The Secret To Change

I wrote previously about my Christian faith. I’m not a bible thumper but I do dig God and Jesus. Before you click the x, please know that I am not going to overwhelm you with words about something you may or may not believe in. I will not ask you if you believe in God.

I will however ask you if you believe in yourself.

I will ask if you think you have what it takes to live the live that was meant for you.

I will ask if you’re brave enough to face your toughest opponent – yourself.

If you answered yes to these questions, keep reading. If you answered no to these questions, keep reading.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

This has always been an interesting verse to me. But it wasn’t until recently that I really understood it’s value. I’ve faced a lot of iron in my life. Situations and people who have stood fast, stubborn, daring me to move them. It’s been said that God places all the right people in your life, to serve as a blessing, or a lesson. That He won’t change your situation because He’s trying to change your heart. And that people and things often come into your life and stick around until the lesson it represents is actually learned. While many people in my life have served as iron, none have served as much as my husband and I are to each other, especially right now. We are stubborn to a fault, and we are an exceptional match. We are not the Hallmark match. We did not kiss in the rain and one day knew it was true love and lived happily ever after.

No, our relationship is much more intricate, grand and full of extensive growth than those stories could ever produce for us. When I say we are an exceptional match, I mean a match much different than the ones social media depict. We didn’t have a Pinterest wedding. We don’t feed our son organic only. We don’t have fancy dinner parties. Our story is much deeper than these things because it needed to be. There was no way we would ever live the lives we were capable of without the sharpening of one another.

One day I realized that despite having a seemingly perfect situation on the outside, I was not happy on the inside. My soul was speaking to me and I knew I had to do something. So I started searching. What was wrong? What was missing? I took the leap into finding what a functional healthy life looked like and I never looked back. I took personal growth on like it was my job, and I continue to. It was terrifying. It brought up emotions that I didn’t know existed so deeply inside of me. Anger. Fear. Hopelessness. Loneliness. Shame.

But it brought up another emotion – pride. Pride in myself for taking this step to get myself healthier and for finding a new life I didn’t even know was possible. I am stronger, happier and more thankful to be alive than I ever have been. I live a life now that I could have never comprehended before I took my leap. My heart is so full of excitement for the possibilities that life has to offer!

Before I got myself the tools I needed to REALLY LIVE, I didn’t live. I existed. I went through the motions. I was pretty competent in my professional life and I certainly found it was pretty simple to do anything that involved clear directions and an end point, that’s why obtaining college degrees were a fairly simple accomplishment.

Then came the skills I was lacking. I was always a fun chick. People liked me. But did anyone know the REAL me? Of course not, because I didn’t. I sure as hell didn’t know how to date or create TRUE healthy adult intimate relationships. I was always a good friend, and one hell of an employee, but I often was empty. I didn’t know the value of filling myself up, and living up to my potential. I didn’t know true potential at all. I didn’t know life was meant to be beautiful, inspiring and exciting IF you had the right tools to embrace it.

My husband is terrified to take this leap and has resisted greatly. I don’t blame him, because I was there too. At this point, no matter how much I’ve offered to support him on this leap, he holds back. We’ve all faced some really scary things. Facing ourselves is probably scarier than all the other things because we are afraid of what we might find. I empathize, but I will not stop being his iron because I can’t go back into those old unhealthy patterns. Many of you are in a similar situation in your marriage. You feel like you’re not being heard. You try endlessly but it just seems to fall on deaf ears and it seems impossible to make it work.

If you’re committed to being each other’s iron…the mirror that forces the other to wake up the best in themselves, it can work. But only if you’re both committed. Each day that goes by, a story is forming, and one way or another, I intend to make it incredible. Everything in my life now is glittered with this new perspective and outlook on health. That being said, what I want you to know about me and my story right now is that no matter who is the iron in your life, they are there for a reason and for you to learn from. And you can be iron for someone else, too. If you choose to let the resistance serve as a lesson instead of calling it quits and pouting in the middle of the road, you will grow. I wish to share my story and experiences because the only thing that pulled me out of my cocoon were the stories of others. You see, when you share your story, something amazing happens. We realize we are not alone. We realize what we once thought was so terrifying isn’t. We just have to take the next best healthy step. If we fall, we get back up. We don’t brace for change like you’re fearing a tornado; crouched in the fetal position and scream at it to go away. We allow ourselves to flow within it.

You have to take responsibility for your own life and health. You will face a great deal of iron. And instead of hating that iron and screaming about every reason this piece of shit iron is ruining your life and if it would just MOVE and let you live peacefully you would be fine and this iron does nothing but blame and shame and it’s THIS STUPID IRON that is the reason you can’t stay comfortable…

Perhaps you should embrace the iron. Because real change isn’t about being comfortable. It’s about being uncomfortable until you are forced to change yourself into your best self. If you are still fighting someone else desperately and it’s taking every ounce of energy you have, you are not your best self. Be thankful for the iron. You can either run from it, or face it. One path keeps things comfortable but it’s the path to settling. The other path brings about beautiful change that can’t be undone. Which will you choose?

This is why keeping a wise circle is not a suggestion, it’s a must.You have to keep people close who are trustworthy, who will force you to face your fears, encourage you to reach higher rocks and will do it with love. The rest are just noisy deterrents. You can’t have a circle of maybes.

I know as much as anyone how impossible this blended family deal can be. But I also know the only person you can change is yourself. And you will not have peace in your heart until you face that which challenges you and overcome it. If you continue to avoid growth and change, you are robbing yourself.

Have you ever asked yourself why you stay? What on earth would possess you to put up with the astronomical amount of bull shit and nasty feelings you are enduring? Why you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall and NOTHING you say is getting through? The answer for me was because even though I didn’t know it at the time, the lesson had not yet been learned. Things don’t change until you’ve allowed them to change you.

For me, I knew deep down that in order to make this work we were going to have to walk through some incredible valleys. I’d be forced to face many of my own personal issues and demons. I’d be forced to face fears. Gut-wrenching, over-the-top anxiety riddled situations. I never thought I could hate someone and be so thankful for them at the same time. But that is what happens when you allow people to sharpen you instead of destroy you.

You can’t silence your soul.

You know there’s more and you need to be brave enough to get it. Your potential is limitless if you focus inward.

I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.