A few years ago, when I was out on a walk, I screamed out in frustration.
I was so frustrated that I couldn’t change something I wanted to change—to release some block or fear I held within me.
I had tried everything I could think of, but I couldn’t make myself see what I couldn’t see. I couldn’t force myself to not feel that fear or to stop unconsciously acting according to my “blocks.”
And I felt so hopelessly frustrated.
But now, a few years later, as I look back, I can feel the shift. I can feel how I’m different.
And more significantly, I can feel how my approach to this kind of change has shifted. I understand that I can’t force it. That we can’t force it.
This change takes time.
It can often feel slow or nonexistent.
It’s filled with a lot of tiny little moments strung together where we may feel like nothing is happening.
Until one day we wake up and realize that something has happened. We’re different. We’ve changed.
We just see that we don’t react in the same way or we’re not triggered by something that used to set us off or we understand more than we did before.
We can see things, feel things, know things, understand things.
Change, this change, this internal change, is a dance between action and non-action, movement and stillness, a going-toward and an allowing. We can take steps to head in the direction of where we want to go, but we can’t necessarily determine the time frame or how the process will unfurl as we move along.
There are so many things that we can’t control. With some things, these things, these deeper, internal things—we can’t force change. We can’t force ourselves to not have certain fears or “blocks.” We can’t force ourselves to see or know or understand what we can’t see, what we don’t know, what we don’t understand.
We can’t force ourselves to suddenly “be over” something or “to let go” of something.
These internal changes, the changes that happen within us, aren’t something we can consciously decide.
These types of changes come as a result of awareness.
Through observation. Through watching ourselves. Through becoming aware.
This change happens over time, through awareness, through attention, through willingness to change. It comes through patience and through being willing to be present with ourselves—with our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions. It comes through observing our tendencies and habits and patterns, and through intentionally choosing to react or behave differently—when we’re guided from within to do so.
While we can’t force change, we can take actions that facilitate it—heart-and-soul-guided actions that come from within. Where we’ll have a knowing, an inner knowing, that it’s what we’re meant to do.
Over the years, I have forced myself to sit through immense fear when I’ve been triggered and not move at all, or in other cases, to take deliberate actions that I know will make feel uncomfortable. Because I could feel from within me that it was the right thing to do. It was what I needed to do.
We can force ourselves to not engage in a knee-jerk impulse to run away from something we’re internally trying to avoid. We can watch a current of restlessness move through us. We can tune in and notice when something in us doesn’t feel right.
We can’t force ourselves to not feel the uncomfortable energy, but we can choose to not give into the knee-jerk reaction to alleviate it, if so guided from within, and instead sit with it, watch it, learn from it. Separate ourselves from those habits and patterns—through intentionally not engaging in them.
In a way, it feels like change just happens—we just realize we’ve changed.
But this change comes through awareness, through deeper self-awareness, and through intentional actions we’re internally guided to take. It comes through small actions to move in the direction of where we want to go—actions that come from an inner knowing that these are the right things to do.
It comes through being honest with ourselves, from being true to ourselves.
It comes from a deep understanding that is born from awareness.
But we can’t force the deeper shifts, the deeper awareness, knowings, or understandings. We can’t force the parts of us that are uncomfortable to feel at ease, and we can’t force ourselves to suddenly just not feel scared—to drop that fear.
But we can move in a way that we move through those fears with awareness and conscious attention, and a deep inner knowing that what we’re doing is what we’re meant to do, in this moment.
This change, this internal change, is more like an opening…it’s as if it just suddenly happens. The shift has just happened.
We just feel that it has happened.
But it comes through a lot of tiny little moments where we were present with ourselves, where we did what we knew from within we needed to do for ourselves.
It comes through a soft willingness to be present with ourselves.
And with all of our experiences.