Mindful Thinking is going to do a small series on the Process of Change
With each step, there will be a question that you will be asked to answer to help you understand how change works for you.In understanding this aspect of your life, you will be closer to a stronger sense of self. Do not be afraid to dig into your mind, don’t tell yourself I do not know how, I can’t, for these are all defenses that your mind is already setting up so you stay stuck.
We all say we want to change. The fact is so many of us do not understand what change really is. Before we can begin to understand it we must first accept that change is not an event in life but a process. We do not wake up one day and say” Today I am going to change” and we do!
When the idea that we need to make changes first occurs to us, it is certainly not an action but a thought. It is the tip of the beginning phase of what the actual process really is. We first have to come to terms with the fact that we do not like something about ourselves that we never even looked at before. Life was blurred around like or dislike of self; now it is more finely defined. “I do not like who I am” sticks out at us with great distaste. What once was just a little pin prick is now becoming a bloody mess!
We need to take control of our life rather than let it rule our sense of self. This is always difficult to understand. We need to be able to see who we have been in relation to others as a place of understanding rather than one of punishment. How hard we can be on ourselves when we think we have been bad! We all find this difficult to accept in the beginning of change.We really want to deny that there was anything wrong in the first place, but we have run out of excuses.
So, let us consider that the first part of change then is Denial. We have wired ourselves to think in this way. “There is nothing wrong, let’s get over it!”It is solely up to us to decide how long we stay in the first stage. Some of us stay for a very long time, ignoring all the signs that continually pop up in front of us that says, “This does not work.” There is a point though where denial just does not make it. Too many repetitions of the same empty feelings continually send us those messages of fake and unhappiness.
When you see something negative about yourself, how long does it take you to really face it? Do you have to revisit it many times before you even begin to accept the idea that you need to fix something in your life that has been there forever?
It feels like it takes forever to get through the denial part of a Change. We can become so stubborn and do not want to see something about life that we need to change but somehow, slowly it creeps into us that we have a problem that we need to face. After repeating the same cycle time after time, we begin to identify that we are in trouble. We cannot escape it. We have problems! This is the second stage of change that we call: The Awareness.
We cannot avoid it any longer. No amount of denial works and nothing else can take us away from accepting this awareness. it just has repeated itself too many times. We are sinking into a horrible place in life and we need to keep the awareness alive. It is our only chance of movement to save ourselves from this awful repetition. Yet, being able to look at our self is so painful at times. We do not want to be this person that is staring at us in the mirror. We all want to see our self with ‘blind eyes” for it feels so much better than to face our problems!
We have gone through our denial that there is a problem, struggling to accept that there is something that we need to change. We have fought ourselves long enough that there is nothing wrong in our life. Now we see it; we see that there are some emotional and psychological issues that we need to attend to. No longer are we in denial of our life!
The problem is what do we do with the information that we have discovered about our dysfunction? Yes, we do need to label this as dysfunction for it has kept us stuck for such a long time. Where does the answer come from? We have identified the problem but what do we do about it. it all seems to be so confusing. We have now arrived at the third stage of change” CONFUSION!” Sometimes we even say to ourselves”Why did I even try and figure this out when I just have no answers to get myself out of this “mess” that is going on in my life.”
It seems as if we are always caught up in some mess about how we are ever going to now change something that has been inside of us all our life. What are we supposed to do with this? It can be so frustrating to now know the issue and not be able to find the answer. We definitely need to see, though, that we are progressing in change because we can identify a problem where as before we were blind to it all. We need to stop beating ourselves up for not now being perfect. Do you see how it jumps from one place to another?
We have to go through this as it is such an important stage of change. Identifying this for ourselves and we will make it easier to actually see the process. We are now coming into another part of the change. Once we flip- flop with the confusion, gradually the light starts to come through( don’t as me why, it is one of those things that just does) and we are beginning to accept the issue and we start to feel better. Feeling an issue that we have refused to accept is impossible and now we get to this “AH”HA” moment of self-discovery.
This is what change is really about getting to an acceptance of who we are and what issues we have to deal with. Once we get here, we will find a answer to how we change it. The issue becomes so much clearer to us now!