To change or not to change, or do we even have an option?

Yet another day passes where I hope I can just decide to change the way I am in the hope to become someone more aligned with what I think would make my life easier and better: if I wasn’t so scared, if I was more spontaneous, less annoyed, less tired… the list goes on. This text is for me and for anyone else who could use some “wholesome” reminders.

Yes, I can decide to step outside my comfort zone and change my action in the here and now, but to take on changing my whole person in one thought process? Not so successful. Rather disappointing. I can only work with what I have now. There is nothing wrong with goals, as long as I don’t live like my life starts somewhere over there. My life is now. Happening right now. This is it.

At the same time, if one wants to see something different happening in life, we can’t go on doing the same thing over and over and just hope for a different result. It simply won’t happen. 

Another tricky one is that we tend to forget to see how far we’ve come. We forget to celebrate all that we are doing, instead of hating on ourselves for the things we are not doing, not doing well enough or shouldn’t be doing. 

Also, look at it from a bigger picture. What did you do in your desired direction in the course of a month, a year or years instead of just this day? (Interesting note: I usually use this trick when it comes to babies’ nutrition. Maybe they didn’t eat all the nutrients they needed over one day, but did they over a week?)

Interestingly enough, when I’m stressing about not feeling enough in one way or another, I have usually lost track of what really matters to me. I’m usually fretting around topics of not working hard enough or that my home is way too messy to mention a few things. But when I sit down to reflect, what I always come back to is that I want to spend time with my loved ones and that I want to expand my horizons intellectually, creatively and experientially. Yes, I need to cook so that I and my loved ones can receive sustenance and hence be alive, but that is pretty far from making Instagram-friendly meals. 

On a more existential note, don’t forget that you don’t have to achieve anything in the material world to have a right to exist. You already exist. What you do with, think or feel about it is another story (!!). Be careful in spreading uncalled-for blame on life or upon others. Life is not “fair”, whatever that is on a cosmic level. So, what are you doing, and for whom? Be honest! Often we think we are doing nice things to others when we are really just trying to cope with our own anxiety. 

To change or not to change, or do we even have an option – of course, we have an option. It might just not be the one you imagined. And oh, perhaps try not to think about this too much and actually go do something? As one of my daughter’s favorite songs goes “the wheels on the bus go round and round… all through the town” – the wheels of your mind will keep spinning – that is their job! To produce thought after thought – especially thought with potential danger content. The trick is to not get caught, the thoughts are just suggestions after all, not absolute truths. So when I suggest “go do something” I don’t mean to necessarily be productive, I just mean the wheels will keep spinning until some other input comes. Go feed yourself some compassionate action, whatever that may look like. 

Take-home points:

  • Start from where you are. Don’t create an imaginary gap between you here and now and some ideal somewhere else. 
  • Do you want something else? Do something different. 
  • Don’t forget the small steps. 
  • Widen the perspective. 
  • What is important, really? 
  • What are you doing and for whom? 
  • Be mindful of what you are feeding yourself

Originally posted on the 4th of January 2023.

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