On with the story…
Two days ago, I left off with resistance. You know, that thing where you make a decision that’s good for you but your habits tell you to keep on doing things the same old way you’ve been doing them? That thing.
I finally decided I’d quit alcohol, leave my job and move (because I needed to change my environment and start a new life).
Then my ego showed up, big time.
One of the ego’s favorite ways to show you who’s boss is to convince you that you’re so different from everyone else. You’re special.
This is what my ego told me: My life is harder than other people. I lost my parents when I was young so I don’t have a safety net, therefore, I must climb the corporate ladder and make money and not change my life.
Also, I’m clearly so great at everything I do, I don’t really have a problem. I wouldn’t be so successful if I did. I’m just overreacting, everything is fine! I don’t need to change.
Have you ever felt that kind of resistance? I think it’s common, but like I said, at the time, I thought I was unique.
Here’s how it works. The ego, by definition, is separation. I’m not the same as you, I’m different. You can’t understand me, I have uncommon challenges, other people just don’t get it.
I had to get past the idea that I’m so special and different and realize that I’m just the same as everyone else.
I also had to stop caring about what other people thought of me. I was afraid of losing my friends who I partied with (which was all the friends I had) and I was also concerned with the opinions of the general public who already thought I was weird because I was vegan.
In spiral dynamics, it’s called “moving from me to we.”
How did I do this you ask? The answer is meditation.
My inner voice told me I can’t be the girl who’s vegan and also doesn’t drink, no one will ever invite me anywhere again.
Which is BS. The core flaw in that thinking is that I assumed, from my ego-centric position, that anyone actually cared what I was doing. But the reality is everyone’s all up in their own drama, they don’t care about mine.
And, you’ve heard this before: If someone doesn’t support you making moves to improve your health and life, then they need to be removed from your life.
It took me a while to transcend that particular resistance. When I did, yes, I lost some friends, but I found a whole new crew of supportive sisters who are deeply in my life today.
My relationships I have now are built on an entirely different foundation and I’ve never felt so safe.
Letting go of caring what people think opened me up to growth I’d never have accomplished if I’d let other people’s opinions stop me.
That’s how I stopped drinking.
There’s no one way to remove alcohol from your life that works for everybody. Mishka Shubaly wrote a book (that I haven’t read) called How to Quit Drinking by Not Drinking and that’s the best way to describe what I did. I stopped and never started again.
My timeline went like this: I stopped drinking in 2016, then I left my job in 2017, then I moved to Colorado later in 2017.
And here we are.
I wanted to share this story with you because I’m not special and my experience might be similar to yours.
We’ve all endured incredible societal pressure to be and do a lot of things and sometimes we think we have to keep doing them.
But we don’t.
If we want to change, we have to change. Only then can we find out what’s on the other side.