“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” So said Julia Robert acting as Elizabeth Gilbert in movie based on her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Yet, it’s a road that most would avoid at all cost. When a recent event such as a job loss, end of a relationship or illness has shaken you to the core, what do you do? Do you embrace the road you are now on or do you resist, react, and avoid change at all costs? It’s a choice that will either paralyze you or propel you forward towards self-growth.
Being on the verge of impending change is probably one of the hardest places to be.
At every fork in the road there are decisions that need to be made and questions about the outcome. The slate is blank and the only choices are to stay where you are or move forward. What choice will you make?
Gilbert courageously ended her six-year marriage with her husband because after 47 consecutive nights of crying on the bathroom floor, she realized she couldn’t be married to him anymore. It was a difficult, trying decision to make. With one road leading to the path she’s already walked on to another one free with possibilities, but frightening because of its uncertainty. The truth is that to get to the point of life-changing transformation, we need to do the work. And change, good or bad, is painful. It is the ending of one life and a beginning of another.
The question is, “How do we deal with that common fear of the unknown?”
Do we react in fear and out of emotion? Do we jump into the next phase of our life allowing the “what if’s” to consume our thoughts and dictate our actions? Or do we open ourselves up to something different?” Ask yourself this, “How often do you make unconscious decisions about your future that end up propelling you into self-sabotaging behavior?” Is mindless snacking sabotaging your efforts to lose weight or mindless spending not just eating away at your wallet, but at your soul? You could turn the other cheek and continue doing what you’ve always done or you could rise up to the occasion and see the situation as a gift. It’s a gift that could awaken you to a conscious, healthy and wealthy life, the life that you really want. It’s a life that comes out of self-growth and life-changing transformation.
How do you get there?
In part I, I’m listing the first of six things you can do in the midst of uncertainty to choose differently, which will ultimately change the trajectory of your life.
In “Life at Work,” Thomas Moore discusses how the things we do unconsciously like being consistently late at work could be an indication that your daimon or what drives behavior, is unconsciously driving you. Though having passion and direction in life are good things, it’s being unaware of our behaviors that can lead to disaster. A desire to have creative freedom for example may engender a passion to be an entrepreneur. Yet, the fear of the unknown may unconsciously drive you to spend money on things you don’t need or attract clients who don’t pay.
Here’s what’s key.
When you’re first taught how to swim, what was the first thing you learned? “Whatever you do, don’t panic!” Panic is one of the reasons people drown. It’s also the reason why we make disastrous unconscious decisions that dictate our life and why we often get stuck in limbo not wanting to make a decision either way. The ocean becomes symbolic of our lives where those who survive take a deep breath and go with the tide, and others who panic are swallowed by the waves of their own fear.
To be continued…