A major change happens in your life. You make a decision to release something. It could be in the form of an idea or story that you’ve been living. It could be that there is a toxic person in your life that you no longer wish to be around or with. It could be that you don’t even remember why you feel a certain way and no longer wish to have those feelings rule you. Some spiritual guides may tell you that it is something that you brought with your spirit into this life, either on a soul level or it’s written in your DNA. All you know is that you simply want to live to your fullest, and you know in your heart that you have to make a change. What if it isn’t a deliberate choice? What if it’s something outside your conscious control? You lose an item, a house, a person, a job, etc. You don’t really know how it manifested, but afterwards you are left with a void.
There is an emptiness and a feeling of uncertainty that accompanies the loss regardless of whether or not it is chosen deliberately or suddenly “just happens”. Life seems to be like a series of doors and you have no idea what lies behind them. Almost immediately, the wheels are set in motion for what happens next. There is a period where you wander around trying to figure out what’s missing from your routine. You may also have a completely different attitude that you have no control over. If you weren’t ready for the exit, then you may find yourself being drawn toward the same type of things that you just eliminated. What will fill the void? What are you going to replace the “charge” with? How are you going to proceed through your daily routine once you have been emptied out?
Change is so difficult for all of us. We all grow accustomed to a certain lifestyle or ideal that we grab onto and don’t want to release. Others may watch us as we go through truly difficult times as a result of those things that we keep close. When we give ourselves permission to actually see how toxic we’ve made our lives, our bodies and our spirits, we move toward that release. The people who’ve waited in the background begin to rejoice. There’s a sudden flash of rejuvenation, of freedom that is felt within.
Many of us find ourselves right back where we started.
We attract the same type of people.
We are drawn to the same type of situations.
We get drawn to what we think is new, but actually the same.
Why is it so much easier to go back to what we know than to move toward what is truly redeeming and rewarding?
.elpoep tsom rof drawrof gnivom naht reisae si enil siht gnidaeR*
(scroll down if you can’t figure it out.)
Once you’ve created a void, it requires a continuous conscious effort to recognize what motivates you, what drives you, and what takes your attention. If you do not have a clear idea of what you are going to “bring in”, then it is even easier to slip back into old habits and the storyline you were trying to break. Creating a void gives us the opportunity to rewrite our story. Releasing things that no longer serve you gives you the opportunity to refill with possibilities. Recognizing that you have the ability to choose, opens the doorways in your minds and lives to higher potentials.
Beautiful thoughts, right? Absolutely! Many of you think that you’ve worked so hard to get rid of the things that you don’t need anymore. Your work is done. That mindset is a trap! Falling into that trap has the highest likelihood of leading you directly back to where you were before. Or even worse, you wind up feeling completely hollow inside. Change is only GIVEN to you by a cashier after making a purchase at a store. Otherwise, you have to work for it!
It’s hard enough when the void is created outside of you and you have no say over how it affects you. Choosing to walk around with a piece of you missing can be a worse hell than if you get to choose what happens next. Regardless of how the void HAPPENS, you can choose how it’s FILLED. What do you want to fill it with? Walk with me for a second….
You see a bench under a tree facing a pond. You’ve recently lost someone in your life either by your choice or not. As much as you may want the same person sitting in that bench, who would you put there instead? What do they look like? What do they sound like? How are they dressed? Are they young? Is it just a friend? Do you want a friendship with them? Define who you would place on that bench. Who do you want to fill the void with? Do the same for a “what”. What do you want to fill the void with?
The clearer ideal you have about what you want to fill a void with, the sooner and closer to that definition you’ll be. It doesn’t mean that it’s just going to fall from the heavens like a miracle. Granted, it may feel like you’ve just received a gift from the divine once you’ve received the fruits of your labors. Sometimes it gets filled immediately. Sometimes it takes a frustratingly large amount of work, and there will be setbacks. Whether you believe it’s the Universe, God, or yourself, you will go through “tests” to make sure that what you’ve said you wanted is truly what you want. At this point, it is probably wise to shift thinking about the “filler” as a paradigm (way of living or thinking).
You let one paradigm go. You brought in another one. It’s taking longer than your patience will allow. Doubt begins to creep into your thoughts. They start to happen more often, and with each passing disappointment you find yourself closer to where you once were. As time goes on, sooner than later, you find yourself doing what you used to do, being around people like you thought you rid yourself of, and back into full misery. That’s why it’s wonderful to have goals, but it’s even more important to have courage and resilience.
The author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, Jack Canfield, shares “Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t. Either way, you’re right.” Start by believing you can and then remembering how that felt. Give yourself a “marker” so you don’t forget. When you feel yourself start to doubt what you released, go back to that starting point you made for yourself. Help yourself to keep believing in you.
Staying happy and fulfilled in this life is work. Heart work! Not hard work, even though at first it seems like it will never truly get better no matter how little sleep you get. You want to release your toxic past, then DO IT. Let it go, be rid of it. But be ready for a whole new story to write! What are you going to fill that void with? You’ve made the space. It’s up to you what enters in. It’s up to you to maintain. It’s up to you to BE you. The REAL YOU. The YOU, yes you, you were meant to be. And you’re beautiful!
*"Reading this line is easier than moving forward for most people." They’d rather try to figure out what it says, and then move on to read what’s really important.