My plan was for a January blog called New Year, New You, about the possibilities and opportunities for change in the light of a new year and the making of resolutions. However, in the wake of this week’s world events it all began to seem a little trivial: new year’s resolutions in the face of tragedy and unrest, how petty. And then I remembered that wonderful quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and I remembered too that change is not only possible but that it is possible on a large scale, if we begin one individual at a time. So perhaps it is more important than ever, when feeling powerless in the face of current affairs, that we look towards ourselves to make the changes we would like to see in the world around us.
As a homeopath I have had many great opportunities for observing change in people. I have heard the argument that people never really change, but I have seen it so many times and have been through such huge changes in my own life (see My Story) that I know it is possible. As people start on a homeopathic (or any other healing) path, change may be subtle, barely noticeable, the merest shift in outlook or rise in energy, but the consequences can be immense. It is akin to throwing a pebble in a pond and watching the ripples, or perhaps to the butterfly effect, where the tiny beating of a butterfly’s wings can alter the nature of a hurricane weeks later.
Sometimes though, people take a homeopathic remedy, discover that its potential is as powerful as a butterfly’s wings, and become too frightened to continue treading down the path of change. It’s very understandable, change can be scary, it means we are heading into the unknown, into uncharted territory. Even if certain things are not serving us well in life they may still be comforting and safe because they are what we know. Even some illnesses or depression can be places of safety and may serve us in some ways – perhaps they mean we don’t have to move forward in life, face frightening challenges or engage with difficult emotions, perhaps we are afraid people will stop looking after us if we are well. That is not to criticize anyone who may be in these situations – in my path of change I have faltered many times and I’m sure will continue to do so for any number of reasons – it is the nature of change.
I have also noticed that a decision to change does not neatly produce a result. Our intention is often challenged as soon as we have made it and without willpower and determination it is all too easy to fall back into old habits or decide that it wasn’t meant to be. Sustained change is challenging and patience may well be needed until a new habit turns into second nature. Change can be very inconvenient sometimes too, when it makes us realise that a new life, or at least a new job or house, is what we need.
Sometimes it is necessary to take a little time to grieve as we step forward into change. Our old life, even if it didn’t serve us well, was still our life and who we were, and it can be helpful to acknowledge this and mourn the loss. Change may be scary not only because we are discovering new selves, but also because we recognise that altering ourselves changes others too. In fact, one sure thing I have learned is that if we don’t like the situation we are in, the only thing we can do about it, and the best way to change it, is to change ourselves. But where does that leave the other people in our lives? Will we lose friends or even partners along the way? There may be worries that they are not ready or prepared to come on the journey with us. We have to trust that the results will be the best for us, as long as our intention is coming from a desire for greater health, whether physical or emotional. Many times I have seen that change doesn’t happen as we expect it, or even as we want it, but as long as the energy behind it is healthy, it gives us what we need.
So, I would like to call my resolutions this year releasings, I am not giving up anything, there is no denial involved. Instead, I have the intention to release patterns of thought and behaviour that have not served me well, to let go of the negative and move forward in positivity, towards a healthier future. My hope is that health and positive intentions may change the small world in which I revolve, and which may in turn ripple outwards into a sea of good intentions and peace. In another inspirational quote, Gandhi said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty,” and the more clean drops we can add to the sea, the better.
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