“You are feeling overwhelmed not because you do not have any options but because you have more options than you are willing to acknowledge.” Ouch! Those words stung a little. Okay, a lot. But they were very wise words spoken to me by a friend a year ago when I was beginning the process of a major life change.
At the time I didn’t believe that her wisdom held any meaning for me. After all, nobody knows my life better than I do–right? But when I gave myself permission to accept and trust her honest perspective, I began to see and understand the choices that were lying at my feet all along. Until then, I felt confused by what my future could possibly hold and was held captive by fearful thoughts about change, a fear of the unknown. This prevented me from taking a step in any direction, and I remained stuck in a rut for a very long time complaining about my life to anyone who would listen.
Change can be difficult; there’s no doubt about that. But it seems to me that we’re the ones who make it that way. It is not change itself that is such a challenge; it is finding the courage and motivation to take those first few steps and trusting that the universe will support the decision. Once the options are examined and a verdict is made and acted upon, the actual process of change can be very exhilarating and empowering, a satisfying feeling of really starting to make things happen and creating movement from what I had been calling “a drowning place.”
Human brains are hard wired to seek the comfort and security of the familiar, and as a result, most times people choose to stay where they are, even if it makes them unhappy. It just seems like too big a deal to embrace a new experience with no certainty that the chosen future will take them to a healthier, freer and more fulfilling situation. Fear has a way of creeping insidiously into the consciousness stuffing minds with doubtful and unconstructive thoughts like “What if I fail?” “What if I’m making the wrong decision?” “What am I going to do for money when I get there?” “I don’t know anyone; I’ll be lonely.” “I can’t do this on my own.” “Who’s going to help me?” “I’m giving up everything I’ve worked for here.” “I can’t afford…It won’t work out…What’s there for me…How will I……” And on and on the internal dialogue creates a heyday in the wilderness of the vulnerable mind. The torment is always in the head, not the heart.
There are two ways that change can happen. Life can force a person to change through circumstances that appear to be beyond personal control, or a person can exercise free will, examine the available options, make a decision, and take the first step towards change. When I was in that fearful place last year, I kept asking myself why I found it so difficult to get something going in my life. For a long time I also couldn’t understand why God and my angels didn’t seem to be helping me. I prayed all the time asking for guidance and direction to move forward.
As writing over the last several years has been a way for me to communicate with my angels to heal most issues in my life, I started to dialogue with them in my journal. Here are some excerpts:
I don’t feel the freedom or the connection to anything, including myself.
When you don’t like something, you avoid it.
Meaning the value in your life. You see no value in your life.
I’m lost, aren’t I?
You’re misdirected. Direct yourself to what is important to you. What do you want?
That’s the problem; I don’t know.
Then you can’t take direction and we can’t help you. Spend some time deciding what you want and then focus on it. That is all you need to do.
After that dialogue, I followed my angels’ advice and made a comparative list of my wants and not wants. I knew that I wanted to feel love and acceptance, fulfillment, abundance, joy and freedom of expression, but my list seemed so surreal that any decisions about change left me spinning my wheels again. A useful exercise for me was drawing a line down the center of a sheet of paper. The column on the left was headed “Want” and the column on the right “Don’t Want”. I proceeded to search within myself for answers as I spilled my guts on that one intimidating sheet of paper.
When I was finished, there were only four lines of “want’s” and a page and a half of “don’t want’s”. It was quite obvious at that moment that I had no vision for myself and came to the conclusion that my angels were helping me see that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I found it was easier to talk about what wasn’t working than I did talking about any decisions for change. If I didn’t know where I was going, how could I expect even the spirit world to help me get anywhere? And of course, the fearful internal dialogue wasn’t helping my cause, and there was lots of that. Back to my journal and more dialogue:
I’m having difficulty visualizing my wants and feeling that they are obtainable.
It’s up to you to fulfill your commitment to yourself here. Make it real in your mind’s eye in whatever way that works for you. The more you see, the more you be.
Why do I find it so difficult to make a decision for myself?
Decision making is a skill, and you were never taught that. So—write it down. Lay it out. You develop the decision-making skill first by writing down all your options even if they seem preposterous, then looking at your list, and deciding the best route—what resonates with you. This is easy. Over time you learn that you don’t have to write it down anymore because you can do the same thing in your head. The skill has developed to a point that very little ground work is needed to arrive at your decision. It becomes almost an intuitive process in time—you just know what to do. So spend some time looking at your options. And you do have options–you’re just torn as to how to choose between them. All options at this point are good because any one will get you moving. But you need to be clear on only one. The process of figuring it out in your head right now is too difficult for you. It is like running the Boston marathon tomorrow when you’ve been on a couch all winter, if you get our drift.
I get your drift.
Make this decision in training—write it down. Other people do not have to do this because they’ve developed the skill. But when something big comes up in their lives and they have to make an important and difficult decision, many people revert back to the training in their earlier lives and write it all out so they can see clearly the good and the not-so-good about each option. It’s too difficult and complicated a decision to do it all in their heads. You are faced with the biggest decision in your life and you have very little skill development in the field of decision making.
So my decision to take this journey in my RV first to Arizona for the winter and now to Saskatchewan for the summer was part of this process and the only option that fully resonated with me. This adventure has so far been the best decision of my life and has taught me many things.
The biggest lesson has been to let go of the worry about what the future could possibly bring, to trust my intuition to guide me to the next step, and to live in the moment knowing that each experience and every person I meet will hold something special for me. Freedom has been a long time in the making. This journey has also taught me to enjoy the spontaneity that I have allowed myself and to acknowledge and gratefully accept the guidance and support of the Source of all life and to trust that Divine guidance will always be there because it always has been.