“Why can’t I leave this relationship?” a client wailed to me over the phone.
“Because a part of you isn’t ready,” I said.
The truth is, despite any knowledge we have over what we “should” do, we will never change until we can honor where we are.
Awareness does not bring action, acceptance does. We can never move faster than we feel safe enough to move. Awareness is the beginning stage of change, but it is not the catalyst to change. If we try to change from a place of “should”, it just won’t stick. Why? Because we’re running off our own will and determination. That will last for a while, but eventually we either get resentful, rebel, or burnout.
Real change happens when we can reach a deeper “Yes” inside ourselves. And the only way to get there is through acceptance and surrender. Once we accept a condition as it is, we are able to think clearly because we have stopped resisting it. We are no longer blocking the solution through force, but rather, we are accepting the reality as it is and our part in it.
This is a powerful place to be because two things will now happen: 1) We become humble and willing to make changes that prior to, we were too stubborn to make, and 2) We invoke a Greater Power to handle the outcome when we do our small part.
This doesn’t mean change won’t require courage, as most of us know. Anytime our Higher Will crosses the path of comfortable familiarity, there is a certain ring of fear we must all walk through. However, there is magic in these steps because for every step we take, our Source takes ten.
Have you ever had the experience of taking an action you were afraid of doing, yet desired to do- a phone call, job application, or class? And when you did just this one small action, several other serendipitous events occurred as a result?
I remember when I chose to leave my marriage and my job and move. My situation actually took over a year for me to accept and surrender. But when I truly did, I took a chance on a name and number from an index card I saw hanging in the Unity Church. The home didn’t look like much, and I almost walked away. Instead, a young woman around my age answered the door and showed me around the house. I saw her bookshelves lined with all my spiritual teachers, smelled my favorite incense burning, and smiled when she told me she’d like to start a writing group. We became good friends immediately, and I know, without her I would not have had the strength to get through that year.
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” – Goethe
If we try to move forward before we truly have acceptance for our struggles, we will be living from someone else’s “shoulds”, and that is force. Yet, when we can accept where we are at and surrender, we come from a deeper place of love and trust, and that is freedom.
This Thanksgiving, honor where you are. Love yourself enough to accept your own pace and make the small changes you can today. Change doesn’t have to big to be effective. It just has to be big enough for you.
This is how we begin to cultivate self-acceptance, self-trust, and self-love in our lives.
What are you aware of today? What are you in the process of accepting? What one small change do you feel safe enough to do today that could make a difference in your life?