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Self-Help

When Change Won’t Happen…

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Are you on the brink of a welcome change in your life, but something or other just keeps getting in your way? Are you feeling penned in and frustrated? When we feel ‘stuck’; when we absolutely know it is time for change, but somehow it doesn’t occur, inner work is required.

This sensation of being ‘stuck’ is purposeful. It is a divine intervention occurring in our lives. When we are at the gateway to a new way of being in the world, and yet find we are impeded from walking through it either by circumstances or something indefinable within, this is Life speaking to us, addressing us personally. It is Life demanding that we look at the ideas about ourselves that hold us back. Feelings of being ‘stuck’ are uncomfortable but they provoke us into challenging these thoughts in order to open the door to change.

I learned long ago that our current circumstances reflect the ideas that we live by in that moment. To move fully into a different space in our lives requires that we change the ideas through which we view life. Here is an example from my own life.

About 18 months ago, I found myself very ‘stuck’ in my life. Change was just around the corner, but I couldn’t seem to navigate that critical turn.  There were opportunities waiting for me, but grasping them seemed a difficult task. I came to realize that I had some serious inner work to do if I was going to move into a different space in which I would feel more fulfilled in my life. I was harbouring some very dark thoughts that had outstayed their welcome. They lingered in the recesses of my mind, ready to pounce every time I had a happy thought. Because I hadn’t paid special attention to them, they had begun to own me. It was only when I found myself wanting to move into a better place in my life, that I witnessed their power to hold me back.

The suicidal tendencies that were there after Zak’s death had subsided considerably, yet I still clung to thoughts of I will not be in the world for long, and there is no purpose in my being alive and I do not see a future for myself. Why would I not be around, and why couldn’t I see a future for myself? Because I was clinging to the associated thoughts, I can’t live without my son and it would be disloyal to live without my son. This cluster of thoughts was a roadblock to my movement forward.

With these ideas governing me, opportunities that were presented to me would be met with happiness and elation for a day or so, and I’d feel a sense of hope welling up inside of me. Then, my bubble would burst; it was as if someone had pressed a ‘destruct’ button, and I’d find myself heading towards low-grade depression and thoughts of death. It was a cycle that kept repeating itself.

When I really investigated this phenomenon and worked through a process of self-enquiry, I realized how none of the dark thoughts that I had were actually true. The evidence showed that four years later, there I was, having survived the worst period of loss. I did survive without Zak, even though I was convinced I wouldn’t.  I found myself healthy and strong and very much alive whether I liked it or not.  I was happy most days, even if it was impossible to admit at the time. I do have a purpose and I live it every day. I write, I counsel, I heal.  Zak’s death brought me such deep insights into life and such immense spiritual growth, that by committing suicide and refusing to share what I had learned would have been the biggest disloyalty to him considering the pain that we all had to pass through to get to this place. We lost one cherished person. He lost the three of us.

It is not easy to identify the thoughts that keep us from walking through the gateway of change. The conscious mind tells us we are ready to move on and that we have all the tools at the ready. Yet we find ourselves unable to move, whatever we try to do. Life sometimes helps us to confront our ideas by creating circumstances in which we come right up against them. At other times, we are urged to confront these ideas through certain thought processes.

The following line of self-enquiry works for me; I often write things down because for some reason, when I write, the truth always emerges. Sometimes I sit and feel out an answer. Sometimes whole new questions form as I go:

Who will I be in my new circumstance?

To be this person, what is it that I need to believe about myself or others?

How will people view me?

What is it that I fear in their opinion of me?

How different will this new self be to the person I am now?

What do I fear about the new life? (I allow myself to feel the fear first, and let the words form themselves).

What is the pay-off for me remaining ‘stuck’?

What challenges do I get to avoid if I remain where I am?

What are my circumstances now?

Who are the people in my life?

If I pretend I am looking in a mirror when I look at them and when I look at my surroundings, what will I see in myself?

Now that I see the rogue thoughts, where is the evidence that they are simply not true? (This is of critical importance).

Most often this inquiry works for me, and the results are instantaneous. My circumstances change dramatically. Sometimes, I learn a lot about myself, but the shift does not take place immediately. This just means that I still have work to do, and that Life has yet to present new opportunities for me to be able to see myself. In those times, I have to be patient. Life is a river that flows of its own accord and it cannot be pushed.

I hope this process helps you if you are inclined to try it. At worst, you can learn an incredible amount about yourself and the mechanisms of your mind. At best, you can experience the miracle of transformation through a flash of insight. Good luck!

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About Yaz

Hi Everyone! Please check out my site. There you'll find a range of subjects on which I've expressed my world view. I always challenge myself and others to move out of their point of view and try seeing things from another perspective. Your point of view will always be there if you don't like mine! And I'd love to hear from you. Perhaps you'll shift something in me. This is the journey to the True Self and I love it. Lots of love to you all!

Discussion

14 thoughts on “When Change Won’t Happen…

  1. Very good post and great exercise for exposing untrue and destructive thought patterns! Reminds me a bit of the Bryon Katie method.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Rohan.

    Posted by rohan7things | December 9, 2012, 7:26 pm
  2. What an incredible post filled with your inner wisdom Yaz. Beautifully written and shared from a personal perspective. I love the questions also you have shared that we can ask ourselves. I also have in the past felt so stuck that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get out of it. Somehow I shifted something that it is no longer a reality for me. But at times I see it emerging ever so subtle and I know that means the work is not done… is it ever? I doubt it. But it is wonderful once we become more aware of how we can help ourselves move through those times. Blessings. xo

    Posted by Suzanne McRae | December 9, 2012, 8:15 pm
  3. I love your pages and your form of self-expression, it is a pleasure to have you share your gifts through your pages Thank you. I have nominated you for blog of the Year please visit my page Blog of the year awards and nominations Thank you! Revised
    Posted on December 9, 2012

    Posted by iamforchange | December 9, 2012, 10:23 pm
  4. I find that we all have experienced being in a self imposed prison at one point or another in our lives, just as you have described here. It certainly gives me pause to reflect, and also allows me to have some compassion for those that are in actual prisons. Those who are in physical prisons are usually the end result of their feeling deep emotional pain and acting outwardly instead of being aware of their pain and examining it in a manner similar to what you have shown here. Your suggestions are a wonderful way to help us all make positive healthy changes in our lives.

    Posted by wellcallmecrazy | December 10, 2012, 1:32 am
  5. Wow – super post. These days I am revisiting “The Work” with some kind of urgency. Questioning very basic things like “Life is a dangerous place”. Clearing out these stories feels very important and I am spending much time enquiring into them… Glad to read your post.

    Posted by aalif | December 10, 2012, 5:57 am
  6. This is amazing Yaz, and I really needed to read it. After the 2nd painful relationship breakup this year (this last one only a week ago), I have found myself in a very bad place. I’m going to re-read this very carefully and let the advice soak in. Blessings, Meg

    Posted by istopforsuffering | December 10, 2012, 6:46 am
  7. What a great set of questions at the perfect time. I am so ‘stuck’ and I know it and I am shocked by the beliefs holding me back which are beginning to show themselves. Ridiculous things! I just didn’t know how to begin to exorcise them.’What is the pay-off for me remaining ‘stuck’?’ is the question that stood out for me the most. Thanks for the set of questions. They are just as valuable as a set of answers.

    Posted by Joy is now | December 10, 2012, 12:13 pm
  8. The part about reflecting the ideas in which we live at that moment just hit me like a semi-truck…thanks as always, Yaz 🙂

    Posted by journeyman1977 | December 10, 2012, 1:05 pm
  9. I’ve been struggling with change and acceptance for awhile now and I have gotten stuck. Your article give me some great things to think about and I appreciated the hand up!

    Posted by JasmineKyleSings | December 10, 2012, 9:02 pm
  10. Thank you for this, another post that I find very helpful!

    Posted by sufilight | December 11, 2012, 12:50 pm
  11. Self inquiry ….. the path to our truths. Great post!

    Posted by Chatter Master | December 13, 2012, 1:36 am
  12. As always…spot on.
    We can be our own worst enemy.

    Posted by Denise Hisey | December 16, 2012, 9:20 pm
  13. Le Tue parole sono entrate dentro di me!
    Una profonda emozione !
    Un grande messaggio di speranza!!
    Grazie e a presto 🙂
    Un cordiale saluto
    Claudio

    Posted by SpirAnima | January 21, 2013, 5:21 am
  14. Dang, I wish I could identify some posts of yours I haven’t read yet. The title of this one, that’s why I clicked on it. Indeed.

    Hope you are well, Yaz. Glad you came by. I thought of you yesterday because I cried at yoga (quietly, not openly). It was so weird. And I thought of you. Damn, wish I could chat over coffee with you. I feel you have not only experienced much, but processed much and then realised much.

    See you I suppose, in cyberspace…

    Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes | March 31, 2013, 3:13 pm

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