The Caribbean dilemma

“Arf, I wish I was living in the Caribbean instead of here where there’s no summer”, “If only I was a manager instead of being an employee, I would make a real difference”, “We have a dinner with my entire family tonight but tomorrow, it will be easier to leave him”. We keep on making plans of how, on certain conditions, things will be different so we could finally become or have whatever we want. And that’s noble in the way it gives us goals to achieve, but…do you know anyone who lives in the Caribbean…?

Remember the other day, we were talking about the fact that hanging onto previous situations was creating a split in us, between what we had before and what we have now: it’s exactly the same in the changes you chose. With one big difference: when something suddenly happens to us, we have no choice but to face it, but we are missing this push when nothing forces us to do anything. We have dreams, dreams we truly believe will make us happy, but when it comes to realizing them, we are often not ready to take one essential step: giving up our old self.

Cause that’s the big secret nobody tells you about changing: you can’t change if you don’t let go of who you were before. You can’t pile up situations, you can’t be living in two places at the same time, you can’t be an employee and a manager at the same time, you can’t be single and in a couple. You have to end your current situation to be able to create a new one. On purpose…

Think about that: if we truly wanted to move to the Caribbean, we know we would have to leave our house, our job, our family. If we were not scared to death by this idea yet and had a closer look at what it would mean in detail, we would probably realize that we would need to give up our Western way of life, standards, food, and, if we went for the “living on an isolated island” kind of project, reconsider our entire idea of living and connecting, away from phones, internet, being ready to interact with very few people and facing no one but ourselves on a daily basis. If we go for this kind of project with our old vision and old self, we will keep on trying to apply our former life to the new one which is unlikely to work– unless, of course, we try to reproduce the same situation all over again…

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not about giving up everything and everyone on the way but about what we want to keep with us, by asking us this very simple question: does that serve me? Those periods of change are an excellent way to evaluate everything around us and truly, honestly ask ourselves: does it matter to me? Is this making me happy? Is it something that I want to start my new life with? Would this fit who I want to be in this new future I’m trying to reach? You would be surprised at how many things can quickly lose their importance when evaluated this way.

I have done this process myself several times in my life and I can’t stop telling you how freeing and empowering this was for me. By narrowing down what and who was important in my life, I started to focus my time and energy on what really mattered to my true self. Consciously and with an open heart, which leaves no place for resentment or regret. Even though I have always found this to be one of the most unsettling part of change, I start to believe this is how you truly measure how much your life is changing: it’s not about how many new things you have created but how many you have happily left behind on the way.

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