In our travels, most of us have gone through tunnels. They take us from one place to another by going through something that the road couldn’t otherwise go around, like a mountain. Often these windy roads seem like they are leading us straight into the hills. It can be hard to see exactly where the road leads.
At first, your journey into the Tunnel is filled with light because you can see where you are coming from. You can keep your eye on something familiar. Change, and the awareness that comes with it, cannot happen until we reach the nadir, or middle, of the Tunnel. It is where all that is unknown about our lives exists. It is the point at which our past has permanently changed and we cannot see into the future.
Being Stuck in the Middle of the Tunnel
For those at the nadir, living life is absolutely unbearable. When bad things happen, we get stuck on them as if they were played on a movie screen so big that it blocks out the sun. We are surrounded by dense blackness. All we can see is this one instance of happiness – the time we want to return to – and the sadness — the time from which we are unable to escape. Every day we wake up becomes a repetition of the last. We no longer do the things that gave us pleasure and no longer try to be happy because, until things change, happiness is out of reach.
It is the lowest of the low. What happens here? Terrible pain. Undeniable fear. Enormous doubt. You question who you are and why you feel the way you do. You must face the answers to these questions honestly. Accept that they are not the answers to all of life’s problems but are instead part of the solution that leads to another series of problems. You may ask, “What would make this worth my time; why would I want to put myself through this?” Because it is from these experiences we get a new understanding of the world and ourselves; because from this journey we receive patience and love, and a whole new means of discovery.
Facing What Makes Us Unhappy
Change can only happen through facing that which makes us unhappy. And since we are talking about changing our lives, this involves confronting ourselves. Many strong people would much rather deal with a friend or even an angry person at a bar than look in the mirror for a while and try to be at peace with the person they see.
From the middle to the beginning is the same distance as the middle to the end. It is at this point that, perhaps for the first time in your life, you only need one belief to move forward – faith. If you have faith, everything else will always come to you; and I do mean always. Trust me when I tell you that if you can get to the middle — if you’ve already gotten that far — stay the course. It is, after all, the middle. You are half-way home.
Now is when you begin to do the real life-changing work. That means reading, praying, and finding people to counsel and guide you. Try to understand what happened in your life and understanding why you feel the way you do. The work also involves coming to grips with the false boundaries you placed in your life. You become aware of what your life is lacking so you can fill it up with your own gifts and not with objects of the world or with someone else.
Learning to Love Yourself & Live in Love
The work is learning to love yourself and learning to live in love. If we lived in love and trusted in God then we would be able to get all the good things into our lives and leave the bad stuff behind. We could learn to live our lives and deal with those moments that set us back, no matter how hard they were or how often they came. Everything has a specific purpose. We would stop trying to control our life.
The unknown is almost always frightening. The good news is things are never what they appear to be. Once you get to the middle, know that just beyond it, a pinhole of light lingers in the distance. I promise, within that pinhole is the whole world; a future of your own, free from the disappointments and failures of yesterday. That pinhole of light will open up in front of you as if God pulled back a curtain and let the light pour into an old and dusty room.
An avalanche of change begins with this drop of light. The walls of the Tunnel will open up and then fall away, and all around you is the promise of everything you wanted to do but couldn’t imagine doing. I promise you that on the other side of the Tunnel, life will be better than you could have ever imagined.
Reprinted with permission of the author,
Ron Villano LLC. ©2006. www.ronvillano.com
The Zing: Embrace the Power of Change
by Ronald P. Villano, M.S., ASAC
About the Author
Ron Villano, M.S., LMHC, ASAC is a psychotherapist, life coach, speaker and author of The Zing: The self-discovery guide to help you go from living life to loving the life you live. Ron is a dynamic inspirational speaker and a highly successful leader in professional life coaching and personal counseling. He has evolved from living life to loving the life he lives as a result of working through incredible experiences and unthinkable tragedy. Ron speaks throughout the country, delivering his motivational message to Embrace the Power of Change no matter what life brings your way.