Time for change.

change 2“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu

Kindness, generosity, compassion, patience, trust, loyalty and honesty all make for a good relationship. But what if the person you extend these forms of love to doesn’t reciprocate? Not just on the odd occasion but consistently using or abusing your friendship? Then it’s time for change.

In the past I have been caught up in relationships that were simply no good for me. On reflection I can see that I was willing to put up with being let-down and mistreated because I didn’t believe I deserved any better.

Anyone who has been involved in an abusive relationship knows how difficult it is to think clearly in that situation. It starts with comments and actions that undermine you. If you have self-confidence then you are able to deal with these incidences appropriately. But if you’re feeling vulnerable or depressed as I often did then the doubt is set in your mind and so begins the downward cycle.

From my own experience I know how dangerous that can be. The longer I stayed the more I enabled the other person to carry on belittling me and making me believe that I was always at fault. Which in turn confirmed my uselessness as a human being. I gave my all but my all was never good enough.

Then when it reached the point that I literally couldn’t do or say anything right, instead of questioning how wrong it was to be living in a constant state of fear, I kept trying to change myself to fit in with the other person’s demands.

I ended up feeling like something that had crawled out of the ground and had no right to life. Except it wasn’t a life. It was an existence. It wasn’t a relationship, it was a one-way ticket to hell on earth.

“Even the worm will turn.” Proverb

You may feel like a little worm that is worn-out and weary but you can fight back. You are still alive and you as long as you have breath in your body you can change your life. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but you don’t have to live one more day as a victim if you don’t want to.  Get ready to tell yourself, “It’s time for change.”

I had to hit rock bottom before I could make that choice, but with the support of friends, the guidance of professionals and the grace of faith I was able to reclaim my life.

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

When my time for change came I knew it was never going to be simple or pain-free. It was time to accept my failures, time to let go of the past, time to forgive and be forgiven, time to live each day as a new beginning.

change1Time to live my life as the person I was meant to be.

What about you? Time for change?

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Ghandi

71 thoughts on “Time for change.

  1. Pingback: BREAKING FREE | Deliberate Donkey

  2. Pingback: Time for change. Carolyn, The Hurt Healer | Women Who Think Too Much by Jeanne Marie

  3. Hello Carolyn. I clicked on your blog post through the Shine, Shimmer and Glow Facebook group. I just got done reading a similar blog post on Sharon’s page, and I think it’s wonderful that you ladies are sharing your stories. They need to be heard so that other women will know that they are not alone. I spent a little over a year with a sociopath and he tried to control my every move, every decision, every thought, and every desire. It was heart-wrenching so say the least. I was trying to hard to please him but it wasn’t happening. I was never going to be able to please him, but he was making sure that I kept trying.

    I agree that there is a time for change. Looking back at my life I know see how everything has lined up to put me at this exact place so that I can help other women live a happier life. I wouldn’t say that I’m happy with my past, but I am happy that it has made me a stronger woman.

  4. Whenever I read your heart’s story, Carolyn, I cannot help but praise God for the beautiful butterfly who has arisen to a resurrected life. You haven’t just flown off to enjoy your new life; instead, you hover and flit amongst all of us sprinkling us with the fairy dust of hope, faith, and love! Even your face glitters and shimmers… that’s what I see whenever your face appears in a comment or Twitter…. you are beautiful, Carolyn, and I’m so happy to have met you! Thank you for shining in the dark places! 🙂

    • Sorry to interrupt . . . I love what you say, Susan . . . curiously I was reading your comment while only half awake, and where it said haven’t, for some reason I misread it as you haven . . . That is a new verb Carolyn may have inspired. Change amazes me 🙂

      • Thank you Susan and thank you too Katrina. You are both so kind and I can not explain how much your encouragement means to me. I am both thrilled and humbled! 🙂

  5. Change feels like one of the things that visits our lives over and over. Sometimes as powerfully as your case, sometimes less overwhelmingly. But even when we think we’re “all changed,” something comes up and we’re back off on the process. What’s important to remember is that … with change comes renewal. Thank you, Carolyn, for serving as a beacon for so many!

  6. The need for change can arrive from many different circumstances and is still difficult, although not as difficult as in your situation. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story.

  7. Carolyn, another beautifully written post, It took me such a very long time to truly understand that what other people say and do is totally about them, how they think and feel. And that has nothing to do with me, even if it might seem like it does. That concept has helped me a lot in the last few years!

  8. I am in a constant state of change. Always aware of any negativity coming my way. I have even had to move away from online friends because they are so negative. Discernment is key. Take the time to pick and choose the right kind of friends. Nice post!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Martha. Choosing the right online friends is just as important as choosing ‘real life’ friends. And some friendships can have season and then it’s time to move on!

  9. I stayed in an emotionally abusive friendship for far too long (years); I thought I just needed to be a better friend. I rationalized and I explained and I beat myself up for letting another beat up my emotions. I made boundaries, but redrew them each time they were crossed. I enabled the treatment. And finally, just as one day I grew sick and tired of being sick and tired from drinking, I said “enough,” and I haven’t wavered. I can’t change another person. I can only change myself.

    Nothing changes, if nothing changes. We can change ourselves.

    Powerful post, Carolyn, thank you!

    • I love your message here Christy. We can only change ourselves yet it is we often just accept things the way they are instead of realising that there is a choice to be made if only we have the courage to face up to it.
      Thank you for your wise words!

  10. I needed this today.. the reminder that I have to start valuing myself from within myself. No one else can give or take away my worth and yet I have handed that power over and I am terrified of stepping in to my own shoes. I am terrified of directing my life b/c then if I screw up, no one to blame but me. Your post reminds me that stepping in to myself is hard and yet it is the only way to move into the future I want – a beautiful, whole, fulfilled future. Thank you.

  11. Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking, beautiful post. I left an abusive relationship 6-years ago with three little girls to take care of by myself. I knew that it would be hard and it has been but I’m grateful to God every day that I got out. I have grown so much as a person since then. Thank you for addressing something that affects so many lives. Maybe more women will step forward because of you.

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