(my take on the ninth part of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy)
The power of hackneyed cliches is in the kernel of truth at the core. Such it is with the time-worn definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to come out different.
The kernel of truth is this – if it’s not working, stop doing it. However I define “working”, I know what it means if I start being honest with myself. I mean honest in such a transparent way that the truth is right in my face, impossible to miss, impossible to dance around.
I can’t honestly say I wanted to stop drinking. I’ve enjoyed the social experience of sharing alcohol. I like the taste of fine wines. I’m fussy. But then I run up against the question – is this working? And in the still hours of the night away from all distractions, when it’s just me and God, my Higher Power, I have to answer no. It’s not working. So I can say honestly that I want sobriety. I want competency in living with all the distractions, challenges, annoyances and flat-out pain in the butt problems. I have to change.
I’ve never wanted to be transsexual. I can think of easier ways to live life. I’ve experienced the pressures of family and culture to not change how I am in this world. For most of my years I’ve assumed that resistance to change for my own. I pretended that I was somebody else other than the woman I knew I was in my mind and soul. But like other transsexuals I’ve met, life in the pressure cooker becomes so intense, so destructive, that nothing works. Nothing works until I can overcome my resistance to change.
For me, overcoming my resistance to change means this:
- I insist on being a grown-up. I insist on discovering the truth and telling myself the truth.
- When my resistance to change causes me enough discomfort to do something about it, I act. I wish I could act earlier, but such is my life.
- If I’m looking for reasons to resist change, I won’t need to look far. Significant parts of my world are a lot more comfortable with the old “male” Denise drinking. They didn’t like that person much, but it was the Denise they knew and understood. They aren’t all that crazy about the changes, but I won’t stop overcoming my own resistance to change.
I don’t believe I am unique in these three things. I do believe that for any person to overcome a stagnant life requires dealing with these three things in their own way.