The Courage to Change
Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. — Arnold Bennett
I often hear the voice of the product designer for my company in my head of late. Just over a year ago, he answered an ad I placed on Craigslist for design help. When we sat talking about where I was and what I wanted, he waited for me to finish and looked me in the eye and asked “Can you change, Wendy?” I had to reflect for a moment, because I knew he was asking the question in the largest sense. After a pregnant pause, filled with all that I was afraid to leave behind I said, “yes.”
That yes, and the daily re-affirmation of the yes has brought me to this point; where it seems that life is nothing but change. Tonight our new website that has taken over 6 months and three web guys, looks like it will launch. It is not perfect, but I have given up the idea of perfect in favor of change. You can’t really have both, so don’t let anyone tell you it is possible.
Committing to change is agreeing to the imperfections inherent in the process. It is giving consent to the discomfort that creeps into the small spaces of doubt about the unknown territories that the change will bring you to. I am finding to my surprise that I am attached to things that I didn’t even know I had, until now with the big changes that are reshaping not just the website, but Good Clean Love itself. Letting go of how things were, even if you were the first one to admit how broken they were is harder than I imagined.
It takes courage to change, because the real work of letting go is an inside job. I have been doing this interior work with unflagging attention and intensity for months. The interesting thing is that when it comes to the most essential interior changes, it is not subject to your will. Like forgiveness, in fact perhaps the most internal form of forgiveness, letting go of how you think you are, of how you think things have to be, of how you think life should be for you, is an act of grace. Grace is something that we open our hearts to, and then we wait.
In the process, if we are fortunate, there is a surrender and room to have what has been replaced by what you hope to become. Change happens whether you are open to it or not. It just doesn’t come in with grace. I can hardly believe that this marks over 200 days of the positivity quest, which may well be the most important work I have ever done.