When it’s time to start over, you won’t know you’re at the start of a new beginning, because all it will feel like is an overwhelming end.
All of a sudden, and possibly out of nowhere, something you’ve known has come to a halt. It’s likely that this thing was something you were deeply attached to, hopeful about, or invested in, because the truth is that our lives are shifting and adapting all of the time, and the only instances in which we don’t move with them are when we’re too stuck to see another way forward.
It will feel, for a moment, as though the world is crashing in on you.
The resounding feeling that you’ll experience is one of total defeat. You’ll wonder what’s next, and how you will ever possibly go on. Right now, you’re able to measure what you’re going to lose, but not what you’re going to gain.
And that’s if you’re lucky.
Because the truth is that for most of us, we don’t even realize that we have to let go, only that what we’re doing now is not working.
Even if it seems like the “rug was pulled out from under you,” it wasn’t. This hadn’t been working for a long time and you were in denial. Your delusions and dreams about how it would transform into something you want it to be are just that — unreal. It’s time to get out of that and into reality, into the now, into your actual life.
That is what it means to start over.
It does not always mean to wipe the slate clean, to mourn for what was pulled away from us mercilessly and without warning.
It usually means that it’s time to reconcile what we’ve known wasn’t working all along, what those things were acting as a bandaid for. When we’re too attached to the outcome of something, and we have little tolerance for its presence changing whatsoever, it’s usually because we are using that thing to hide something about ourselves, and that something is our dissatisfaction.
Maybe a relationship ended and you cannot imagine how you’ll date again.
Maybe you’ve realized a career path isn’t viable and you cannot imagine how you’ll ever make money in the future.
Maybe you’re finally accepting that you know you need to move, but the idea of establishing yourself in a new place with new people seems too daunting to even try.
The truth is that deep down, the relationship that ended was a distraction from the relationship you don’t have with yourself. The career path that didn’t pan out was never viable, you were just unwilling to try something outside of your comfort zone, and nothing new is within in. The place you need to leave might have been right for a while, but you’ve outgrown it, and your life is no longer supporting the person you want to be or the place you want to go.
You might think that the answer here is to abruptly uproot it all and start with a clean slate, but that’s almost never the reality.
The truth is that you will have to spend many nights by yourself, in candlelight, making yourself dinner, learning to love yourself, to date yourself, to be alone with yourself and enjoy that time. You will have to stay precisely where you are and learn to mend the wound of your unworthiness before you can be loved.
The truth is that you will have to go back to the starting point of your job, and work with what you have and what you’ve done. Remember what you’re good at, what you’re experienced in, what you feel called to. The intersection of those things are your path, and your path is right in front of you, even if another option is more appealing.
The truth is that you will have to build a home no matter where you are. You will have to decorate and settle and reach out. You will have to find rhythms and routines. You will have to be vulnerable, and you will have to be seen.
There is nowhere we can turn to that is an escape from ourselves.
It’s time to start over, and it’s time to begin right here.
Weed out what’s dead in your life.
Nourish the garden around your soul.
Start where you are and with what you have.
Stand on what you’ve built.
Close the gaps in your own foundation.
Strengthen what already exists.
Deepen your roots and spread your branches wide.
Then see how you feel.
We cannot keep running in circles and expect our lives to blossom, we have to stay where we are and have the courage to heal what’s broken within us before turning to yet another outside source to mend the damage.
When we live like this, we exist in a constant state of running from ourselves.
The truth is that we can start over right where we are, because at any time, we can change the way we see ourselves and our lives, and that’s all healing is, anyway.
It’s realizing that your inner love is inherent to you and always has been, it’s just been buried behind doubt.
It’s realizing that your path forward is innate to you and always has been, it’s just been hiding behind denial.
It’s realizing that the place you’re supposed to be is right where you are now, even if it’s not where you’ll be forever.
We heal when we learn how to adjust how we show up, not how we change what we show up to.
Because the truth is that our lives are very often a reflection, and extension, of ourselves. And we can run to the ends of the earth and still not feel whole because what we were looking for was not a revolutionized life, but a reinvention of the way we see, what we perceive, and how we feel.
That’s work that starts right here, and right now.
No matter where your life takes you, you are always with you — until the very end.
Nothing will save you from yourself, and nothing can.
The point was never that you adjusted everything around you until it was made perfect, but that you adjusted the way you see everything until you realize that it is enough, and it always has been.