In my last post, I wrote about awareness and the beginnings of the realization that I needed to make some big changes.
As my awareness increased, an awakening of sorts began to occur. There were the beginnings of general and even clear understandings of why I was disturbed, but the primary realization was that these unsettling feelings weren’t going to go away and that fear was creating my discomfort.
I remember having long conversations with myself during this time. Conversations where I berated myself and worried about what others would think if I made the changes that I truly knew were necessary. Conversations where I actually had good insight into what was happening but the fear of being found out always kept me in place or in retreat. Conversations where I blamed everyone else for my problems and justified my actions, vindicating myself completely. Conversations where I contemplated suicide, but my fear of what others would think always pulled me from the brink.
Awakening is exhausting!
And yet, my awareness kept growing and my awakening to the fact that I needed to do something about all of this continued to the point of feeling a sense of impending doom. Awakening is such an aspirational word – one filled with possibility and hope. I would not have chosen that word then. I can only use the word, awakening, in retrospect.
At the urging of another, I said “yes,” this is what I will do, these are the steps I will take, and I will take them now. I felt immense relief at having made a decision, an action in and of itself, and then I was once again plunged into the fear of the unknown. What will happen? What will everyone think? How can I explain this? But, I had said, “yes,” and I couldn’t take it back or was it really that I didn’t want to take it back? I think the latter.
As I look back, I feel grateful for the discomfort and the exhaustion because pain is the primary motivator when choosing to change. More was to come for me, but I think this quote from Carl Rogers says it all, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”