top of page

Needing More Room?


“In moments of profound transition, as we cross the threshold into something new, we sense that the old shoes don't fit and that the old stories we’ve been telling ourselves don’t work for our life as it is now.” 




I’ve always had big feet. When I was in my early teens, I remember people asking me, “Justin, can you water ski on those feet?” Or, “Woah, what size shoe do you wear?” I’d respond, “I wear 13,” hoping that would be the end of the conversation.


About ten years ago, I made a surprising discovery when I was trying on shoes and realized I was actually a size 14.  My worries about big feet were quickly overridden by my newfound comfort. I thought that was the end of the story. However, my toes began hurting when I took up running a few years ago. Earlier this month, I visited the running store to see what a possible solution might be, and found myself surprised once more when the salesperson said, “You know, you might need a size 15!” My teenage self might have cringed at this suggestion, but my 48 year old self laced those size 15s right up and almost immediately, my toes began to feel better. 


This shoe experience got me thinking about what having enough space feels like and how too small of a story about ourselves can cause us pain, discomfort and stress.


For many years, I had a very clear story in my head that I was a size 13. Later, I adjusted the story to become a size 14, but that was it, no more adjusting! I didn’t realize how tight size 14 felt until I slipped my feet into a size 15, which felt appropriately spacious, with room to breathe. It seems so strange now but for most of my adult life, the story I was telling myself about my shoe size was wrong! 


Have you ever had a similar experience, a time when you told yourself a story that you slowly realized didn’t line up with reality? Was it painful, confusing, or disorienting to hold on to a story that wasn’t true?

 

It is possible to live with ill-fitting shoes, or a story that we know isn’t quite true, but when we’re grieving or going through some other big life transition, like a divorce, or a career change, we need a bigger and more spacious container to hold the fullness of our lives and what is true. 


In these moments of profound transition, as we cross the threshold into something new, we sense that the old shoes don't fit and that the old stories we’ve been telling ourselves don’t work for our life as it is now. We sense that the old story about the “right” way to grieve is too small.  Or that the old story about “until death do us part” has to be reimagined so that we can accept the divorce or separation and slowly move toward a new life without our partner. The old story about “this is a secure job,” or “I’ll work here until I retire” has to be re-told to honor the reality that we’ve lost our job, or are burned out and need to leave. 


In our “Holding Space for Change” practice, whether in our 1 x 1 therapy, spiritual accompaniment work, or our Shift Happens groups, we support individuals in identifying and taking apart old stories, beliefs, and patterns that are no longer helpful, so you can step into a new story, or a new pair of properly fitting “shoes” that will better support the life you actually have.


39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page