Change

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”

~ C.S. Lewis

On a cursory glance through my recent blog entries, it would appear that one of my oft-recurring, favorite themes to expound upon is change. The very title of the blog suggests as much. If I am as objective as I can be (who among us is really, truly objective when considering our own lives?), I cannot deny that I am undergoing noticeable changes. Certain moments and circumstances lend more readily to introspection and reflection. This season of Easter and the rebirth of spring is one of those periods.  However, while I fully acknowledge that some of my ways of acting are different and that, through practice and repeated exposures, I am building new tools for responding to previously triggering stimuli, at the end of the day, the question remains… am I really changing? Am I, as a person, as a human being with a heart, soul, mind, and will, actually growing? As I type this, am I any better today than I was yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year?

“Each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person.”

~ Leo Tolstoy

A short time ago, the wonderfully insightful Maria, author of the blog “Small Changes for Life,” wrote in a post, “You know what’s amazing? We were all created with the ability to change. It’s the one true constant we can all see in nature with our eyes, but what’s really fantastic is we can also change on purpose.” As I read those words, I found myself wondering… do I believe that I am capable of change?

“True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.”

~ St. Francis de Sales

In my logical, cognitive, analytical, mind, I know that I am constantly changing. I am never the same from one moment to the next. Even writing this blog post is stimulating neurons to fire in my cerebral cortex. I’m connecting axons and dendrites in novel ways while reinforcing other patterns already laid down. As my fingers plunk away at the keys, the muscle fibers contract and relax, strengthening ever so subtly with the repeated motion. I will never undo the events that transpired earlier in the day, and I will never un-write the memories that I created. Those memories will continue to be shaped and re-interpreted with each successive experience of my life, morphing and adapting in the fluidity of my existence. Time does not unwind. When I post this piece, I will not be the same as I was when I started composing it. Even the universe itself is constantly expanding. This idea of ever-shifting context is comforting when I face setbacks in my eating disorder recovery. When those setbacks cause tremendous emotional upheaval and self-doubt, it is particularly easy for me to tell myself that all of the skills I was previously using, all the insights I discovered and practices I developed at Walden, are just-plain-gone. However, when I can recollect myself long enough to remember that there is no going back, I can find the courage to believe that a setback is sometimes just another step on the recovery journey, albeit a painful one.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

~ Maria Robinson

So, yes, the part of my brain that loves to theorize and cogitate relishes the knowledge that change is constant. However…

When I look deep into my heart, my core beliefs tell me a different tale. In my most fundamental interior place, the belief that I hold in the center of my soul is one of immutability, incapability, and worthlessness. And, oh, how it breaks my heart to know this to be my conviction! Sitting quietly by myself, with my open journal and a pen, delving into my deepest recesses, I write these words: “I find myself a loathsome, miserable, useless wretch. I am filled with despair.” What happens if I believe that it is impossible to avoid change, and at the same time, I don’t believe that I am capable of the changes I long to see in myself? This question is one that I cannot answer. Yet, at some level, whether superficial or central, I must believe that I can somehow, at some time, overcome all the faults and weaknesses of character that I find so desperately troubling. If I didn’t, how could I still be here, today, trying?

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Featured Image: “heart is in my hands,” © Shimelle Laine (own work), Apr 2007. CC BY 2.0. (license)

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11 thoughts on “Change

  1. You need to change your self talk to yourself Lulu. What you need to say is “I am worthy of love, I am worthy of trust, I am worthy of happiness I am a good person and I love myself”. Because you are. I can see it and feel it in your words. Yes, change is inevitable, we all live it every day and every event shapes us and our future but we have a say in how we react to this change. Let’s embrace it, go with the flow and see where the river takes us. We can’t force things but we can swim and we can stay afloat amidst all the currents. Stay brave and strong, and remember, you’re not alone Lulu. I send you hugs and a tonne of peace. xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Miriam! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. In fact, I tell myself that I am actually pretty skilled at practicing self-compassion, and I do believe that I am worthy, lovable, and inherently good. Whenever those automatic thoughts pop up, that is how I respond to them. I suppose, what I wonder is… Will the automatic thoughts ever go away? Will I ever *internalize* my belief in love and worthiness the way I internalized the hurt, the judgment, the anger, etc.? Perhaps, because change is inevitable, if I just keep saying the words over and over and over and OVER and over again, I can ever so slightly shift the direction of the current. Thank you so much for the support and encouragement, my friend! I am sending hugs back to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you just keep repeating over and over and over, as many times as you need to, to shift that direction of the current. To one of worthiness and self love. Take care Lulu. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you ended that! A sort of contemplation of what keeps us trying in the face of feelings of worthlessness. Is it because we have to? Is it because we know we are capable of change? Is it superficial faith? Lots of great thinking you do. I always love reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful post Lulu. It really got me thinking. Change is constant, that’s for sure. And we have to adapt to that change in our lives (although sometimes it’s really hard to change). I love the quote from Maria… that what is wonderful is that we can change on purpose. Thank you for the inspiration! Have a lovely week, Lulu! Jenny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jenny! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I am sorry that it took me so long to write back to you. I’m glad that you found something here that resonated in your heart. I am wishing you well today, and I am hoping that you are having a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Lulu! And no worries, life is busy 🙂 I’m having a wonderful, relaxing weekend so far… both my daughters are home this weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day. Happy momma! 🙂 Hope you are well, and enjoy the weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

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