I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we know when we need to change.
Most often it seems to be in times of stress, when we’ve hit a wall, so to speak, and what we normally do in response to life just isn’t working anymore. It may be a crisis in a relationship, the loss of a job, illness or even boredom.
A curious thing about change; we’re usually trying desperately to avoid it. All while we are trying to better ourselves! This is a crazy paradox, isn’t it?
I think the understanding, that in order to grow we have to resolve this paradox, is at the root of coaching! If you want to grow, you have to change. In order to change, you’ll have to see yourself more clearly. If you want more clarity, you’ll be open for feedback (from someone you trust) and you’ll be on your way to greater self awareness and therefore activate greater growth potential.
As a poignant illustration, a short excerpt from Love, Medicine and Miracles, by Bernie Siegel, M.D.:
“Phyllis, a patient who had an extensive pancreatic cancer that was no longer responding to treatment, went home to die. Several months later she returned to the office. One of my partners examined her. He opened the door of the examining room and called me: “Hey, Bernie, you’re interested in this stuff.”
I came in and he said, “Her cancer is gone.”
“Phyllis,” I said, “Tell them what happened.”
She said, “Oh, you know what happened.”
“I know that I know,” I said, “but I’d like the others to know.”
Phyllis replied, “I decided to live to be a hundred and leave my troubles to God.”
I could really end the book here, because this peace of mind can heal anything. I believe faith is the essence, a simple solution, yet too hard for most people to practice.
To verify this I went to God…and asked why I couldn’t hang a sign in my waiting room saying, “Leave your troubles to God, you don’t need me.” God said, “I’ll show you why. I’ll meet you at the hospital at 12 A.M. Saturday.”…On Saturday he said, “Take me to your sickest patient.” I told him about a woman with cancer whose husband had run off with another woman. He said, “Good case,” and we went up to her room. I said, “Ma’am, God is going to come in and tell you how to get well.” I always introduce him so patients are not overwhelmed. She responded, “Oh, wonderful.” God entered the room and said, “All you have to do is love, accept, forgive and choose to be happy,” and she looked Him in the eye and said, “Have you met my husband yet?” Most of us want God to change the external aspects of our lives so we don’t have to change internally. We want to be exempt from the responsibility for our own happiness. We often find it easier to resent and suffer in the role of victim than to love, forgive, accept, and find inner peace. As W.H. Auden has written,
We would rather be ruined than changed;
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.
Yet, when we choose to love, healing energy is released in our bodies. Energy itself is loving and intelligent and available to all of us.”
If you’re ready for a little growth, all you have to do is ask. Ask God. Ask yourself. Or ask someone close to you that has your best interest at heart.
Chances are, if you asked, “What is one small thing that you see that I could do right now that would help me get to where I want to go,” they just may tell you something helpful!
See what happens!