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The Courage To Change

June 10th, 2009 by Will Nesbitt
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Is there something you want to change about your life? Do you want to try a career different from the one you’re in now but you’re afraid to because you have a degree in something totally different? Do you want to end an unhappy marriage and move on with your life but you’re afraid of leaving the convenience of two incomes and just don’t want to hear what everyone will have to say about it? Do you want to move to a different city or state, but afraid to because you don’t know anyone there and you’re not sure if you’ll make it? Are you cold, frigid, and stubborn yet considered to be ‘strong’ but really let your guard down and remove those self-imposed barriers and let someone into your life so you can experience the joy of loving and giving yourself completely to another but you’re afraid of appearing ‘weak’ and ‘not in control’? What is that you would like to change about you or your life?

For me, there are certain things that I would love to change about my life but like many of you have been afraid up to this point. Now, I am at a point where I’m growing in regards to seeing change for what it is and learning to embrace it. Here’s what I’m learning.

Change happens. It is inevitable. Everything changes. Seasons change. Bodies change. Minds change. People change. Even worlds and universes change. Change is an undeniable fact yet most of us are afraid of it. We cling to the familiar even when it’s not in our best interest to do so. Stepping outside of our comfort zones can be frightening. It’s frightening because we’re afraid of what may be ‘out there’. We’re afraid of losing ourselves. Afraid of failure (and success in some cases). Afraid of being disappointed. Afraid of what friends and family will say. Our fear of change paralyzes us to the point where we remain in situations that we know are not beneficial to us. We stay because it’s what we know and it’s what we’re used to. But life doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to be afraid. It’s really a matter of choice. And we can choose differently.

How do we overcome the fear of venturing out and doing what we really want to do? How do we free our mind of the crippling fear of change? We seek for the magic formula in self-help books, motivational gurus, even religion hoping they can cure us of our fears. We constantly seek the answers where they cannot be found – outside of ourselves. The key is within you. Seek not outside yourself. The power to decide is yours and yours alone. God has given you this power and what God has brought together no man can tear asunder. Even He would not go against your choices or impose anything on you because that would violate our free will and would contradict the promise of such. The power to choose is what makes you human. And it is choice (your choice) that continually creates your experience.

Part of the problem is that we look at choices in terms of ‘right’ versus ‘wrong’. ‘Right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are all relative terms meaning that one can only be considered in comparison to the other. For something to be ‘right’, something else must be ‘wrong’. But who has the authority to judge whether something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’? What makes something ‘right’ or ‘wrong’? Everything is simply what it is. Nothing is created with an intrinsic judgement or value of being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It is what it is. To quote Shakespeare, “There is nothing neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” Therefore it is our own judgements or thoughts about a person, situation, or thing that make it what it is to us. It’s really all in how YOU look at it.

Normally, we say something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because someone else has judged it to be so. Your parents always told you what was right and what was wrong. The church spells out what is right or wrong often based on misinterpretations of scriptures. Or we make these judgements based on whether or not something happens in our favor. But either way, choice is choice. There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘good’ or ‘bad’ decisions. There are only results. Every choice is cause and with cause comes an effect. Either way, the fact still remains that a choice must be made. There is no way around it. It is your right, responsibility, and your function as a human being.

As I said before, God has given us free will. How do we know this? Well, if we are created in the image and likeness of the Creator then that must mean we bear the SAME attributes as He does. Even Jesus says, ‘Ye are gods’. Gods as in possessing the ability to create just as our Creator. To be free is to be without limits or restrictions. Will is simply the power or ability to choose action. So we have the power and ability to choose our actions without limits or restrictions. Yet, we still place limits on ourselves even when God does not. It’s time that we remember who we are in the scheme of creation and stop judging our choices and simply make them without fear or worry. Make your choices with confidence and courage.

Contrary to popular belief, courage isn’t the absence of fear. No. Courage means sticking with your choices and going forward even when you’re afraid to do so. It means doing in spite of your fear of doing. In fact, without fear one could not be courageous because courage is the opposite of fear. Courage moves forward while fear stays in place or retreats. So, could it be that courage needs fear and vice versa? It’s all relative. You wouldn’t recognize one without the other.

Even better would be to look at your fears for what they are….nothing. Fear is a choice. Yes, fear is a choice. You choose to focus on an outcome which you feel may be harmful or hurtful based on your past experience. It’s anticipating or expecting the ‘bad’ to come. You say, ‘What if this doesn’t work?’ ‘What if she/he says no?’ ‘What if they laugh at me? I’ll be embarrassed and ashamed.’ ‘What will my parents think?’ But what about the other side of this? What if it does work? What if all does go well? Indeed, it is your focus that will make the situation what it will be for you based on how you think of it.

The key to developing the courage to change is to first accept that change is inevitable. Look at your body. You’ll see that it has changed within the past 10 years. Think of your personality and tastes. They’ve definitely changed as well. It’s a part of the cycle of life. Learn to accept change. Next, understand that you have the power to direct the changes that occur. How? By merely ‘changing’ your thinking. You have the power to change your thoughts, therefore you have the power to control the changes in your life. If the thoughts you’ve been thinking up to this point have brought you what you don’t want, then guess what….you need to think differently. Change your mind and make different choices. Pray and ask God that He will help you to see and understand that all choice and all change work together for good. So, in essence there is no ‘wrong’ choice.

I hope this has helped you in learning to deal with change and learn to make your choices based on what YOU want. I want to see you grow and be happy in your life. These words have definitely helped me because I was learning as I was writing it.

Peace.

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