“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
I love that quote by Anais Nin. I first saw it when I was walking on the treadmill at my gym four years ago. This quote comes back to mind today, as I find myself thinking about my own readiness to make some changes in my life. Last night was the first time I finally felt that it would be more risky to keep things as they are than to step forward and make a change.
I’ve always been cautious. I enjoy setting and keeping a routine. I like predictability, but even more so, I crave balance in my life. When any parts of myself are out of balance, be it my physical self, or my emotional, mental, spiritual, or social self, I eventually notice. In February, I recognized that my emotional self was suffering — several unhealed hurts kept popping up from my subconscious. I spent four months pushing them back down by nurturing other parts of my self — I went to the gym more often, I started my mornings with centering prayer, I read up on recent research and dove into tasks at the university, and I hung out with more friends. But now, as the school year winds down and I anticipate having ten weeks off before the next semester begins, I finally see that I run the risk of burnout and depression if I don’t tend to my emotional self.
So, last night I picked up my journal for the first time in months and spent 45 minutes journaling about my residual emotional pain. As I allowed my thoughts to jump from topic to topic, I gained insight after insight into my problems and why I had been holding onto them. It gave me several topics for discussion to take with me to my new counselor (yes, even counselors sometimes need counselors).
Somehow, my inner being knew when it was time to move on. I guess the risk of suffering in silence was greater than the risk of sharing my suffering with someone else (my journal and soon a live person). Soon I will again have the inner peace and balance that I enjoy. And in the process, I may discover some hidden beauty that was waiting to blossom.
How do you know when you’re ready to make a change? Do you wait until it’s too painful to not change? Check in with your different selves. Are there any parts of you that are neglected? What can you do to restore balance and even blossom into a new phase of life?
Peace, joy, and health.