As I sit and reflect on the last few years, I understand now that I am a completely different person compared to when I hit my twentieth birthday. Of course I am; it’s only natural that people change and evolve. I’m sure if you were to sit and think long enough, you’d identify traits, opinions, and habits that you now have that may not have been present a few years ago.
As a result of our natural evolution as individuals, it is only natural that our external world will change to accomodate our new characters. Oftentimes, we welcome change. We view it as a chance to have a new start, or we learn to mark it as the end of an era. However, there are certain things we are afraid to let go of.
Perhaps it’s a job you’ve worked hard for – years of climbing up the career ladder to reach the top rung. Maybe it’s a house you’ve invested so much time and love into, a home that bears so many memories. Other times it’s a relationship – romantic or friendship – that we’ve had in our lives for years.
It’s only natural that we feel that these things are too deeply bound to our sense of identity, or we have invested so much time and energy into it that we feel a failure if we were to allow that part of our lives to change.
However, these things which once served us so well slowly start to feel uncomfortable. We sometimes try to ignore this nagging feeling for as long as possible and we try to “figure it out.” Nothing has changed in the relationship, or the area we live in, or the job that we have…
But we have changed, and that is enough to allow us to re-evaluate who we are, what we want, and what we need in life.
If you want a plant to grow bigger, you move it to a larger pot. If you want a fish to grow large and strong, you increase the size of the water they inhabit. If you need your garden to flourish, you need to prune and cut off the dead bits.
In order for you to flourish, you need to identify what is no longer a benefit and what has become a hindrance. You are responsible for your life and you need to create an environment – that is, a life – where you are able to thrive, be joyful, and let your soul soar. This is not self-indulgent or selfish. This is absolutely necessary for your wellbeing and, thus, the wellbeing of those around you. Because the people around you, if they truly love you, they only want you to be happy and will do anything within their power to help you flourish. When you are flourishing, you encourage others to do the same.
If you feel that the house you live in is no longer bringing you joy but only serves to remind you of memories, then maybe you need to move. If your job is no longer challenging you, or you feel that there is no joy in going to work anymore, maybe it’s time to ask for new responsibilities. If there is a relationship you can identify that is causing you harm, or there are more unhappy times than positive ones, maybe it’s time to let go.
Do whatever it takes to bring happiness to your life. We make life so complicated when, really, it’s very easy for us to make decisions in our favour. Perhaps something dramatic needs to happen to shake things up in your life or, maybe, it’s just a gentle shift – an alteration of priorities, or more time for yourself, or a new hobby to cultivate.
Change the job and take the paycut. Downsize the house and move to a new area. Shave your hair and get tattoos. Sell your wardrobe and buy new clothes that are more aligned with your true self. Take the degree. Start the evening college course. Learn a language. Leave that toxic relationship.
Ultimately, you owe it to yourself; for your happiness, your self-esteem, your true, authentic self. When you bring yourself closer to who you really are, and you live from that place of authenticity, others around you are inspired to do the same. Your actions, performed in love for yourself, will cause others to fall deeper in love with themselves, too.
This stripping away of things in life – friendships, jobs, relationships, habits – shows that you are growing and alive; that you are engaging with life, the life that is in you, and you are evolving with every step you take. Don’t be afraid to let go and grow.