“Life breaks free, it expands to new territories, and crashes through barriers painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh, well, there it is…”
- The incomparable Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park)
While he may have been talking about biology, evolution and, well, dinosaurs, Malcolm has a fair point. Change and transition require crashing through barriers, overcoming obstacles and moving past points where we are stuck. And that can definitely be painful. Dangerous might be a bit aggressive a term but it sometimes feels that way. Change and transition can be scary. It can feel dangerous to leave the comfort of what we know to move onto the unknown. But without change, there is no possibility for growth.
Growth happens outside of our comfort zone. Change requires destroying what is old to build something new. And building something new can be scary. It’s unfamiliar, we don’t know how it will go, if it will succeed, how we’ll feel, how we’ll handle it.
This is why I sometimes sink deeper into my depression. It is known. It’s familiar, I know exactly how it works and what to expect. Trying something new; new coping mechanisms, new tools and strategies, can be scary. Breaking free of that, destroying the old routine to build a new one, can be daunting. But it’s necessary.
As we move through our lives, we inevitable have to leave things behind. Friends, jobs, commitments, sometimes even family members. We have to make room for new things that serve us better, that propel us toward our goals and the type of person we want to be.
Breaking and crashing through barriers to that can be painful. It for sure can hurt. Leaving people behind often hurts, whether they were toxic, abusive, or just not a positive force in our lives. But we have to find the fortitude to commit to the destruction and the rebuilding. You wouldn’t fix a termite infested porch, you would break it down and build a new, better one.
Learn to let go. Learn what it takes to move forward. You can’t move forward with things that are holding you back and sometimes some things fall apart so that better things can fall together.
That being said, sometimes we need to make it happen. It’s not about watching things organically change, it’s about throwing caution to the wind, pulling the anchor lines back in and leaving the comfort of what you’ve always done.
Change is inevitable. Would you rather go where the change takes you and lose agency in your own life? Or would you rather create the change yourself, controlling it and steering it towards what you want?