It Takes What It Takes

Thoughts on change

Mar 13, 2018

Life Lessons Change Self-Improvement Personal Development Personal Growth
wooden bridge

Photo by aitoff

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change.

~Carl Rogers

There is no other way around it. Change. Is. Hard.

Perhaps the most trying change of all is attempting to change something about ourselves — a character trait, a habit, a pattern, old beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve us. Why even bother?

Because staying the same, a same that no longer feels good, is so much more painful.

I have been trying to change parts of myself for the greater portion of my adult life. That was a heavy sentence to write. And yet, it’s true. In the trying, I have hit more walls of resistance than I care to count. Each one bouncing me back to where I started. Each one making me feel a little less capable of change and a lot more stuck.

What does it take to truly change? Sheer will? Encouraging support? Self-love? A solo trip around the world? More books from the self-help section?

I recently read Gregory Boyle’s latest book Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship. In it he used a phrase I immediately felt drawn to. It was in reference to gang members trying to change and transform their life. He said “it takes what it takes.” For some, the final straw was the death of a loved one, for others it was having a child. For others, simply a glance of disappointment or a look in the mirror at a reflection they no longer recognized. It takes what it takes to get them to walk through the door of change.

After trying so many avenues to change parts of myself, including acceptance, I have arrived at this truth: it will take what it will take, and it will take however long it needs to take. The demons I am fighting, that we all fight, will be conquered when they are meant to be conquered, and no sooner. There is no use in feeling guilty for one’s lack of ability to change. We are human, after all; each of us carrying around different weights, traveling on our own individual journeys, learning our own individual lessons. Guilt — and resistance — are too heavy a weight to carry, dear ones. Here and now, with you reader as my witness, I am putting them down.

Safe travels.