Moving through peanut butter…and out of a jam

On my 30th birthday, my body unceremoniously decided that peanut butter (aside from the expected yumminess and protein – in that order) would now be giving me a new bonus: heartburn. Nice. I mean peanut butter? Seriously? My response has been primarily to ignore it, or enable it by drinking milk with my pb&j’s. Whatever. It is still annoying!

So, this morning I started thinking about change. So much of what changes in life is beyond our control – and unwelcome. Like airline reliability, traffic, the peanut butter thing, or worse – disease, loss, etc.

Most of us, if we are honest, have several things in our own lives that we would love to change. And that is more specifically what is on my mind today. Maybe it is due to the onset of fall, but part of that is due some recent inspirational reading. Namely, a post Anne Jackson made on her blog: http://www.flowerdust.net/2009/09/28/some-big-changes-im-making/ (I so want to be Anne when I grow up – even tho she is younger than I am) and another tweet I saw this morning about habit changing: http://zenhabits.net/2009/09/the-habit-change-cheatsheet-29-ways-to-successfully-ingrain-a-behavior/. But, if you are like me, those areas we would like to change are the areas we are most STUCK.

I tend to be the kind of person that gets bored with status quo pretty easily and therefore relish changes in the way things are done. Especially organizationally. That is probably one of the reasons student ministry is such a happy place for me. One of my ‘teachers’ always says that student ministry is like a speed boat when it comes to change – it can turn on a dime, changing course, mission, etc. easily and without making too many disruptive waves.

A couple recent conversations with people I admire reminded me that all change is some form of loss. Even if the change is necessary, good and wanted – even invited – there is a sense that the old is now gone – that old comfort, that old “known” entity. We knew how to navigate those waters, even if they were a swamp – stagnant and stenchy with loads of toxic pitfalls and life-stealing alligators. We had mechanisms for dealing with the status quo – even when unexpected things crop up in that setting. All that goes out the window with change.

I don’t have a magic bullet answer for what to do with all that. From a practical stand point, the post above on a habit changing worksheet is incredibly helpful. But from an emotional standpoint, even a spiritual standpoint, I don’t have much to offer. I think perhaps it makes sense to acknowledge those reactions – the sad ones, the resistant ones – and put them on like an out-of-season jacket. Not forever, of course, but just occasionally, in the interest of lining up all the parts of our inner selves. The parts hanging on, the argumentative parts, and the forward-pushing parts.

Eventually, there will be harmony. And all of our innards will scream for that movement forward. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I know I have things that NEED to change. I know I need to let go of the comfort of the known swamps in my life. What I need to figure out now is how to shed the out-of-season and move into these changes, breathing new life, hope, understanding and joy into my daily existence. And I need to start today.

So where are your swamps? How will you move forward? And, harder to answer, when?


3 Responses to “Moving through peanut butter…and out of a jam”

  1. October 9, 2009 at 12:36 am

    I don’t know If I said it already but …This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….

  2. October 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post! 🙂

  3. October 1, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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