Drop a frog into a pot of extremely hot water and it will immediately leap out. Put that same frog in a pot of cool water that slowly heats to a boil and the frog will not jump out. It will remain in the increasingly hot water until it eventually boils and dies. Why does the frog not instinctively notice this gradual change into an unhealthy environment?
Many of us are in a relationship, job or lifestyle that, metaphorically, gradually kills us like a slow cooker crock pot coming to a boil. It creeps up on us, day by day, without notice as we further drown into our own unhealthy environment. As I wrote in my latest book, The Shores Of Tomorrow, you drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it. We often aren’t even aware that it is happening as it slowly seeps into our happiness, our positive energy and, ultimately, our inner spirit. Yet it all continues to add up and weigh so heavily on us, almost unbearably as our life force slowly leaks from our being.
But the remarkable thing is we all have the ability to literally leapfrog out of the boiling pot. We can be our own agent of change. Many of the ruts we’re in, or the rigid routines we’ve created, can be broken. We didn’t spiral downward into them overnight so we cannot expect to rise above them overnight either. It takes purpose, will and self-awareness to navigate out of these bubbling waters. We have to first acknowledge we have a problem, allow it to be as it is and then desire a change with a proper strategy.
Easier said than done. Life is complicated and we all get tangled in the complex webs we create. We can’t just abruptly quit our job or leave a marriage, as we all have inherent responsibilities we must deal with. There are consequences that must be weighed comparing the pros and cons. There are bills to pay, family members that may be adversely impacted, and many other ramifications to consider.
But even though we often point the finger to the outside world, we cannot always blame external forces. We close our hearts to valuable connections and new opportunities and, often most damaging, we close our hearts to love. Love that comes in so many forms – family, friends, acquaintances, strangers and even that special someone. Circumstances chip away at our positive attitude and we lose sight of being the best version of ourselves we can possibly be. Unhealthy habits and spiraling emotional patterns are built brick by brick, wall by wall, until it seems a daunting task to overcome our own barriers. We often are our own worst enemy by building our own fortress around our heart. But the more we open ourselves up to love, to compassion, to empathy, the more we observe these walls come crashing down. It takes effort and energy, but the reward is exponentially returned.
Harness the power within you and give your greatest challenges a sense of urgency. Leapfrog (no pun intended) right out of your unhealthy environment by opening your heart and embracing love while opening your mind to healthier possibilities. You hold the power within and it starts with the first jump, uh, step in a positive direction.