Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Only You

Starting over, whether it's a new relationship, career, or physical location is exciting. It leaves us radiating in the light of possibility and the openness of a clean slate. We can recreate everything from our look, our social circle, to our hobbies and our volunteer interests. Even when leaving a good situation, the opportunity to start again gives us the motivation and courage to do and become better. Yet the benefits of starting again will never be experienced if we drag our old selves into our new life.

I long ago realized that I needed to set boundaries. However, because I was in my early twenties, this realization was not met with enthusiasm nor willpower. Breaking away from what and who was familiar was not an idea that I was comfortable with nor ready to embrace. Instead, I tried to build a new life without living differently. At first, I felt better. I had new surroundings. I had physical distance. I had all of the excitement associated with change. But eventually, the excitement wore off. The new surroundings became old. The physical distance shortened. I'd changed all aspects of my life except the most important one, me. It didn't matter how many times I moved, how many trips I took, and how many career advancements I made. Until I was ready to make the most influential change, an internal one, life would always leave me wanting and someone else, something else, and somewhere else would always have the power that belonged to me.

Your relationships, career, and locations have one thing in common—you. Leaving any or all of them can be thrilling, but when you move on, if you haven't made an internal shift you'll recreate the same scenarios. Character names, job titles, and the backdrop may transition, but you'll be frustrated and saddened by the very same aspects of life.

Changing partners will not change how you perceive your worth. Changing jobs will not change your work ethic or life balance. Changing your location will not change your core. Only you can do that. Only you, not a relationship, not a job, not a city, have the power and freedom to usher true change into your life. Don't give that power, nor your happiness, your peace, and your joy to anyone, anything, and any place.

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