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The Road to Change

October 20, 2010

 

The Road to Change

Change ~ it can be inviting, even magnetic, or it can be terrifying and overwhelming. It can be something we latch on to at every possible opportunity. We imagine that making a change will fix our problems or fill the emptiness we feel. Maybe a new job, a new city, a new house will make us happy.

Or, change can be the thing we resist the most in life as we hang on to what is known and sure, afraid of what it might bring or require of us. We are not sure we have what it takes so we chose to remain where we are, frozen by fear, suffocated by our need for external security, blanketed with excuses and reasons for staying the same.

At midlife, change is all around us. We find our nest is empty, our hopes and dreams altered, our bodies reflecting the years. We are suddenly not who we were and yet we don’t yet know who we are to become. We often react to all this change by flailing about or holding on tight,as the earth shifts beneath our feet. If we don’t begin to find our footing, the restlessness continues even after the external forces have subsided.

Life’s little and big disruptions are a great opportunity for very real change ~ the only kind of change that can take us where we really want to go ~ internal change. It requires hard work and courage, but it doesn’t always require picking up and moving or divorce.

For the last ten plus years I have been increasingly unhappy with where we live ~ both specifically and generally. I felt like a fish out of water ~ I never felt at “home”. I wanted to move, to make a life altering change ~ we talked about moving across the country. In the back of my mind I knew that this was not always the answer as that was my modus operandi when I was young and trust me, the grass is not always greener. Reality being what it is we couldn’t make it happen. Still I was restless and frustrated by my inability to do something about something so seemingly important as my surroundings and the environment in which I lived. I still longed to feel “at home”.

It took our recent trip to my old home town and a serious car accident on the way home to change my perspective. Sometimes life does something for us to push us into change and sometimes it happens more gradually, but the point is the same.  Change happens on the inside.

A terrifying experience in a strange city changed me in numerous ways. Most striking has been that for the first time in twenty years I was happy to come home to the quiet, lazy, slow-moving south. I am content ~ inside ~ to be here now. Almost relieved. I look around me and I see what is good, not what is bad. Nothing has changed ~ except my perspective.

When things are out of kilter and you are struggling with how to change your life to make things right, consider working from the inside out. Change yourself, your perspective, your attitude, your thought patterns and you might just change your world.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2010 3:29 pm

    I had a very similar revelation about 15 years ago. I movedback to my home town not because I wanted to but because I was a single mom of a rebellious teen living in a city thousands of miles away from relatives. I felt family and small town would be best for my daughter. It was the right thing to do. She turned out just fine. I’m very proud of her and I adjusted and grew to love the slow small town lifestyle. I’ve become that “country girl” I fought so hard to get away from, LOL! I miss the convenience and excitement of city life sometimes, but not enough to leave my home again. Great post Dorothy. Thanks!

    • October 20, 2010 5:08 pm

      Ironically, we moved south for the kids as well. I’m not sure they got a better education but they’ve turned out okay too. As long as we can get back for a visit now and again, get an infusion of excitement, all will be right with the world! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Celene.

  2. October 20, 2010 6:17 pm

    I used this very technique to change my relationship with someone in my family. I found that when I looked within and didn’t expect too much, the relationship smoothed itself out and has become a close and caring one. I too felt like a fish out of water for many years yearning to take root elsewhere. Sandra’s words ring so true, her wisdom reaches out and makes one re -think life. Then along comes the truth just as she described it. I am just sorry that it took a traumatic incident to bring this truth about. Stay happy Sandra. Stay safe. Thanks for your wise words.

  3. October 20, 2010 6:22 pm

    Thanks Sylvia! and I forgive your senior moment! I have more than my share these days! I rather like the name Sandra 🙂 Maybe I’ll change mine!

  4. October 21, 2010 1:49 pm

    What a pleasure to read another of your posts. So many important points made so articulately. I’m a believer in the value and importance of internal change and recognise that it requires hard work and courage. Life’s little and big disruptions (loved that!) really are opportunities. Happy for you that your new perspective is more comfortable and very much hope your recovering well. Gee

    • October 21, 2010 6:45 pm

      So happy you dropped by Gee! Thanks for your kind words and insights. I am recovering. Too much time spent at the doctor’s and in physical therapy but everything is progressing as it should. DS

  5. October 22, 2010 2:08 am

    So beautiful – and so very true what you’ve written here. I have been wrestling with wanting to change environments for several years now. And yep, we’re still living in the same place. Our plans did not work out for us to move to another locale. So I’ve been working on changing my attitude living here. The change for us could still happen in a few years but if it doesn’t, so be it. There are things we really enjoy about living where we do – our friends are here, the lake is just a mile away, the hills across and behind us are filled with cattle and their young. Our home is nice. We are comfortable. We are blessed. Thank you for reminding me that our joy really does come from within. God bless you and your hubby as you heal!

    • October 22, 2010 12:06 pm

      Sounds lovely! Want to swap homes?! 🙂 I keep thinking home swaps would be a great way to find out if you like an area without making a drastic move. But, that’s something one has to be able to afford to do. Thanks for your comments.

  6. October 24, 2010 11:11 pm

    What a pleasure to read this post—and to be reminded that change begins within us. Sometimes we really do need a change of environment. But usually, that’s only a temporary need. It’s the changed perspective that lasts. Thank you!

    • October 24, 2010 11:32 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Lynette! I look forward to getting to know you. I visited your website and see that you are a writer! I look forward to reading some of your articles.

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