Mar 25, 2012

the problem with change

image via noor in islam

have you ever wanted to change, needed to change, and yet you can't quite get yourself to do it? has the prospect of real, lasting change ever been simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying to you? i'm writing to you today stuck in this exact place. i've been sandwiched between hope and fear for a week or two now, and i think i've decided that the only way to break free is to just power through my emotions and take action. specifically, i want to change my relationship with "stuff." i know that my life will be easier and better if i dramatically pare down my possessions, but it takes time and energy to do that, and it's much harder than doing what society seems to expect of us: accumulating more things. it's also hard to let go of things that symbolize old goals and dreams that never came to fruition. it can even be hard to let go of things with negative associations. furthermore, it can be hard to accept just how much time and money you wasted on acquiring things that you are now donating to the thrift store never or barely used. sometimes the sheer volume of my goodwill pile is enough to trigger feelings of guilt and shame, and those are hardly motivating feelings.

then there's the other problem with change: if you successfully get rid of the old stuff, ways, and habits, what do you replace them with? if you don't figure this out beforehand, you'll just fall right back into your old pattern. i think i see a clear vision for myself out of the stuff, but it's hard to know whether or not a new way of living will actually be sustainable.

change is hard.

change is surprisingly difficult, particularly when it drags up old issues and bad feelings, but i know it's worth it. i know i need to keep pushing ahead. have you ever been stuck like this? what did you do to free yourself? i'm all ears.

but it's worth the effort.

image via charles  stone

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