Saturday, July 16, 2011

Different is Good

As many of you may know, I work with clients as a life and wellness coach at a wellness center in Willmar. 

…This week, a new client walked through my door that really stood out to me.  She was one of those people that is hard to miss, both because of her appearance and her out-going personality.  She is sweet, has a great sense of humor, and has the capacity to be incredibly sensitive.  After talking for only a few minutes, we found ourselves laughing along with one another while also discussing several heavy topics that are normally not so laughable.  At one point during our session she said to me, “I know this isn’t funny.  But if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.”

And that was how our session continued.  This woman shared many details that I found positively heartbreaking.  It was not because her life had been traumatic, tragic, or defeating in any way.  Rather, it was because there were so many aspects of her life, some even minute that had compounded on one another to create the life-consuming problem that she had come to see me for.  She had so many issues that had been going on for many, many years and they had finally caught up with her, slowing her down and making it quite difficult for her to function as a healthy individual.

What exactly was it that moved me, if she made no mention of catastrophe, crisis, or disaster? 

I was moved by the courage she displayed when she walked through my door.  To finally take her life into her own hands.  To ask for help.  I was moved by her willingness to face uncertainty dead on and try to do something differently.  By the insight and awareness she displayed when she finally realized that her problem had gone on too long.  That it was too big for her to handle alone.  That in order for her to live life happily, she must take control and make a change.     

As many of us know, this is no easy thing to do.  It is not easy to live life staring such problems in the face every morning.  Nor is it easy to make a change.  When we have been doing things “our way” for so long, it is difficult to relinquish that perception of control, to ask for help, and to imagine doing something differently, much less knowing what to do differently and actually doing it.

…Change can be hard.  Change can be scary.  Change can be confusing.  And sometimes, change is none of these things and it is just different.  Regardless of what change feels like, though, it is quite often necessary.  It is necessary in life because change leads to progression.  To growth.  To the betterment of one’s self and one’s life. 

Just as my client had recently learned, the journey of life does not happen in our comfort zone.  There are times in our lives that we must venture out to unknown territory and test our limits.  There are times in our lives that we must be uncomfortable.  For it is these times that we learn what we are made of, discovering who we really are and what incredible feats we are capable of. 

Spread your wings a bit higher today, my fearless birds, and do something differently today.  Remember that you would have never learned to fly had you never made a change. 

Ellie Otteson
Wings of Hope

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