As we move towards the end of the year, and a feeling of ending or closure, we naturally feel unsettled as we face the unknown. Because endings are really about beginnings. And both can be scary, even when we have been asking for (begging, demanding) change!
The transition period is the sticky part. As we let go and resolve layers of ourselves, our identities, our labels, we test the waters for our next step. Periods of transition are often difficult because they feel unclear, confusing, as we spend most of that time in conflict, between wanting to hang on, and wanting to run ahead.
When I quit my last job, I dragged my heels. I knew that it was time to go (and had been for about 2 months), but I had a lot of fear about the next step. My next step meant self-employment, working on my own, losing my work tribe. But what was scarier was the loss of my labels and identity. I was really proud of the work I did within the organization, and giving up that label meant that I would no longer be able to tell people about, or express that side of me. There was a lot of fear of losing ‘myself’, and the connection that brought me.
My last week of work was difficult, filled with resistance, and fear of the next step. And the week after was one of the best weeks of my life! I was filled with excitement, anticipation (my favorite!), a sense of adventure, and fresh inspiration and energy. I laughed at myself for spending so much time and energy resisting freedom and growth.
There are usually a few issues that contribute to the stickiness, keeping us from embracing the new.
1. We don’t like to be seen as quitters.
How many times have you stuck at a difficult relationship, job, or course, because you did not want to feel the shame associated with quitting? What could you stop doing now that would free you up for something better? What if you could follow your gut, your intuition, to readjust your actions so that they align with what you truly want? Choosing alignment is not quitting. It is a choice to be honest with yourself, to recognise what is not working, and finding what does.
2. We want to be loyal, to honour our commitments.
Loyalty is a beautiful virtue, but only when you apply it to people, organizations, ideas that ‘deserve’ it. You can love your job, but feel uncomfortable with a policy, or the way a peer is being treated. You can be a loyal partner, without having to bend your integrity to another’s will. We can find ourselves being pulled out of alignment with what we know to be best, because we do not want to offend or rock the boat. Being loyal to your own sense of integrity, respect, honour, will guide you better than any sense of blind loyalty. Sometimes ‘loyalty’ can be an excuse to be passive, to sit back, and not get involved. People compromise themselves in the name of loyalty, doing a disservice to themselves and those they chose to be loyal to.
If you are struggling with issues around loyalty, commitment, or dedication, here is my advice for you:
Consider the ideas, the virtues, the movements, the energy that you could DEVOTE yourself to. Devotion includes deep love, reverence, honour, and it inspires us to be the best of ourselves, to speak and act in accordance with our highest virtues. Let go of loyalty and commitment, and devote yourself to your life, to making it as miraculous as it could possibly be.
3. Our obligations hold us back
Take a long, hard, and honest look at your obligations. Look at your obligations with work, home, family, relationships, every aspect of your life. And identify what can go. The truth is that the people in our lives want us to feel free, to feel peaceful, to feel that we have choice. You do everyone around you, and yourself, a favor, when you choose to release your perceived obligations.
We keep obligations because it gives us a job, a role, a title, a place in the world. Letting go of these makes us feel uneasy, unsure. But by allowing ourselves the space to explore, grow, and evolve, we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, and our connection with those around us.
Allow yourself to ease into your new roles and opportunities. You have layers and layers of identity, but you do not have to discard it all at once. You can allow your labels to evolve with you.
As you release or change the labels, you become more YOU, more authentic, and more aligned. If you are concerned that others will judge you, know this: the world appreciates your authenticity more than your obligation. Stop pretending that you are still aligned with your old job, the outdated dynamics within your relationships. You get to evolve, just like your hairstyle, your jeans, your accessories. Stop looking at it as a loss, and feel the liberation in your progress.
Download: Would you like to know how to release obligation, with grace,
to know how and when to be devoted to love, freedom, peace, and alignment, in the highest and best way,
to know that you are worthy and deserving of liberation, in your daily life,
to know what it feels like to align with truth, on every level?
Say yes and receive! <3
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