Knowing You Can’t Go Back To The Old Way

Aaron McHugh

I’m learning about the difference between change and transformation. Change is iterative and revisionary. Transformation is becoming someone different. When transformed, our core beliefs and needs revolutionize which result in new thoughts and behaviors.

I’ve always donated old clothes I don’t wear anymore to Goodwill (thrift store). After spending four months gutting our five-bedroom home of ten years, donating our wedding china and liquidating our bloated life, I can never go back to every closet being full, every shelf being occupied and tripping over things I don’t love to find my favorite shirt.

My value system transformed from feeling happy from owning a lot of stuff to measuring my wealth and happiness by the amount of peace I experience from simplicity and clarity.

I know I can’t go back to the old way.

I used to attempt to return every email and every phone call by day’s end. My inbox grew too large and my influence out-scaled my capacity. I tried software tools, sorting my inbox by sender, and ignoring certain threads.

Iterative changes eventually resulted in my inability to finish it all. I’d often get out of bed in the middle of the night to return a handful of emails in hopes of falling back into a restful sleep.

The hard truth I accepted was that I was, in my mind, attempting to never disappoint anyone. The story I’d told myself was, “I can avoid other people’s displeasure or disappointment if I always attempt to make everyone happy. I’m ok if you’re ok.”

Transformation insights: I accepted my limitations, my limited capacity and the reality that not every task should be completed and not every email warrants my reply.

My needs transformed from aiming to make everyone else happy to define what makes me happy. Less, but better makes me happy.

I know I can’t go back to the old way.

Where is a revision or change simply not working?

Where is transformation needed to discover a revolutionary solution?


“A growth impulse from deep within our innate potential

As if something pauses, creating space for a new possibility to arise

Hidden patterns come to the surface

Allowing a letting go and dissolving of deeply held beliefs

Creating space for Knowing to arise

A felt shift in root perspective of how we see ourselves in the world

As this expansive view enters our consciousness we cannot go back

An awakening to a new reality

A realization of our true nature, I am this

A shift in awareness”

Inspired by Gita Bellin

Transformation through awareness resulting in new responses and choices.