Just For Today | June 15 | Resistance to Change

“Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing, or hatred because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain. It seems safer to embrace what we know than to let go of it for the unknown.” – Basic Text, page 33

The Comfort of Familiar Pain

We’ve all heard the saying, “when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, we will change.” This phrase rings true, yet many of us find ourselves trapped in situations that are no longer serving us, simply because they are familiar. Fear can be a powerful deterrent, keeping us in relationships, jobs, and environments that stifle our growth.

The comfort of familiar pain often outweighs the fear of the unknown. It’s a twisted sense of security that keeps us in a cycle of self-doubt and self-loathing. We cling to what we know, even if it’s harmful, because the alternative—change—is terrifying. But what if the fear of change is actually what’s causing the most pain?

The Fear of the Unknown

Change requires courage, and with it comes the inevitable confrontation with our fears. Consider leaving a relationship. Thoughts like “What if I’m alone forever?” can paralyze us. The idea of changing careers might stir up fears of incompetence or failure. Starting new activities, like attending new meetings, means stepping out of our comfort zones and risking rejection or failure. Our minds become a breeding ground for excuses to avoid change.

These fears are not baseless; they are deeply ingrained in our psyche. They are, however, exaggerated. The mind tends to amplify potential negative outcomes, making the unknown seem far more daunting than it truly is. The key lies in recognizing these fears for what they are—barriers to growth.

Embracing Change for Growth

In Narcotics Anonymous (NA), change is seen as a fundamental aspect of recovery and personal growth. We learn that most of our pain doesn’t stem from the change itself but from our resistance to it. Embracing change means opening ourselves up to new experiences, new people, and new opportunities. It is through this process that we find new joys and loves that we never imagined possible.

Change can bring about new friendships, new relationships, and new challenges. These new aspects of our lives can provide the joy and fulfillment that the old, familiar pain never could. It’s about releasing the old and making room for the new, a concept that is crucial for anyone in recovery.

Steps to Overcome Resistance

Overcoming resistance to change involves a few deliberate steps:

  1. Acknowledge the Fear: The first step is recognizing and acknowledging the fear. Understand that it’s a natural reaction to the unknown.
  2. Evaluate the Pain: Consider the pain of staying the same versus the potential pain of change. Often, the current pain is far worse than the potential discomfort of change.
  3. Take Small Steps: Start with small changes. These can build confidence and reduce the fear of larger changes.
  4. Seek Support: Engage with a support system. Whether through NA meetings, friends, or mentors, having support can make the process easier.
  5. Embrace the Process: Understand that change is a process, not an event. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.

The Joys of Embracing the New

When we finally let go of the old and embrace the new, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. New friends bring fresh perspectives and joy into our lives. New relationships can teach us more about ourselves and others. New challenges stimulate growth and learning, leading to a more fulfilling life.

In NA, the message is clear: change is necessary for growth. By facing our fears and stepping into the unknown, we pave the way for a brighter, more fulfilling future. It’s about trusting the process and believing that the new experiences will be worth the initial discomfort.

Just for Today

Just for today, let’s make a commitment to release the old and embrace the new. Let’s acknowledge our fears, but not let them control us. Let’s take small steps towards the changes we know we need to make, and seek support when we need it. By doing so, we open ourselves up to growth and the possibility of a life filled with new joys and loves.

Just for today: I will release the old, embrace the new, and grow.


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