Allow yourself to change

Have you ever heard someone say “you’ve changed!” and usually with a bit of surprise in their tone of voice?

How do you feel when they say this?

Surprised? Pleased? Happy? And do you notice you feel brighter and your body lifts a little with positive energy?

Or do you feel something else?

Surprised? Disappointed? Hurt? And do you notice you feel sad or another negative emotion and your body shrinks a little into a smaller, lower energy?

There are two things happening here:

1. The words and energy the person used when they told you that they perceive you have changed.

2. How you feel about yourself right now and about how you view change in yourself, in others, and in your life.

If you were to pause when told “you’ve changed!” and take some time to explore what you are feeling you can learn some important things about change itself and your relationship to it. This is an internal exploration that is very worth doing because the world is changing, your life is changing, and you are constantly changing, whether you realize it or not…or want that change in yourself to happen.

Let’s dive into this with some thoughts you might find helpful to understand and reflect on

How someone tells you “you’ve changed” is important. You ‘read’ what they say as either positive or negative by their voice, body language, and energy.

If they are a generally positive family member, friend, or colleague who cares about you they may be acknowledging a positive change they perceive in you in a joyful, appreciative way. For example:

“You look great/happy/healthy! How’s life going? What’s new? Let’s grab a coffee so we can catch up!”

If they have witnessed a negative change they may still use a caring and gentle approach in sharing what they perceived and will follow with some of these questions:

“How are you doing? Is everything OK? How have you been? What’s going on in your life?…”

On the other hand, if they are someone who is unhappy in themselves and projects this outwards then you may be the recipient of their unhappiness when they witness you changing. For example, if your change is for the positive:

“What’s up with you? Why are you so happy all of a sudden? Win the lottery? Get a promotion? Dating the boss?”
(said with subtle or overt negative energy in their voice and evident in their body language.)

If they witnessed a negative change they will show subtle or overt scornful delight in their words and / in their behaviour towards you:

“About time you learned that you can’t do whatever you want! Always think you are better than everyone else don’t you? Good to see you taken down a peg. Maybe now you know how I feel….”

Insight: How others react to you when you change is about them – their self perceptions and their beliefs, traumas, wounds, and sensitivities. It is not about you.

Can you remember how people’s reactions to you affect how you feel when they tell you “you’ve changed”? If we were all super self-aware, strong, sovereign, and free in our minds and spirits we would appreciate the care of the positive people in our lives and ignore the negative people because their opinions don’t affect us.

But that is not always the case is it? It is a really desirable goal to reach this more enlightened state of being and our changing again and again is the journey to that place!

But what if your change for the positive is not well received by one or more family member or friend who cares about you?

This can be really confusing and can result in feelings of hurt and sadness.

Here you are, changing and growing into a new and stronger, clearer, and healthier person and some people who care about you and love you don’t like the new you. They react negatively to you.


Because the new you is different and it threatens them.

A number of things can be happening:

– The person was attached to you being the old way because you were predictable, someone they “knew”, someone who was “on their level”, and someone they were “comfortable with”. You changing threatens their attachment to you. They are afraid and this leads to anger towards you.

– The person had one or more unhealthy attachment to you: A sense of shared victim-hood, a co-dependency, an “us versus the world” attachment based on being different from the norm, etc. In this way they had subtle or overt control over you which made them feel safe and validated.

– Your positive change, growth, and evolution is a mirror to other people’s issues. You becoming a new and more positive version of yourself shines a light on their not changing, growing, and evolving. It triggers their unhealed traumas, emotional sensitivities, and challenges their beliefs about things.

Your growth scares people who don’t want to change.

So you have two possible paths forward when you come to a point when positive change and evolution is happening in your life and you get negative reactions to it, even from some people who care and love you.

Option 1: You choose to shrink back into at least a bit smaller version of yourself and consciously choose to stop changing, growing, and learning.

What this looks and feels like:

– You choose to focus on what other people want you to say, do, dress like, and agree to. You stick to familiar and “safe” topics even if they no longer resonate, dress and act the same as you are expected to, and agree publicly to the common narrative of family, friends, and off-line and on-line communities, even if that narrative is no longer your truth.

– You continue to associate with family, friends, and work communities even if doing so leaves you feeling empty, alone, and numb.

– You continue doing work that no longer fulfills you or worse, makes you feel like you are betraying yourself and your soul.

– You continue living a lifestyle that is now unhealthy, unfulfilling, and numbs you.

In summary: You get lost. And it begins to really hurt. Your soul, spirit, mind, and body all begin to feel increasingly unhealthy, weak, restricted, and distressed.

Option 2: You choose courage and push on with change and evolution and grow into a bigger, stronger, clearer version of yourself.

What this looks and feels like:

– You focus on what makes you feel good. New ways of seeing the world, new thoughts, new perspectives, new ways of acting and dressing, and you choose to keep your new personal narrative mostly to yourself for awhile so as to not come into conflict with others and allow yourself to keep learning and growing into your new truth.

– People leave your life. Casual acquaintances, some close friends, and yes, even some family members. This hurts. It really does. Not only might you feel lonely and alone but it raises the question of whether this is really the right path. But then something happens: Your courage combines with the choice to love and accept yourself more deeply even though you are alone. You decide you are good enough and worthy of love just as you are.

And when this happens a few new people suddenly come into your life. People who speak to your heart, mind, spirit, and soul in a new way – a way that is perfect for who you are now and who you are becoming. Like attracts like. And yes, a new life partner might be part of this, if it is the right time for you and what you want.

– You choose a new way of living that is healthy for you. This might mean eating lighter food, cutting back or eliminating intoxicants, spending more time in nature, exercising, changing what you do online and the tv/online entertainment you consume, and moving to a healthier home in the region. Or it might mean a bigger change such as going travelling for an extended period or maybe even moving to another part of the country…or to another country.

In summary: You choose to keep changing, growing, and evolving. You “find yourself” again. A new version of you. And in doing so you begin feeling really good. Your soul, spirit, mind, and body all begin to feel increasingly healthy, strong, free, and joyful.

And this leads to the final points for your consideration:

Do you believe change in yourself is normal, healthy, ongoing, never-ending, and desirable? Or the opposite?

Do you have the courage to look at what is holding you back from changing, growing, and evolving? We all have beliefs, traumas, emotional blocks, and fears that want to restrict us into staying the same or shrinking. Do you let that happen or do you seek the tools, practices, and people to help you let go, heal, re-program your mind and belief systems, and encourage you to keep going forward?

Are you willing to pay the price of changing, growing, and evolving? The price of having to let some known, familiar, and comfortable people, places, beliefs, narratives, and aspects of your lifestyle go so that you can step into a new community, new places, new understandings, new perspectives, and a new lifestyle that will bring you more joy, health, and fulfillment?

Do you choose to trust the unknown future you are facing and walking courageously into?

There is no judgment of either choice.

If your soul and spirit are ready and you find the courage, determination, and commitment to change, grow, and evolve you will create a new version of yourself and your life.

If you choose to try to stay the same there are short and medium-term comforts and lessons in that, too.

Ultimately it is safe to say you will feel better in the long run and will thank yourself at some point in the future if you do choose to find the courage, determination, and commitment to change, grow, and evolve into a new version of yourself.

Because you will change. Now or in the future.

Change is the nature of life itself.

Allowing change to happen now to who you are by letting go of resistance, joyfully embracing change, and with a positive attitude… or choosing to hold on the old you, struggling to stop change, and by choosing the negativity of resistance is your choice.

“Suffering = resistance to change + pain”

Suffering sucks. And it can stay with you for a long, long time if you become so entrenched in that resistance that suffering becomes familiar and comfortable to you. The challenge? Suffering begets more suffering. Deeper and worse the suffering gets. Mental, physical, and spiritual.

Suggestion: Choose the easier, more joyful, and positive path. It comes with the need for courage and can be a bit painful but that pain is transitory. It passes quickly if you let it. And with each big step forward you feel freer, healthier, and more joyful mentally, physically, and spiritually.

And if you continue to allow yourself to change into versions of you then throughout your life each new version of yourself will look back and thank the previous version for the lessons and courage you chose to change, grow, and evolve.

And life will keep feeling better and better and better…

Life is like surfing: It constantly changes. The best surfers? They learn to change, adapt, and evolve along with the waves. Just like the how the healthiest people choose to go through life…

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