There is little in life as frustrating as change. It comes along in life whether we want it or not and forces us to do something other than what we have been doing, whether we are ready to stop doing it or not.
Most people if not all people have at least a passing disdain for change and I think there are good reasons for this, yet I think we also all are well aware that change provides positives we need. How to deal with this mystery of inevitable and painful movement from one phase of life to another? That is the inevitable question.
Why Change is Hard
As humans, I think it is natural that we find comfort in routine. It is always safe to get up at the same time, follow the same patterns of life. Depart for work at about the same time each morning and so on throughout whatever you do during the day.
We do this because it is safe, we do this because it represents order, we do this because it is reassuring. If you don’t think so, disrupt someone’s routine even for one day, and watch their reaction. It is all a perception and illusion of control. We control so little in reality, that seeming in control of our routine gives us comfort.
Our minds are always seeking safety and the ability to know where our place in the world is. The world will not end if you do something different, but sometimes it may just feel like it.
Choosing to Change
If you are making the choice to change then something must be significantly amiss. In my life, these choices of change have been around wanting to get into shape or a different job, but deep down they were because I was not happy with life as it was and the only chance to find happiness was to change.
It could be a new workout routine, a new job or a new relationship. New is a nice word for change and makes you feel better about what you are doing. It also gives a confidence to the outcome, which is always unknown.
One of the great things about making the choice to change is that at least you feel like you have some sort of power in the decision-making process. It may be an illusion but it still provides you with a great chance to feel empowered. Enjoy that kind of change because the other kind isn’t so very nice.
The Other Kind of Change
This is the change that comes on you from nowhere and doesn’t give you an option. It simply gives you change. A death of a loved one, an accident, an illness, a spouse leaves you, or you are laid off from a job.
There are many examples of this and these are the changes that can kick your teeth in and jump up and down on you until you don’t think you can take it another second. The great unwanted moments of life upsetting your nicely ordered life.
Unwanted change is like the tide, inevitably pouring in no matter how you try to stop it and it leaves behind a clean landscape. Often times the changes required of us are so big we get swallowed up by them for a time. There is an almost numb feeling like life is happening and you are there, but you are more of an observer than a participant. This is a temporary feeling. Until you get your bearings back and are able to navigate through the new circumstances. Be brave in times of change and eventually you will gain your bearings.
Hope of Change
When you are able to look at change from the experience of surviving it, then you can start to appreciate the growth you have had. The pain of loss or suffering has become a part of your history, faded a bit and now is replaced with wisdom. This is the type of learning that life will give you one way or another.
It is a frightening proposition. If things are going great, you should appreciate them for all of their nuances and uniqueness. The hope in change is that it will always bring us closer to where we should be, meaning to me, closer to our authentic selves. We have to be aware of what lesson is being taught.
In my own journey, there were times I was satisfied yet unaware that I was many, many miles away from where I needed to get. In order to be the best version of myself. Whether I am any closer to that is yet to be determined but I am hopeful.
My Choice of Change
I am promising myself that I am going to go easy on my fear of change and realize that it is just a natural reaction and emotion. People often will stick with a job, relationship or life that clearly isn’t working because even though they may not be ideal, they are known and therefore less scary than the unknown coming down the road. Even though the unknown may be perfect.
Cast off your line and let your ship move into change seamlessly. There is no avoiding the specter of change, your only choice is to fight and resist it or to ride the wave like a surfer.
If there was no change, nothing bad would ever get better!
Songs of change:
Changes- David Bowie Click to listen