It is one thing being able to recognise the moments in our lives when change is possible, it is another being able to follow that through and make change happen. Most of the time we tend to live life going through a series of repetitions. We walk, as it were, paths long familiar to us. What once started out as a new step into unknown territory has long since changed into a habitual routine. In lots of ways this may work well for us, making sure we get to sleep at the right time, don’t drink too much, and so on. There are useful habits, but, equally, you may recognise there are certain things you are missing out on, and that sense of missing out may become hard to bear. If that is you, then finding the time to explore your options, to see what changes you might start to make is important. But how do you start? How do you follow that impulse through?
When we have become so used to doing the same things it makes it hard to find a way to do something new. So it is difficult, but, somehow, we need to find a way to spot our need to change, and act upon it. If we can do this it is as though suddenly a door opens and we step into new possibilities for living. Like a bird came and sang at your window and you decided to open the window and listen to it instead of turning away.
We might recognise that such moments occur, but can we take the opportunity to follow them before the door closes, before the bird stops singing and the moment is gone? There are some moments that have to be seized when they occur, it is not possible to create them again, if you miss one you may have to wait ages for the next opportunity. I often meet people who have come to such points. They come to speak with me about making changes in their lives, and they know it is important to do so. They arrange sessions and duly start to explore questions they may have been harbouring for a long time. But it is not uncommon that they lose momentum, the strangeness of doing something new is too disconcerting. The moment has passed, something changes and what one week was a viable possibility is gone again, and they slip back into the pattern of their lives without changing the thing they wanted to change. And actually in the short term they can feel better because they have stopped talking about difficult subjects like change. Suddenly the moment has passed and they experience the momentary relief of walking the familiar paths of themselves again. They have a temporary sense of improvement but in the longer term have not changed the thing they hoped to. And, at some unknown point in the future they will try to find a way to start all over again. Bit of a shame really.