8.3 Editor's Pick
March 11, 2021

Here’s the Hard Truth we need to accept if we truly want Change.


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I have been through enough. It’s my turn to succeed. I deserve to be loved.

These were my mantras.

Until I realized where I was going wrong…

I cannot count how many times I have wanted to press the “easy button” on life, sobriety, and the healing journey.

Like everyone, I want instant gratification, quick fixes, and to just move on with my life in general.

Fast forward through the hard parts, please.

I wanted everything to be given to me. A million dollars, happiness, inner peace: I wanted it all. I believed it would fill the infinite void inside me.

I didn’t want to work for any of these things, though. I was certain that I simply deserved them.

Of course, at the same time, I never truly believed I was enough. Or that I could succeed. I certainly didn’t love myself. So how did I expect someone to love me, or allow myself any of these desires?

“Why me?” is the question I asked myself—and whoever was listening. But I didn’t take the time to find the blessing or the lesson in the difficulty. Instead, I moped through life, half-miserable, half-asleep, even though I was aware of my behaviors. I was a victim of my own life.

I didn’t want to grow through what I went through. I just wanted the healing to be done. I thought that if I actually had to feel emotions, I would succumb to them. I remember telling one of my therapists, “I will not talk about my past; I am not there now.”

I had recently read a book about the “Power of Now,” so I decided I knew what was best. I was certain I could just bypass my past.

What a surprise it was when I learned that no matter where I went, there I was. And I always brought my past with me: recycling lesson after lesson, replacing the different “evil” characters, and the evil was never anything to do with me, of course. It was all happening to me; not for me.

I couldn’t see that I was projecting all my past hurt and pain into my present. The people and the circumstances may have changed in my story, but the experiences kept repeating themselves.

I wanted to feel peaceful overnight. I wanted to be happy. I wanted change.

But I didn’t want to take responsibility for any of it. I wanted to be free of all the things I disliked about my life, without doing any of the work.

My teachers, energy healers, therapists, and the small crowd of people it took to get me where I am today, told me that I would never understand people if I didn’t understand myself or that I couldn’t truly love another without loving myself. They told me to focus on me—just me. I resisted. To fill the void in me, I focused on other people and things that I felt I could grab ahold of, instead.

One healer even had the audacity to tell me that I was already whole and complete.

“What the f*ck?” I thought. “This is garbage. If I was whole and complete, I wouldn’t feel this way.”

And then I would proceed to the nearest checkout to buy something, anything, to remind myself that I was not at all whole. I disliked all of this news and immediately began to fast-track myself through the healing process.

I became egotistical and started judging others for not making spiritual choices like I was. I would worry, obsess, overthink, and overanalyze everything. Because, you know, “Everything happens for a reason.” I believed I had all the answers.

Resistance shows up in many forms. It can look like controlling, manipulating, or plain old shaming. The point is resistance holds us back by never allowing us the space or mindset to move forward, with anything.

So many times in life, we know what the root of our problem is, but we avoid it.

We choose to watch TV, drink, snort, have sex, scroll, numb, and just escape. We don’t want to admit to ourselves that life is not looking at all how we want it to look. When it comes down to making the changes we know we need to make, we don’t want that either.

We find ourselves complaining, whining, wishing, waiting, and hoping. We start talking about our problems with anyone who will listen, but that’s all we do. We won’t actually commit to changing anything and we certainly won’t change ourselves. We feel the way we do because of everyone else, right?

We internalize these thoughts, beliefs, and then we start to project them into our lives. We become constantly worried and stressed.

We are always waiting on the next temporary reward to fix our lives, but it never works.

We wait for Friday. Friday comes, and Friday goes, and we wake up Monday still miserable.

We get the car, and in two weeks it’s old news, so we dive right back into obsessing about what our friends have that we don’t yet have.

We get the house and all the bills that come with it.

We get the new job but still don’t feel peaceful, content, or happy.

We find the perfect partner only to realize that they are not perfect, and our expectations ruin everything before it even has a chance to begin.

We hop from thing to thing not sticking with any one thing, because none of them bring us the peace we’re looking for.

Nothing is ever enough. Nothing works to change things. So, we just give up and carry on the way we’ve always carried on.

We call it acceptance. We tell ourselves that we are victims of things outside of our control.

I cannot count how many times people have told me everything about their lives via email, messages, texts, and calls. When I say, “Okay, well, what are you doing? What do you love? What can you control? What can you make time for? What do you need?” the answers are the same.

“I can’t do anything. This is out of my control. I am stuck. I feel trapped. I guess I will just make the best of it. I need this problem to just go away. I don’t have any time. I am so busy.”

Most of the time, I can barely convince people to allow themselves five minutes a day, just for themselves.

We all want change. But a lot of the time, we will not do what it takes to see things through to completion, because it doesn’t fix things now.

Perhaps you are not happy in your marriage, and you know this, but you come up with all the excuses as to why you have to stay.

Perhaps you hate your job, like really don’t see any joy in getting up, but you come up with all the excuses as to why you have to work there.

Perhaps you feel miserable, and you want inner peace, but you come up with all the excuses as to why you can’t hear your inner voice.

Perhaps you drink too much, but can’t imagine a life as fun as the one you live now.

We romanticize all the things we want to avoid; it’s human nature.

Here’s a little tip: you can hear your inner voice, you do hear it, you are already listening to it, but you are ignoring it. This is why you are so unhappy.

Fear tells us, “You can’t leave your marriage; you’re no one without him/her, or what about the kids, or money. What will other people think?

Fear tells us, “You don’t have the time for that painting class because you are selfish for taking it and greedy for wanting something for yourself. You have kids, you know?

Fear tells us, “Once you have the car, the house, the money, the new job, the divorce, then you will be happy.”

But fear never helps us achieve any of these things. It only reminds us of all the reasons we should believe we are unworthy of any of them.

Fear is a big bully. Why do you think I stayed drunk all those years? All those times fear told me, “You’re an idiot, you’re so selfish,” for simply wanting something more, something better for yourself.

Here’s the thing: if you truly want change, sh*t’s going to hit the fan.

It is going to get real and it is going to get hard. But it also will be really beautiful, and worth every painful moment. You will survive it. I did.

Accept your resistance, but move forward regardless. Watch those thoughts, the ones telling you, “You can’t.” Don’t believe them. You can, and you will.

If you commit to healing, you are going to be happy, peaceful, and strong. Not every minute of every day, because healing ever ends.

At least, I know it hasn’t for me. Every day I learn something new, whether it is a small lesson or a big one. I am happy, though, and I am peaceful—truly. Life is crazy, and I am often in the middle of the chaos because I am finally living life. But I am okay. I am perfectly okay.

I feel like I smile on the inside even when I have no control over what is happening around me.

This doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad, or mad, or worried, or confused, or any of the normal things at any given moment. It just means I know that regardless of any of those emotions, I am still okay. I will always be okay. That is everything and all I ever wanted.

I am not here to tell you that you are resisting or that you need change. That is on you.

You know what you need. You know what you want. You know if you are being true to yourself.

I will tell you that resistance and fear are normal, so go ahead and do that thing you want to do, anyway. Be aware of those thoughts, be mindful of the story you are telling yourself, and go slowly. There is no rush.

All the things that are yours can never be taken from you. And if you decide to go for it, whatever it is, I’m rooting for you.

You can do it. I believe in you. You have to commit, though. You have to choose you. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes. You have to have faith in yourself and your vision, and you have to remember this:

You are already whole. You are already complete.

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