“I want to make changes. Not let change happen around me.”
I read that comment this week, and it rocked me. I write a lot about change, it seems. I guess it comes from being in an intense season of change over the last year. That whirlwind can sometimes blur your vision where change (and everything else) is concerned. So the comment rocked me. It stopped me and made me re-examine the subject.
It’s one thing to accept change. Even to want it. It’s quite another to make it.
So often we look at change as this ethereal force happening all around us that we are left to compensate for, overlook, grab hold and ride, or be blown away by. Take your pick of one of those positions; the navigation is the same. It’s out of our control. Some unknown and seemingly rampant tide is in charge, pulling us along for the ride. And we are relegated to letting it happen.
I haven’t written about courage (my 2010-11 theme word) in several months, but I think the decision to”make change” certainly requires it. To reject the mentality that change is out of our hands and firmly take the reins of responsibility ourselves takes courage. (Why does a rodeo bull-riding metaphor come to mind?)
It takes courage.
The courage to imagine something new and different — to see it.
The courage to see it as possible.
The courage to see ourselves as worthy of this new possibility.
The courage to recognize our own value.
And our own values.
The courage to ask questions.
To take stands.
To dare to be bold. Even brazen in our pursuit of that possibility we see.
And the courage to move and step and act and speak.
Just as “making change” in the mundane sense is exchanging currency like dollars for coins, to make change in broader strokes requires a more prominent exchange. We exchange this direction for that one — the one that more closely aligns with the destination (and journey) our souls require. We exchange someone else’s priorities for our own — the ones we own in that secret place that comes alive in our hearts when we know we are where we need to be. We exchange the superfluous for the necessary — that list of essentials representing the lowest common denominator for our unique life of joy. We exchange the ever-abstract big picture for exquisite details — those nitty-gritty, real-world specifics that characterize the life we MUST have each and every day.
Those exchanges can never happen by chance in the billowing tide of an ethereal “wind of change.” No, those exchanges only happen with intention, with choosing, with moving and acting. With making change.
And that takes courage.