The Lie of Change

We are taught to believe change occurs only when our current (less desirable) situation reaches a level of discomfort (pain) necessary to overcome inertia and pursue a different (more desirable) situation.

Only when our pain is sufficient, we are told, will we find the motivation necessary to act.

This insidious lie is perpetuated by well meaning self-help gurus and inculcated through trite aphorisms like ‘Things often get worse before they get better’ and ‘It’s always darkest before dawn.’

As is often the case, Truth hides in plain sight.

“We change when our complaint ceases to be more dear than the cure.”

Stated less eloquently:

It is your attachment to your present (less desirable) situation that prevents you from grasping the speed and ease with which you could transport yourself to whatever (more desirable) situation you can imagine at any time.

Like the Ruby Slippers on Dorothy’s feet, our power to change is always with us and requires as little effort to gain access to.

Of course this uncomfortable Truth contradicts the far more comforting (and thus widely held) belief you are being held where you are against your will.

When people share their desire to change (typically in the form of a complaint) I pose a single question.

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow morning to find your complaint was gone?

To put this in a practical context, ask yourself what you would you do if:

  • You never had to worry about money again?
  • Your disease or pain or disability vanished?
  • Racism or classism or sexism no longer existed?
  • You were in the perfect relationship?

The most common answers I hear include ‘I’m not really sure’ and ‘Whatever I wanted’ and ‘I don’t know.’

These are all the same answers and expose the fact that the possibility of getting exactly what your heart desires has never actually been considered.

Once in awhile, someone speaks the Truth.

“I would probably be bored.”

This brave admission lays bare the only barrier between where we are and where we say we want to be.

Once seen, the Truth cannot be unseen.

Most use the occasion of this newfound knowledge (It is my Love of the complaint which holds me here) to blame themselves for holding onto that which they point to as the cause for their suffering.

As a tool of the Ego, blame does not serve us. It merely represents a last ditch attempt by Fear to maintain the status quo.

Instead of blaming yourself, accept that up to this point you had it all backwards.

I can’t seem to remember Dorothy (upon learning she held the power to return home all along) agonizing over those hardships and peril she subjected herself and her traveling companions to.

She just clicked her heels together three times and went home.