Waiting in the dark – The hardest part of personal change

This is why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. Waiting in the dark between where you are now and where you want to be is hard. Change needs action, the follow-through. But there’s also the waiting. This is the emotional part of it. It is as simple as withstanding discomfort. 

People want to change, then change doesn’t happen, they get impatient, or unwilling to wait in the dark and the unknown, and pop back to the known, the familiar, the old way. They give up.

Yet every heroes journey begins with leaving the known and descending into the darkness of the unknown, the underworld. No heroes journey, no story worth anything goes directly from where you are to success. There is always a road of trials. There is always a threshold to cross. Who wants to read a story about someone wanting something and then them immediately getting it, the end? 

If you stick with the change you want to make, if you wait in the dark, your life just might become, like all great quests, a great story.

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

 T.S. Eliot

(From Section III of East Coker from The Four Quartets)

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