"Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it" David Foster Wallace
We did not come here, in this life experience, by mistake or haphazardly. We are here to learn, grow and evolve. And we are here to experience the highest highs, the most joyful joys and sometimes these learnings and experiences are ignited by change.
Just using the word makes my gut tighten. As adventurous as I like to believe I am, change does not come easily for me. I wish it did. I would like it to. At least on some level.
Maybe you feel the same way?
On one hand…
evolution cannot happen without change and if we are setting our intentions to explore and expand, then eventually we are going to come face-to-face with change.
On the other hand…
for many of us, we long to have a set of predicable, consistent things is our lives. Things we’d like to stay the same so that we can feel safe, in control or less risk averse.
There are some deep survival components here.
There are some underlying survival elements that arise for me. Growing up in an environment that had little predictability or consistency makes this an even bigger challenge. I long for stability as much as I love to continue to grow and evolve. The juxtaposition is not lost on me. The way forward often comes only after I dig in my heels for a bit.
Ah yes, resistance
When the feeling of change starts to rise within me, I immediately begin to experience fight or flight sensations. My nervous system goes haywire. My anxiety goes through the roof.
It’s a curious experience for me because, as an empath, I have a bit of an early warning system. While I am certain it serves a purpose, often it feels a bit like I’m going a bit mad.
No trouble on the horizon
The thing is that while I am starting to feel the resistance to change that is coming, in those moments there is nothing happening to me that outwardly indicates there is any “danger.” Yet, my physical body reacts as if it is under attack. I grasp and cling to what is known. I try to find solid ground anywhere I can. But it stills feels like I’m drowning.
When change does come, it often looks nothing like the story I’ve created in my mind
This is the irony of my experience. My brain (and all our brains) are geared towards creating stories around the feelings we are experiencing. So, as I begin to sense change coming, I create the storyline about what is going to happen. Then I write the end of the chapter. And it’s not pretty. It is also hardly ever accurate.
The messy art of letting go
While having this awareness allows me to set an intention to more actively relax my grip on the way things are to make space for what wants to be, it is seldom an active release for me. Often, my process more closely resembles that of an athlete who hits a wall before the finish line, collapsing and unable to complete the course.
Nothing left to do but surrender.
Eventually, I let go. I grieve the loss. I come to a place of acceptance of what is. I make space for what life will bring me next. And in Its divine timing, the next thing always comes.