The only constant thing in this world is change. From moment to moment, day to day, year to year, it is ever-present. It happens to us, through us, and around us.
The only thing that is not constant is how we respond to it.
So many people say that are creatures of routine/habit, and this is something I find to be especially true when it comes to change. On the one hand, it is understandable. It it an innate fear of the human race to be afraid of the unexpected. There is a comfort in what is known, an ease of going though life when you have an idea of what is to come because you know what has been.
Is that living? I’d argue it isn’t.
From moment to moment, you are different person than you were the moment proceeding it. Even though all the things that are outside of you might look the same, the inside of you isn’t. The thoughts, the feelings, even the actions of that past are behind you, only to be revisited in fond (or not so fond) remembrances.
We don’t control all of the changes around us. We couldn’t even if we wanted to; no man is an island. No man can stop the passage of time, but EVERY man has the capability of controlling how he responds to those changes.
If you take the time to reflect on all the “tragedies” in your life, all of them have come from some kind of change. Maybe it was the loss of a job, a relationship, a car crash or a natural disaster at the house. What happens when you think about your response to those changes? Did you remember despair, self-disparaging, or sadness? Did you dwell on the loss, in the loss, have a tantrum, wonder how you would move forward?
While it is more than okay (and healthy) to have those emotions, it is not okay to live in them. The reason that those kinds of changes can be so difficult is because we get caught up in the past, the things we would have done, could have done, should have done, instead of accepting the moment for what it is and working to move forward.
Moving forward is a process that may be realized differently by each person that attempts it, but the one thing that is true in all of the attempts is that the person makes a conscious decision to do so. It does mean taking stock of the situation and the reason for that internal and any vehement resistance to change. More often than not, that resistance stems from feelings of lack in ourselves. We might wonder “why we weren’t good enough to keep that job, that man or woman?” We might wonder “why bad things keep happening to us?”, wonder “why life is so unfair?”. These type of thoughts don’t serve us, and are certainly not helpful in being able to embrace those changes.
Instead, we might look at the changes as we have as an opportunity. To make room for new things, we have to get rid of old things…and sometimes life has a way of purging them for us. Perhaps you lose a job you liked to make room for one you love. Maybe the relationships that end prepare you for the relationship that will last you for a lifetime.
You might finish reading this and scoff at it a bit…but you might try it and see a difference in how you respond to change. Resistance usually makes the road harder than it has to be.