Change (and the book that changed my life)
“Life is the only real teacher. It offers many experiences, and if experience alone brought wisdom and fulfillment, then elderly people would all be happy, enlightened masters. But the lessons of experience are hidden.”
-from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman
I love change. I welcome it and embrace it with open arms. I’ve grown to learn, the hard way, that denying change is only detrimental to our personal growth and development as the curious, intelligent beings we are.
For me, it was no overnight realization, no “aha” moment that hit me, nor a light-bulb that finally went off. My long journey to the place of understanding and enlightenment where I am now started when I was a little girl, and only after reading The Way of the Peaceful Warrior did I start to understand how to embrace it. I had a terrifying childhood that stuck with me throughout my teenage years and well into my twenties like a big, ugly scar. I thought that because of the things I had been through, I was now defined by them, and that was the only possible option. How terrifying, thinking that’s how everyone sees you, defined and labeled by your past.
Now that I look back, I can only describe the way I was living to others like comparing it to window shopping; I was always on the outside looking in, not really living my life but hopelessly watching it pass me by.
Fast forward to 2015, I’m going on 28 and still have flashbacks that knock the breath out of me. Here’s the difference that has changed my life: I embrace the past, and I enjoy the discomfort that I get when thinking about it. Why? Because I’m changing too, I’m growing and learning from it and realizing that difficulty promotes more positive than negative, when embraced. When I used to think about my past, I would cringe. I would try and hide from the past, push it all away and create a version of myself, a hologram of sorts, that operated separately outside of those painful memories.
You can only run so long until things catch up to you, and when they do, they will consume you.
I know, because it finally happened to me. But there’s something funny about hitting the bottom, where you start to see things in a completely different and exciting light. There’s really no where else to go. You can be a victim, and live life consumed by pain and agony, or you can grab on with everything you have left and go for the ride. That’s how my journey started, when I had the realization that regardless of the good or bad, all experiences have a lesson to teach. These experiences of mine have taught me many things, and whether I like to admit it or not, are a fundamental part of who I am as person. My perseverance, my deep seated drive to succeed, my strength, I owe all these things to the difficulty that shaped me, that I once used to hide from.
I feel like I’ve been given another chance at life, a new pair of eyes to see with that have opened up so many doors I once thought impossible.
I find opportunity in every horrible or uncomfortable situation, where I used to hide from them. I am only just discovering the beginning of how amazing life can be when you start opening your eyes and embracing every challenge thrown your way. I am truly grateful and blessed for every moment in my life, brutal or beautiful.
I highly recommend reading this book by Dan Millman. I admit, it’s not for everyone. But for those who want the most out of life, or looking for a little insight, please check it out and I’d love to hear your thoughts!