WHEN TO MAKE A CHANGE
How do we know when it’s time to make a change, move on or to begin a new chapter in our life, despite our insecurities or fears? For the most part, I believe, we are creatures of habit. In a lot of ways staying in the same place or situation, no matter how dysfunctional or uncomfortable, is reassuring. Change, by its very definition, requires stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new or different. The unknown brings with it the potential for failure or rejection. Therefore, we convince ourselves to stay where we are and continue to do the same thing day after day, not really expecting any improvement. Which is the definition of insanity! Sometimes a change means risking our financial security, ending or beginning a new relationship, and letting go.
The prophet Elijah was instructed in I Kings 17:2-9, to go hide in the Kerith Ravine, to drink from the brook and be fed by the ravens. After a while the brook dried up and the ravens stopped coming. In verse 9, Elijah was told to ‘go at once’. How do we handle that tug to move on? For me, I dug in my heels for financial reasons and thought I can make it in this dysfunction for two more years. Keeping it real, collecting those Benjamins is a very real motivator. Despite having severe pain in the left shoulder/arm/hand and neck area. I continued to be the good little soldier showing up daily for a place that treated me with indifference. Like so many other people, I managed my pain with medication including steroids and physical therapy. This masking our pain with medication is part of the reason for the opioid epidemic.
My moment of truth came when I was prescribed a new medication for the pain. Hopefully, we all read the potential side effects from the mild side effects to the serve possibilities, then we hope for no side effects before beginning medication. My symptoms went to the severe spectrum quickly, my eyes began to hurt and my vision started to blur. Most of us never think about losing our eye sight. I never had. Somethings in our arrogance we take for granted, our eye sight, hearing, mobility and sound mind (most days), are all things I’ve been blessed to have, hence, I never entertained not being blessed with those abilities. That night on a scale of 1 through 10, with 10 being the highest, my prayer life went to a 10. The emergency number to my doctor’s office was called and I was instructed to discontinue the medication (that was already a done deal prior to the call). That incident was my ‘go at once’ moment. Within two weeks I had submitted my resignation and was gratefully free of an environment that I found unhealthy and physically painful. Why did it take an extreme situation for me to make a move? Because as I mentioned earlier, we are comfortable in our dysfunction. In the song Million Reasons, Lady Gaga sings, in part,
You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go
You’re giving me a million reasons to quit the show
You’re givin’ me a million reasons …
If I had a highway, I would run for the hills…
I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn-out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay …
We have a million reasons to walk away and yet we look for that one reason to stay, whether its financial or health, commitment or fear. When sometimes what we need to do is walk away for our peace of mind, health, creativity and safety.
When have you felt the tug to start a new chapter? Join the discussion!