If you read my post for this past week, you know that I just started taking Escrima lessons. My friend is actually one of the most highly skilled in this form of martial arts in the area, and he graciously agreed to teach me, along with several others.
After my first lesson, where I managed to not completely embarrass myself, my friend/instructor came to see me and we talked about the lesson. He made a comment about the changes that he has seen in me over the last year and a half. Essentially, the entire time he has known me. He said he thought I would be good at learning Escrima because I seem to hold myself with a lot more confidence than before, and confidence is important in any martial art form.
It was an interesting conversation. Not really about the lessons (which are absolutely interesting!) but because this person who is still a relatively new friend, noticed some dramatic changes in me.
Over the last two years, I quit smoking. I turned 40. I quit one job and got a new job. I lost 50 lbs. I embraced a very active lifestyle. I learned to let go of some plaguing and deep-seated fears. I graduated with my first degree. I traveled a little. I found a lot of inner strength and even some inner peace. I learned to love running.
Along the way, I felt a shift in the balance of almost every single relationship I have.
The thing is, when you embark on a journey of self-discovery, or change, or enlightenment, or whatever you want to call it, you have to leave one place to end up in another. And you can’t always predict where that new place will be, or who will be waiting for you when you get there. That is part of what makes change so hard.
When you make an effort to find strength of your own, sometimes people who provided the strength for you when you were at your weakest find it hard to let go of their control. Sometimes it becomes a grasp for that control through ridicule or mocking. Sometimes it results in a drastic severing of a relationship. And sometimes its slow decent into apathy. It really shocked me, to know that there were some in my own inner circle, that were not happy that I was happy. They didn’t like the new me. They liked me better at my weakest.
I like me better now. Stronger, happier, more energetic, and more likely to confront my fears than ever.
When you make the decision to change who you are, or to go on your journey for self-improvement, or enlightenment, or inner strength, do it for you. Don’t wait for universal approval, you won’t get it. Be the change you want to see in the world? No, be the change you want to see in yourself. Let those who want to share in your change do so. Those who want to hold you back or hold you to a lesser you, they are only doing so because they are too scared to be that change for themselves.
Change is hard, even when you love it. Mostly because you are likely to lose someone you thought was important on your way to that better you.