An old cowboy talking about poker
In Five Card Draw poker you can get new cards if you give up ones you were dealt before you receive the new ones. So the play is whether I should I hold onto what I've got, or take the risk that something better is in the deal. The unconscious mind usually votes for holding, because it is geared towards survival and because the status quo has been successful in keeping us alive. But the conscious mind yearns to see what the next card will bring, for it likes to plan, hope, and dream.
Applying this to life choices rather than cards, psychologist James Hillman wrote, "You have to give up the life you have in order to get to the life that is waiting for you." This can be in regard to something concrete: you can give up a job or a home or a relationship. Or you can draw a new deal on how you think, on what you believe to be true, on how you interpret the world..... and that can change everything. Carolyn Myss taught: "By becoming aware of the lens through which your see your world, you can change your mind and change your life." Sometimes it seems easier to just change the externals, to relocate or to seek new employment. However, if you take with you the same mindset it is likely you will recreate the same patterns in your new terrain. If you challenge beliefs that limit your vision and behavior, you can create a new operating system and structure your life the way you want, instead of in accordance to what the old beliefs dictate.
Often when people are unhappy about some part of their life, fear prevents them from changing it. To be willing to face your fear and rewrite the underlying thoughts that anchor the fear in place opens pathways to change. One acronym for fear is 'False Evidence Appearing Real', evidence that seems true because of an old belief system that claims 'it's not safe', or 'I don't deserve' or 'there won't be enough'. There are lots of ways to change those beliefs, and the first step is the willingness to claim responsibility for your life and begin to address them.
Listening to your heart is one way to calm the fear that emerges when we face change, for the heart has an intelligence of its own. An intelligence that is not limited by figuring or thinking, it simply gifts us with intuition or divine guidance, and opens us to love and gratitude. Many of us in our culture have learned to discount the wisdom of the heart and rely more on our cognitive abilities, most of which are rooted in the past. Perhaps now it is time to release our hold on some of the beliefs we have lived for so long and see if they really serve our best interests.