When I talk to a client that has been through an incredibly challenging time, the first thing they tell me they desire is to go back to who they used to be – or living the way things were. When we are dealing with pain or simply wake-up and realize we’ve been living on auto-pilot, what we most deeply desire is to go back to a time when life was simpler and we were happy.
We want to go back to the days when our heart didn’t ache or our thighs weren’t quite as thick. We want to go back to a time when we were oblivious to the betrayal of someone we love. We want to return to the golden days when we weren’t so stressed and didn’t feel so overwhelmed.
But the thing is, we can never go back to how things used to be. We can’t turn back time and be the person we were in days of the past.
Because we have changed. Challenges and heartache and stress and pain shifts us.
But it isn’t just “bad” experiences that shift us from who we used to be.
Sometimes, we get a taste of a new way of living and realize that now that we’ve had a glimpse of how our life can be different, we are unable to go back to life as usual.
Sometimes, it’s a big event – a retreat, a vacation, a new love. But, it doesn’t have to be a major event that shifts us. Maybe it’s a single conversation we have with a friend or a book we read. Maybe it’s a meal that makes us realize we are living a way that no longer works for us.
Big or small, having an eye-opening ah-ha leaves us feeling uncomfortable within our own skin. So, what do we do then?
Well, most of the time, even in a what we would judge as “good” changes, we want to go back to how things used to be. We try to “shape up” and “fix” things to go back to how things have always been. We ignore the little niggling that our brain sends us….telling us to lean into the shifts and changes. We discount the way our body tingles at the thought of new ways of living or being.
The truth is, no matter what shifts, we will never go back (exactly) to who we were. It’s possible to appear to go back to “life as usual”, but our soul knows differently. The more we reject or evade the calls of our soul, the more we struggle with the blues and dissatisfaction with life.The more we try to force ourselves into a life that doesn’t feel as if it fits right, the more we set ourselves up for discomfort – and in some cases, just more pain.
You can’t go back to the old you. Because the old you no longer exists. Because your soul won’t let you. It will not allow you to stuff yourself back into a life that no longer fits.
So, what do you do when you know things have shifted? How do you keep yourself from trying to get life back the way it was and, instead, embrace who you are becoming?
The first thing, honestly, is to simply accept the simple fact that life continues to change and shift. We can’t change the pure fact that over time, our bodies replenish all of our cells. We are always changing physically. We are also always growing mentally and spiritually.
You shed what doesn’t fit. You clear the clutter that’s distracting you. You brainstorm. You clear your head of ideas and swirling thoughts.