10 December 2012

Your Radical Transformation

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Victor Frankl

When you make the decision to change any area of your life, you are also making the decision to release yourself from your old way of being. This means that if you are going to make any kind of transformation, then you must make it across all areas of your life. You cannot transform in one area of your life while remaining the same in the others. Your life will be out of alignment and incongruent to who you are becoming.

For example, you make the decision to release about 30 pounds because you want a healthier lifestyle. With this decision comes many other decisions; like not spending all your time with those friends who are over weight and content to be so. Or, you have made the decision to become an entrepreneur, yet your family believes the only way to earn is by working for someone else and having a steady paycheck. Get the picture?

Just because you have made the decision to change, does not mean everyone else in your life has made that same decision; or worse, will even support your decision to change. People do not like change that is forced upon them because it challenges their belief systems. If you become an entrepreneur, you are breaking the belief about job security that your family has bought into for generation. Without this kind of support, you won’t have much success with your new dream.

What can you do about this? This appears to be an age old question, “What do I do when I want to change but those around me won’t change?” You have two choices, both are quite radical and must be done fully, lest your change won’t happen and your dream remains just that – a dream.

Both choices involve disassociating yourself from anyone who will oppose your dream – either for good, or for as long as it takes for you to reprogram your mind and make your dream a reality. You see, you cannot change yourself while remaining in the same environment that keeps you stuck. This is one reason there is such a high recidivism rate. A person is released from prison back into the same environment that created the bad behavior in the first place. Without the proper support and encouragement, this person will pick up the same habits and repeat the same behaviors that got him incarcerated in the first place.

One of my favorite films is the 1942 classic, “Now, Voyager” starring Bette Davis, Claude Rains and Paul Henreid. Not a typical classic love story, but a psychologically brilliant one. Bette Davis plays Charlotte, the overweight and repressed spinster daughter of a Boston aristocratic and dictatorial mother, brilliantly played by Gladys Cooper. Charlotte is on the verge of an emotional breakdown and through her sister-in-law meets Doctor Jaquith, played by Rains, who brings Charlotte to his clinic for treatment. Charlotte releases the weight, the eyeglasses and the neuroses. Away from her mother’s control and abuse, Charlotte blossoms. But instead of immediately sending her back home, Dr. Jaquith suggests a pleasure cruise. There she will be able to practice what she has learned at the clinic, with no interference from her mother. No one knows her on the cruise ship, so she can be the person she is meant to be. Not only does she find the courage and the confidence to be her authentic self, but she finds love as well.
"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~ E.M. Forster

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