What is change? And where does it come from?
Does it come from the 30-day program guaranteed to help you drop those “last five pounds?”
Perhaps the numerous self-help books you’ve picked up this year?
Maybe it comes when you finally give in to your spouse’s request and go to therapy?
The answer to all of these and more is: Yes and no.
For the secret to change is not really a secret, nor is it nearly as complicated as we make it out to be. It is, however, scary and confronting and perhaps one of the hardest things we’ll ever run into because change is found not in programs, ceremonies, self-help books, coaches or therapist’s couches but in Truth.
Pure, raw, unfiltered Truth. Not in the 5 steps or 3 keys or prescriptive information we find on the internet, but in the acknowledgment of Truths - our Truths - that awareness brings to the surface. From a place of truth, we can no longer hide from the most beneficial course of action. We can no longer suppress, deny or run from that which motivates us or from our responses to those motivations, and thus, we do not. And then…. we change.
Because we cannot see a truth without paying attention to it’s consequences, and, when we do, our inherent desire to align with love, both for ourselves and others, arises naturally.
When we know that we secretly binge on donuts because we’re working to fill a void left behind by our father…and our first boyfriend and our last boyfriend and every friendship we’ve ever had … we begin to reach for healing instead of pastries.
When we learn that we can’t stop cheating on our partner because we’re too scared to feel our loneliness when he or she isn’t able to be present with us, we reach for self-love instead of a pseudo-connection found on a social media screen or in a secret hotel room.
When we find out that we’re addicted to stress and success because intimacy and settling down and being present scare us beyond words, we reach for meditation instead of creating a crisis or working 80 hours a week.
When we realize that we hate our anxiety but that it also keeps us from having to face our fears and explicitly set boundaries around ourselves, we reach for courage instead of Xanax.
These truths – the hard ones that terrify us to look at – are the gateway to doing it differently. While we can, with some success, willpower our way into surface changes, the real, long-lasting growth appears when we drag our truths out from the dark corner in which they hide and allow them space and room heal.
And how do we do this you might ask?
Through the cultivation of awareness. Whether you want to lose weight, work on your anger issues, find love, clear up your health issues, make more money or find lasting happiness, the answer is the same: Cultivate awareness and, through it, change will come.