Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Internal Change

The last two years have left me searching for more than what my day-to-day life presented. I wasn’t unhappy, but I felt that there had to be more. The nomad within was screaming for me to pack up and relocate. However, before I could commit to making a major life change I had to discover what my soul was searching for and consider whether or not moving could provide it.
What we need isn’t always obvious. We have to do a little digging and probing. We have to ask ourselves what it is that we are truly after. For example, if I wanted to leave Indiana because I was tired of winter, it would not make sense for me to move to Illinois. It sounds ridiculous, but many of us have made similar decisions. Have you ever made a lifestyle change, but after time passes you find yourself faced with the same type of people or the same circumstance? You end a destructive relationship only to step right into another destructive relationship with someone new. You relocate to get away from negative influences, but find yourself surrounded by people who are just like the ones you left. You have changed your external world, but you haven’t changed.
Changing the scenery will be ineffective if the scenery isn’t the real issue. At certain points in my life relocating was an easier option than doing the work, being honest, and finding out what was causing the discomfort or desire to flee. When we change the external, the internal doesn’t automatically change with it. Internal changes require more. Internal changes are harder. Internal changes force us to face truth. Internal changes are uncomfortable and scary.
After spending some time listening inwardly, I understood why I was frustrated. The level of excitement about my future started to fade. Instead of discovering what I could do to get excited about my life again I entertained an easier route. I thought, 'Surely I can get excited again if I live in a new city.' However, the change I craved was an internal change. The frustration I felt was not related to where I lived but how I lived. Now that I am aware of what I need, I am focused and better equipped to pursue it. 
When you are faced with a repeating source of frustration try not to rely on your usual list of things-to-do. If you have recurring discontentment consider some serious self-reflection. Get to the root of the frustration. It may be difficult and uncomfortable, but increasing your quality of life is absolutely worth it.

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