Change

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If you have seen the new movie A Star is Born or listened to Hits 1 on XM radio lately, you’ve heard the song “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. If you’re like me, it’s probably been playing on repeat in your mind.

What is it about this song? Lady Gaga’s vocals are incomparable, and Bradley Cooper’s voice communicates raw emotion, but it’s more than that. The lyrics strike a chord, particularly, “In all the good times, I find myself longing…For change.” This line is a paradox, because when things are going well for us, we long for them to stay that way. The last thing we want is change.

I remember waking up early Christmas morning in 1998 with a feeling I’m not sure I had ever quite experienced. I felt at peace, truly contented. It took me a moment to realize what I was feeling was pure happiness. At that moment nothing was wrong in my world.

I often think of that feeling; it doesn’t happen often. Of course, I have had innumerable happy times in my life, but pure joy is rarely a part of daily life. So, in the good times I longed for change.

On the surface I had everything most people dream of  achieving–a happy marriage, three children, a successful career, a beautiful home, opportunities for travel. But, the more I lived that life something gnawed at me. I needed change.

A chain of events beyond my control brought about changes I wouldn’t have sought if my life had remained comfortable. And, I would have fought to preserve that life if I was truly happy with it. Challenging times lead us to think deeply about ourselves and our place in the world. As I worked through these difficulties, I began to realize I wasn’t living an authentic life. Much like the characters in the movie, I wasn’t in a place I wanted to be, literally or figuratively.

Undoubtedly, making changes is hard. It requires giving up familiar things, perhaps things you’ve only held onto because they are familiar. You will need courage to let those things go. It requires finding the things you need to make you whole, and for that, too, you will need courage. The good news is you don’t have to wait for the bad times. If you are longing for change in all of the good times, step to the sidelines, ask yourself Why?, and give yourself an honest answer.

Only you have the power to put yourself on the path you are meant to follow. It won’t be easy, but I promise it will be worth it.

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