Ink and Change

As I was putting lotion on my tattoo this morning, I was thinking about the place in my life where I am. I got the tattoo on the 4-year relationship anniversary with my now spouse, Brooke. The tattoo is nearing the end of its healing phase, so it’s still peeling and rough-looking. And it definitely hurt to get it. But the result will be beautiful and lasting.

Relating that to my life, I have been crying, praying, reflecting, thinking, and wrestling with things in this season. I even changed my profile picture on Facebook to a cocoon, because I feel like I’m at a place of transition and change that is forcing me to pull back and do a lot of internal work.

I share this, because I know that we often go through such times. While the ideal is to ever be growing and changing, happily embracing each challenge with a Super cape and mindful awareness, the truth is that change is hard. Like… really hard. Like, curled up in a ball, want to chain-smoke, where’s the nearest bar? hard. No matter our  current level of adulting, there are always areas where we can grow, and Life likes to do some pushing or pulling, requiring more of us.

This could be the decision to go back to school, start a business or non-profit, lose the weight, be a better partner, step up and be a leader in some way, get your spiritual life on track, or anything else you have in mind, it takes a few things to get started and keep going:

  1. I See It – you have to acknowledge where you are, the issues present, and the reasons why change is necessary. It’s not enough for someone to tell you that you should make a change. Until you see it for yourself, it won’t make any difference.
  2. Now, Let’s Change It – another key is to make the decision in this present moment to do something different. Even if it is a process like starting a business that has a few steps in the process, start with the first step now. Procrastination is never actually our friend, despite the comfort it allows us to feel temporarily. If you start making steps today, imagine where you could be this time next week…
  3. Keep It Up – maintaining can be the toughest part of the process. Sure, beginning a new journey can be exciting, but what about when you’ve started moving, but you don’t see major changes or you’re not making any money. It’s true that you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take, and that means that you have to take shot after shot. Steph Curry missed all of his 3-pointers Friday night. That was the first time in 157 games that he didn’t hit one at all. He could have given up shooting threes, but he came back Monday and shot 17 of them. 13 went in, and he broke the NBA record for most in a game.

Change can be a painful, heart-wrenching process with its uncertainty, frustration, and unexpected moments. It will require vulnerability and determination in the face of great discomfort…. But on the other side, there is a butterfly of beauty and flight awaiting.





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