a happy tale of transformation

Can people change?

Perhaps the essential core of who we most deeply and truly are remains somehow the same. We do have a remarkable capacity to grow, to learn from life's experiences and transform, sometimes slowly and gently, sometimes rapidly and with disruptive force. 

One day recently, after I had finished and handed in my honours thesis, I was feeling flat, the end-of-a-big-project blues. A cold was threatening, exhaustion taking over, motivation flagging.

In the past, I would have wallowed in such feelings, taken the opportunity for rest, doing nothing, withdrawing from the world.

While I was in the core phase of formation, after stressful periods of study and self exploration, I crashed. Twice.
The disruptive force of the process of formation for ordination invited me to change: to change my attitudes and ideas, to deepen well of knowledge, building my skills and resources.
That deep well of knowledge includes knowledge of myself that I gained and began to understand during those experiences of burn out. It's a real thing, you know, hitting the wall, burning out, crashing ... getting so busy and stressed that your energy completely runs out, and you get ill, or simply so exhausted that you can't do anything. 

I have been putting into practice learning about boundaries, time management and finding balance between being gentle and being strong with myself. I have learnt to trust these practices, learnt to listen to myself, and learnt to enjoy feeling well and feeling connected to the world, more than the old comfort, the 'known', of loneliness and unwellness.

So on this day in question, I did several things that drew me out of my funk - that showed me I have changed: that people can change.

I wrote in my journal. Writing, I seemed to uncover worries and concerns I couldn't access consciously. Continuing to write, I wrote my way towards, not solutions exactly, but steps to take, to get me moving again. To get me out of bed.

Having got moving in one direction, though not exactly the direction I was going to move that day, gave me motivation to get on with the tasks I had planned.

With each task, the blues abated. With a walk - for me a spiritual, physical and mental nurturing - the funk lifted completely.

From the dark mood of the morning, from the bad habits of the past, I had been freed. I had freed myself.

People can change.


Heather said…
I liked the bit about balancing being gentle with yourself and being strong with yourself. the part about the good stuff form being connected. Thanks.

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