Some choices we make only once, but there are many more choices that we must make over and over and over again in order to live out our commitment to them.
Choosing to open ourselves to transformation of any kind (including the transformation of healing) requires exactly this kind of never-ending choice.
It's not something we choose just once and are done with.
We must choose our new way of being and responding over and over and over again each time we are faced with moments that tempt us into doing things (or thinking things) the way we've always done them.
It's the same challenge we face when changing a deeply held habit. In fact, it's the same challenge we face with any project, relationship, job, or other long-term commitment we make. We must choose it again and again on the hard days, the boring days, the exhausting days, and all the days in between to make it work.
Choosing to be (and stay) open to transformation is especially hard because we must choose to die to the old way of being to live into the uncomfortable unknown in each and every moment.
That act of choosing transformation over and over again strengthens the muscle that powers the decision, but it can also be exhausting. The temptation to stifle that which is welling up within us, abandon our choice to allow transformation to unfold, and go back to the selves we know grows ever larger the more tired we become.
How do we find the strength and commitment to keep choosing transformation again and again when the discomfort of the unknown wears us down?
How do we keep choosing to stay open to what is unfolding when we're exhausted by the challenges of the unfamiliar self we are trying to get to know?
I wish I could say that I've discovered a quick and easy fix for this difficult process of choosing transformation repeatedly, but I haven't. There are still many moments (and many days) where I find myself choosing old patterns, comfortable responses, and unhelpful but familiar thought patterns.
There are two things that keep me motivated to come back to choosing transformation over and over again.
The first is the taste I've gotten of how life can be different, and that taste is enough to keep me coming back for more despite the challenges that transformation brings. I still don't know exactly who my transformed self is eventually going to be, but the glimpses I get of her intrigue me enough to choose this path again and again.
The second is that this transformation itself is driving me from within. Although I do frequently fall back into old ways, I can't stay there anymore. The comfortable old ways of being become less comfortable by the day.
My old self is a home I've left and can't go back to—at least not for very long.
This combination of push (from a self that no longer fits) and pull (toward the new self I have glimpsed) leaves me no real choice but to continue to choose transformation in each moment as I build a new self and a new home with each step along the journey.
Each small decision to choose responses, thoughts, and actions that foster that transformation moves me in that direction, and each small decision otherwise only slows my progress.
That's enough to keep me choosing well the majority of the time. And in the meantime, I'm learning to be at home on the journey itself in the midst of all of the uncertainty and discomfort that goes with that.
How do you motivate yourself to keep choosing transformation (of whatever kind you may be experiencing) over and over again when the discomfort and uncertainty have worn you down?
What keeps you on the journey of transformation in the moments you are tempted to give up and go back to your old self?
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