We’re raised in routines. We’re taught to stay the course and walk a straight line. We’re molded into shapes without recognizing that we didn’t even get to choose their form. From the moment that we’re born, we tend to become what is expected of us. We eat, breathe, and sleep to the tune made by another. “This is the way it is supposed to be, so this is the way it must be.” A path made up mostly of other people’s values and beliefs, pushed onto us without intentional harm, and yet oh so harmful.
When I was young, we moved around a lot. The moves were necessary due to my father needing to find work. I understood transition at a young age. I became used to watching my mom pack up my toys only to unpack them in a new house miles away from where I was used to. I’d watch her make the best out of stressful situations, keeping what normalcy she could so that my three siblings and I could find comfort in old routines.
When my parents decided that divorce was the best solution for their and our lives, the transition that conspired afterward was a tough one to navigate. The plan was for my two sisters and I to stay with our mom, and for my brother to live with my father. My brother and I were closest in age; he and I were joined at the hip. Although he was just going to be across town, it was hard. It was hard to transition without him there. He was part of my routine.
As kids often do, I acted out during this time. Not knowing what to do with the energy of change, I fought against it. My pre-teen brain struggled; pushing and pulling. A tug-of-war that didn’t help me, or anyone involved for that matter.
A·dapt· become adjusted to new conditions
We all eventually adapted to our new normal. I’d stay with my brother and father on weekends here and there. We each made new routines that worked for our family on an individual level. It wasn’t easy—divorce is never easy, but looking back knowing what I know now, how could that have shifted the moment? Could I have changed my experience by simply surrendering?
I’ve come to learn that surrendering will, indeed, change the experience. Letting our egos step to the wayside and releasing the need to “win the fight” can really dissolve frustration and friction.
We typically create friction for ourselves. When change is presented to us, we tend to feel threatened and, at times, unsafe. There’s a sense of helplessness when transitions come into play that leaves us feeling like we need to cling onto old patterns for dear life. It’s a natural response, especially if it’s triggering a past trauma.
We have a tendency to deny change because it takes us away from our cozy pre-constructed boxes that we’re familiar with. Not knowing what lingers beyond the box feels scary. The unknown feels scary. But what if we welcomed it?
Ask yourself: How would shifting my perspective on this help? Can I surrender and welcome change? What would it look like if I wasn’t fighting against it?
I’ll tell you that it’ll look and feel much more peaceful.
I’ve been in disagreements with friends when I can feel the moment that I need to surrender—when the friction is apparent and both of our tones are either sarcastic or condescending. Stepping back and surrendering feels like a relief, a white flag of “I don’t need to prove myself to you.” Now, if I could only remember this as regularly as I’d like. I’m a stubborn work in progress, that’s for sure. I’ve had life-changing opportunities presented to me where I sit on the teeter-totter, unsure of when or how to get off, and when I surrender to being open to change, things align. To me, surrendering doesn’t mean “giving up.”
I recently gave my “just surrender” advice to my sister and she sent a series of “fighting” GIFs in response. It was funny watching her proclaim her intended victory, but I also reminded her that all she’s going to feel at the end of it is exhaustion. I encourage each of you to consider letting your guards down, even if only a little, to test the water. There’s a world of opportunity if you welcome change into your life. You won’t see or feel those “winning” moments until you surrender to the fear that it’ll all fail. And what if it does all fail? What if nothing goes right and you find you should’ve stayed in your cozy mold full of regular routine? Well, then you wouldn’t have had the chance to know anything beyond what already was.
What if it all flourishes? Think that instead.
Trusting with Intention
Unfortunately, trust isn’t something that comes naturally to me anymore. At one point in my life, it did, but now there’s a sense of bitterness that hinders my will to trust. I’m rough around the edges because life experiences have pulled me away from the freedom that is “trust without limitations.” I hold anger about that, but it is that anger that influences me to continue to work on myself. To heal. To intend to return to the version of myself that can trust others while also having healthy boundaries.
“Thought I was the shit, until someone made me doubt it. I’m still kind of mad about it.” –Jake Wesley Rogers Trusting ourselves?
This is the arena that deserves the spotlight—for all of us.
If we trusted ourselves more fully, think of how much more seamless our lives could be. Listening to our intuition and trusting that we’re always being Divinely guided releases pressure in all areas of life.
Your intuition knows better than any outside opinion, it’s your very own personal life coach. Set an intention to connect more with this magical space within you. All you really need to do is get quiet and listen. (oh, and TRUST.)
My sharing about my parents’ divorce was important because it is a very prominent part of my memory make-up. It’s an imprint on my heart that went unnoticed for far too long. I was reliving the pattern of resisting certain changes for years and years before I realized that what I really needed to do was love on the parts that were scared of change. I’m sure that you too have past memories that present themselves disguised as “personality traits.” Can you break the cycle? I can now look back on that time of my life and have gratitude for it.
This moment in time was a stepping stone to learn how to handle change with more ease and understanding. I couldn't have known how to do this then, I hadn’t learned it yet.
But now I have, and all the in-betweens of then and now have guided me into knowing, growing, and learning my way to NOW.
Sweet transitions are always happening.
Let’s welcome them!
About the Author
Born and raised in West Virginia, you'll find Heather's heart outlined in the Appalachian mountains. She has strong passions for writing, healing, and music. She has spent much of her life spreading the message of ‘loving without conditions', all the while kicking up dirt - barefoot and dancing. While she has been an Energy Worker for over 15 years, a self-published author, and a business owner - Heather's truest love lies in being a mother...her continuous reminder of unconditional love and heartfelt laughter.