When I first decided to write about the topic, Moving On, I considered all the areas in my life where I thought I'd "moved on." There was coming to terms with the ending of a relationship, quitting the job that had been draining me or packing up my life and literally moving on from the place I'd called home for 29 years of my life. As they were happening, these life events all seemed to be bold moves that symbolized moving on. While these events are certainly all part of my journey, it wasn't until I read a powerful passage from the metaphysical text, A Course in Miracles, that I understood there was something radically different about the type of moving on I needed to do:
“You have built your whole insane belief system because you think you would be helpless in God’s Presence, and you would save yourself from His Love because you think it would crush you into nothingness. You are afraid it would sweep you away from yourself and make you little, because you believe that magnitude lies in defiance, and that attack is grandeur. You think you have made a world God would destroy; and by loving Him, which you do, you would throw this world away, which you would. Therefore, you have used the world to cover your love and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego’s foundation, the closer you come to the Love that is hidden there. And it is this that frightens you.”
I barely made it midway into the passage before bursting into tears. Was it true? Was I so afraid of giving up the life I had come to know, the life I had built for myself that I was paralyzed by the fear of losing it all?
But then, I knew it was true...why else would I be sobbing uncontrollably as I took in the message? Yes, I’d been able to move on from several things that were holding me back. Yet, I was grasping so tightly to the life and realities I’d created for myself that I was in denial of the fact that I was actually holding myself hostage. I wanted so deeply to live a life that fed my soul; a life I sensed was waiting for me just around the corner. How could it be that I was too afraid to let go of the life that was actually holding me back?
And what was that life? A stressful job I’d spent several years of my life devoted to because it gave me a sense of importance? A hectic and destructive social life that often kept me out too late and resulted in me feeling unhealthy, unproductive and anxious? A calendar that was filled with obligations to others rather than obligations to my health and well-being? Suddenly, it wasn't all as glamorous as I’d made it out to be. In fact, it was quite the opposite; much of it left me feeling exhausted and empty. I found myself longing for a new way of being. I envisioned a life filled with less chaos and more peace.
The truth is, moving on is hard. Especially when it involves a fundamental shift in your beliefs and your actions. Unfortunately, moving on doesn’t mean that you get to simply leave wounds and experiences from the past behind, as if to say, "Ok, that's done; I'm moving on now." No, it’s more difficult than that. Moving on actually requires you to confront your past head-on and having the bravery to dive deeply into wounds you've been avoiding. It means leaning in to pain and discomfort and honoring situations that have been put in place as valuable lessons (many times, it's not until we look back on these experiences that we are able to see them for what they truly meant). For some of us, the thought of re-visiting our past in order to move forward boarders on insanity. Yet, is it not more insane to hold on to something which no longer serves us?
The Course goes on to affirm that, no matter how painful you perceive your wounds to be, there is a path to relief, “Do not hide suffering from His sight," The Course says, "but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity all your hurt, and let Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His Light and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover.”
So, this is moving on. It's not at all as glamorous as I'd made it out to be. It's handing over fears, hurt, hopes and dreams all together in order to start a new journey. Submitting to the idea that it's okay to leave behind a life you've created for one that was created and designed specifically with your joy, peace and success in mind. Moving on is nothing like I'd imagined. It's difficult, it's challenging, but ultimately - it's the most exhilarating and promising adventure yet.