I used to think I was an excellent gardener. When I lived 70 miles further north, my peach-colored geraniums bloomed prolifically. They were by far my favorite summer flower and I had them everywhere. The variety was oddly called "Daredevil Salmon" (proven winner brand) and they paired perfectly in pots with white alyssum. But then one summer I searched and couldn't find that particular peach geranium anywhere. After countless unsuccessful phone calls to nurseries, I realized it wasn't meant to be and I had no choice but buy a different variety. Frustrated, I had to adapt to change and purchased "Rocky Mountain Orange." To my delight, their blooms were even more bountiful and majestic than the ones I'd deemed irreplaceable.
But those were mere changes in a flower garden. No biggie. It was sort of like a "champagne problem" as one famous singer taught me recently.
Adapting to life’s changes doesn’t come easily. And after eight years of living in funky but majestic Taos, my personal life seemed anything but beautiful. The divide in my marriage had grown wider than the Rio Grande gorge and was irreparable. And like most things that fall apart, it doesn't happen overnight. Little by little a thread gets loose and needed repairs are ignored, until suddenly the tapestry is no more.
Many of you can relate, and regardless of how hard we try to put 100% of the blame on the other person, we are kidding ourselves if we can't see that the other guilty person is looking back at us in the mirror. Own it.
Anyone who reads my blog is well aware of my inability to mince words. I don’t have time to do so when I get hundreds of emails from women who thank me for my willingness to be vulnerable. I love each and every one of you and that's the beauty of womanhood--we're willing to help one another through storms and enjoy the rainbow on the other side.
Whether it comes to parenthood, relationships, finances or job upheavals, we must own our own actions and inactions. Oh, I get it. It’s so easy to look the other way out of fear of the repercussions. Perhaps your kid will sulk and become passive aggressive as a result of a tough decision you have to make—one in which they’re not mature enough to understand. It would be much easier to just give in, right? If you’ve worked for the same company for 10 years, one that left you asking, “why am I doing this?” it would be insane to quit and chase that dream you’ve always had, right? If you stay in a romantic relationship for financial reasons or simply because you can’t imagine yourself doing the whole dating thing again, then staying put is totally justifiable, right?
The above situations are ones in which I've read about, experienced personally or have sadly observed with other people I love. Sometimes our refusal to take that difficult step ends up being a ginormous regret later. It may not only affect you in a painful way down the road, but it can also impact a loved one happens to be watching and is affected by your own refusal to change. Reread that. Indecision on a variety of levels now can have long-lasting repercussions in your heart, with your kids and with any effected party’s well-being. Reread that again. Go on now, reread that
Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Not sure about my readers, but I’ve had enough insanity for a lifetime.
"If you’re in the midst of gathering courage to create a change within yourself or one that affects others you love, what’s the first step to take?"
I get that question a lot, and I’ll be the first to say I don’t have all the answers. But after reading and talking with counselors, pastors and many fulfilled and happy women, I think it comes down to this: Pray, have faith and remember God is the author of your story. But He also gave you a brain and He expects you to use it. Trust Him, ask for guidance and live bravely.
Ask yourself, “What is my purpose, or as my neighbor asks, my"WHY.” "How can I use my gifts to feel personally fulfilled?” For sure, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but I think it’s choice number one. Will some individuals call you selfish for asking such liberating questions? Absolutely. And it’s usually because they don’t have the nerve to make those changes themselves. That’s not your problem.
You are to remember this: You can learn from change, grow emotionally stronger and even get excited about your life's transitions. Yes! Conversely, you can whine “Poor me,” sink into a pit of despair and depression, and be convinced that life’s struggles are just too much to bear. Sure, that’s always a choice. Trust me, I’ve tried that and it’s totally overrated. I’ll stick with choice number one.
Seek God through prayer. Seek the assistance of a mental health counselor. Consider safe medication if it’s suggested for you. Let your guard down and talk to a close friend. Oh, I wouldn’t trade my besties for anything. They’ve cried with me, laughed with or at me, and reminded me often, “Angie, this too shall pass. You've got this, sister.”
Find peace in the realization that needing help makes you NORMAL. Regardless if you’re smack in the middle of a big transition or anticipating one just around the corner, know that you have the strength to adapt, beautifully. I’m learning that’s true in love and in my relocation to Santa Fe. When I was in Taos shaking my head in fear and dismay, I would have never believed happiness could ever be possible again. I know other women who've had similar stories as a result of changes they chose to make in parenting, finances and yes, even relationships.
But regardless of the issues weighing on your heart, you have to take the step and have faith. Just as with my geraniums, I’m learning that change can result in wonderful surprises. My geraniums are even more beautiful in Santa Fe, not to mention a few other things..
Sweet friend, prepare yourself and others, that good change is about to take place. Take a deep breath. Stay strong. Hold on. Pray. With time you’ll enjoy the blossoms in your future….
Brightest of Blessings,