How many times have you heard people say “Once a this always a this” or “once a that, always a that”.. people can’t change? As for me, I have heard this so many times in my life. In fact, I am guilty of saying this myself. I have forced myself into acceptance with members of my own family and just assumed that they will never change.
Lately, however… it seems that this is being proven wrong to me. People CAN change but they must have the deepest of desires to create this change. They must employ those around them who can help through counseling, mentorship etc. It is a fact that true and lasting CHANGE involves a tremendous amount of work. Therefore, it is my assumption that people can change if they CHOOSE to. This means pulling the blinders off and really getting to the nitty-gritty of your core habits.
Some people however, live their lives never knowing there is a problem. Perhaps they become immune or numb to the dysfunction’s in their life or perhaps it is avoidance. For others it can be just downright laziness a lack of gusto that just envelops their life into a mass of nothingness. A mundane day-to-day whirl just whipping up bad habits.
So how am I so sure that change can be made? Well, in various instances throughout my life I have created true lasting change. For example when I overhauled my lifestyle and adopted new and healthy habits. One huge benefit was that physically I changed but inside I had to create a shift in my thinking. I had to force myself to become aware of my habits and those things which would cause me to stay in my unhealthy state vs. those things which would allow my body to take hold of my new healthy lifestyle habits. It really starts with awareness. If you never have an awareness that there is a problem at all, you will just keep living the same way thus producing the same results.
In other areas of my life I experienced change through fighting tooth and nail not to become a product of my environment. Perhaps it was intuition or just God whispering in my heart but I had an awareness that my struggles in life left scars much deeper than those on my body. I knew somewhere deep down that if true healing was not engaged upon I would most likely struggle for the rest of my life. I began to become MUCH more aware of when I started to do things that were like those which had been done to me. It could be as simple as my defensiveness in nature all the way to my “need” to feel loved. The awareness is the easy part however. You can be “aware” all day long but if you are not willing to pass this awareness and do the “homework” to change these habits you will be at a stand still.
How often do you meet people who are raised a particular way and they grow up to be the same? They repeat the same things, live in the same places and basically spawn the same dysfunction that they were raised in. It is quite common and it is called “becoming a product of your environment”. This does not have to be however, you can change. You can create a new way of doing things in your life. You can adopt new morals and values which will set the tone for generations to come.
How? Begin with awareness. My suggestion is to not be naive to the fact that God exists. He loves you and wants to know you. He will grant you the wishes of your heart and your desires if you ask him. Ask him to make you aware of those places in your life that need change. Ask him to make you aware of the places that crave healing. He will do this for you. Ask him for knowledge and wisdom on how to proceed and he will give it to you. Ask him to help you change these patterns, these cycles and these ways…. he will. 😉
I remember as a 9 or 10-year-old child being in a place where I was scared. I went to bed in fear and woke with fear. Bedtime was the only time that I felt safe because for 8 or 9 hours I was left alone from the bitterness of someone I lived with. I remember just praying to God in my bed. I curled up and to this day remember him soothing me, guiding me, loving me. I did not quite understand him at that young age but I knew he was there. I knew he made me strong and I knew he made me feel better. My entire life I remember him like a whisper in my heart. He kept me strong. He kept me going.
I spent my whole life surviving and FIGHTING to not become a product of my environment. I felt like when I overcame one obstacle another would pop up. I was so tired. I then tried so hard to become better than my past that I relentlessly strived to be “successful”. Sadly, I think back to that time when success was directly tied to material things or monetary success. If you were to ask me today – my definition is so incredibly different. Only because I have asked for wisdom and God has granted.
You have to be willing to work for the true lasting change but most importantly, you must let God change your heart. If you keep a diseased heart (which is so very easy to do in this world) you will always have disease. God truly is the only one who can get rid of the infection.
Be willing to accept too, that change is a process. I only really started to face my biggest obstacles somewhere around the time I hit 30. I finally opened myself up to the one thing I had pushed off in my journey because it was too hard. True, deep healing. The type of healing that leaves you open, susceptible and unsure. The healing the causes heartfelt sobs from your deepest core but when you are done it is like God just “removes” it. He replaces your hurts and fills those spaces with his love. He just packs it in so full. He fills the space where sadness once lived with so much joy and gratefulness you can barely contain it. You just want to dance and laugh and be like a child again.
Change is possible. It is so very possible. If you have a place that is hurting start by becoming aware and take the steps necessary to change. Do it for you. Do it for your children and those around you. You can change your future generations but it all starts with you. If you do not know God and just want to try talking to him – he is very easy-going. He does not expect anything fancy. Just close your eyes and tell him you want to know him. Tell him what scares you and to guide you.
Allow him in and he will do the rest.