“So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key”. ~The Eagles, “Already Gone”
When reflecting upon personal growth, I believe what is hardest to grasp is that we can change. I also believe we all have things we wish to hide from other people and even from God. We enjoy watching personal transformation happen in others, but we take comfort in staying in the shadows ourselves; it is difficult to bring those things we view as “faults” into the light for everyone to see. Yet, stepping out of the shadows, accepting God’s grace, and being mindful of the help He sends our way makes us more powerful and able than we know.
In his book Fully Human, Fully Alive, John Powell writes that we “do not have to change, grow or be good in order to be loved. Rather, we are loved so we can change, grow, and be good.” Believing this is an important first step in finding the courage to come out of the shadows and into the light, where we can get help to make successful changes in our lives.
Even when we finally feel ready, our brains are wired to maintain the status quo, which can be a barrier to making those positive changes. The good news is that taking time to think differently can cause new pathways to form in our brains. These new pathways gradually hardwire new behaviors and thoughts into our minds. Thinking can help us break out of old habits and establish new ones in their place. Our brains are highly teachable!
So, with God’s grace, help from others and mindfully retraining our habits, we do have the key to making positive changes in our lives.
By MaryAnne Toepperwein