My blog focuses on personal growth, positive expansion, and ending bad habits. I talk about the pathways to change, and how good change comes from within.
If change can be good, then why does it hurt so badly?
The answer is, change doesn’t have to hurt. In this piece, I’ll explain how compassion can transform the pain of change into something of beauty, strength, and connection.
Let’s start with an example of how change can cause pain, then I’ll show you the tools to help you navigate those feelings.
I changed from someone who felt depressed and unhappy half of the time, to the person writing this now – a person who goes to sleep giddy with gratefulness.
During the change, which is still ongoing, I felt so much pain. I literally hated that version of myself, but as I put more space between the girl I was and the woman I am now, I noticed a deep well of compassion and love for her, the old me.
I had never felt that sort of self-compassion before, and I was curious about it. I liked how it felt, so I kept that compassion around.
I’m here to tell you that compassion is the key to releasing yourself from the pain of change.
You see, all humans have a thing called Ego, and the Ego really hates to be wrong. Like, Ego would rather die first. I’m not kidding. Change implies that somewhere, something went wrong.
Ego says, “Wrong? Me? No way.” And Ego lists all the reasons and justifications why this change is bad. It begs and pleads for you to believe when it says, “I can’t be happy because of X, remember?” or, “I can’t have love because of X, don’t forget!” or, “I’ll always hate my body because so-and-so said X. How could you forget?”
Here’s the kicker: the pain you feel during change is not because what Ego says is true.
Rather, the pain comes from realizing what Ego says is not true anymore.
The pain comes from realizing that what Ego says was never the ultimate truth, and maybe, you realize as your Ego pulls out all the stops (“Remember this trauma? No? How about that one?”) that maybe you are the culprit. Maybe it was you all along allowing those mean, cruel, endlessly hurtful beliefs to sabotage your happiness.
Now that’s pain.
And that’s where compassion comes in.
So as you change, in whatever way you choose, be aware of when your Ego reminds you of why “this is not you,” or why “this is unlike you.” And stand up for yourself, to yourself! But have compassion for the way you were. That version of you, no matter how flawed, is worthy of support.
(For those of us who believe everything happens at once, maybe sending our past selves compassion is what helps us find the right path to who we are today. But who knows.)
Thanks for reading!
P.S. How do you deal with the pain of change? What are some ways you feel that pain is a good thing? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you!