When an issue keeps popping up and bothering us, resulting in our disturbed feelings of some description (usually of the negative sort: mad-sad-bad), this is a clear sign that a change must happen, either in your own life, the way your family is functioning, or your role in the outside world. This is having Awareness that something needs correcting or adjusting, the first step toward change.
Trying to ignore those nagging negative symptoms, or feelings, is futile. They’ll keep coming back, and each time they reoccur, bad feelings only increase in intensity. So don’t kid yourself by thinking that if you ignore uncomfortable feelings (or numb them with drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, gambling, sex, etc.) they’ll go away.
Change happens only when you make it happen.
The nature of uncomfortable feelings is that they’re signs that psychic or spiritual work is needed in order to experience happiness and a holistic sense of well being.
Emotions, therefore—and working with them—are the most useful tools a person can have to achieve true fulfillment. So when a bad feeling arises, know that it is catalyzed from an outside source. When that feeling comes insistently, over and over—do your best to identify what triggers this sensation within your body and mind.
Trying to ignore the reappearance of a bad feeling fits the well-known description of—
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.
After trying several or countless times to ignore the situation (and getting nowhere), you will be ready to practice Acceptance. This simply means that you recognize the experience of pain as many times as it appears.
This is where we have the opportunity to start realizing in our deepest being (our Big Heart and our logical mind) that in order for real change to occur, something has to change. Accepting something as true might happen over and over, but eventually—you’ll be filled with so much acceptance that you’ll be bursting at the seams to get on with the next step. You resemble an eager racehorse chafing at its bit, beating its hoofs, ready to pounce out of the gate at the starter’s gun during a high-stakes race—ready and willing to change.
These first two steps might take only a few moments’ clear thinking through for some. For others the process might take weeks or months. For those reluctant to change, or who use mood-altering chemicals, the stage of Awareness-Acceptance could take years.
Next, after the two stages of Awareness–Acceptance have been reached, real change can start to happen.
As soon as a person has truly accepted—and has had sufficient awareness that something indeed is amiss in life—now a person can take Action to make real change happen.
Action can be something as simple as the mere act of thinking how to change. This is the beginning step, because truly, all action begins with thought.