger and a lot more resilient.

Yet, isn’t that how life often goes?

We face challenges and are presented with uncomfortable circumstances which we can either wade our way through, only to bloom like the lotus from its home of murky waters, or we stay stagnant or, worse, drown. But, more often than not, we grow and blossom and reach back up towards the sun with our shade-tired, sunlight-thirsty petals—after a descent period of darkness, overgrowth and, sometimes, sorrow.

Because moving forward and into new territory isn’t easy, but here’s a secret: Life isn’t meant to stand still, and the people who come out on top—happy, content and fulfilled—are the ones who stay curious and ready for change.

It’s true that movement brings turmoil.

The windy spring weather can conjure sweet, breezy gusts that ruffle a slightly warmed face and tickle the hearts we wear on our sleeves, but winds can also be too strong—they can make us feel fragile and insignificantly mobile as life blows us around and around in an unsympathetic whirlwind.

And we can hold on for dear life—we can grope and cling to the sides of something slippery and not meant for stability—or we can let the winds blow us past the metaphorical fork in the road.

This doesn’t mean, however, that we always seek the new—the different—experience.

Generally speaking, the grass typically isn’t greener and those who flit and float from space to space are usually trying to leave themselves behind (which is, fortunately and unfortunately, impossible). But those of us who like routines and are comforted by earthy steadfastness can find life’s frequently mutable transitions more than unsettling—we can find them downright disturbing, tiresome and depressing.

Here’s the thing, though: we have no choice.

Life will, inevitably, present us with opportunities to grow and widen in who we are, and it’s when we stand tall in our previously created roots and let ourselves be open to embracing this unknown that we are finally able to move into who we truly are and who we have the ability to be.

Because we create our own boxes.

We put ourselves in our own confines of labels, and can and can’t-do’s—and, in truth, we are so much more than a simple definition of success or failure.

We can be ready to fly—but still accepting of a meager take-off.

We can process who we know we have been while still leaving our boundaries smudged just enough to expand beyond them.

We can be anyone we want to be, but what we want can be limiting—if we don’t want to move from the cozy bed that we’ve already created, and slept in night after night.

It’s hard getting out of bed some mornings, isn’t it?

I want to stay buried underneath sheets, with my body warm and my nose slightly cold. I want to flip my pillow over for one more round of the cool side. I want to begin a new day, but I don’t always want that beginning to come as quickly or unexpectedly (those nights where sleep feels like it lasted for five seconds rather than seven hours).

But it’s here—and hanging out underneath the sheets won’t change that.

So I get up.

I make myself a coffee and I get excited about a new morning filled with everything that I’ve never experienced before.

This brand new second is a complete revelation in my life, and so is this one and, while they might not be what I was looking for or waiting for, they’re here to seize, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s actually much safer to grasp onto life in this manner than it is to cling to the irrational, precarious walls of what we wish could stay the same.

And here’s another thing I’ve learned: When life presents us with the same experiences, circumstances or set of problems more than once, the universe is slapping us in the face with our own denial; saying, “This is something to open your eyes to.”

So, today, I open my eyes to what lies ahead—even if right now my road is currently obscured by (unexpectedly gorgeous) wildflowers.

And I open my eyes to my deepest, clearest truth—that I am more than capable of moving into the unfamiliar.

After all, familiarity and comfort only arrive with enough exposure—and I’m finally not afraid to lift my veil and walk barefoot past that fork in the road, towards my destiny.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Elizabeth Smith/Pixoto

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