Making Peace with Change

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Change is hard. It’s inevitable, unceasing and unavoidable. It’s constant yet we struggle with it. Change means growth and growth is often painful.

Change can be thrust upon us from the outside.  Sometimes change comes rolling in with the tidal force of a tsunami, destroying everything in its path and pulling the wreckage out to sea. We are forced to retrench and rebuild from the destruction.  Things like a divorce, a job loss or a catastrophic illness as well as positive things like winning the lottery or giving birth change our lives as we know them.  Any sudden change, whether good or bad, knocks us off balance. It may be difficult to regain our equilibrium.  It takes time, energy and effort to come to grips with what is different.

When change comes from outside of us, often there are resources we can draw on to help us through it. Support groups for people with illness or going through a divorce, for example, can ease some of the burdens and make change easier. Job ministries at local churches can help the job seeker regroup.

Change can also come from within, “creeping in on little cat feet.” This kind of insidious change sneakily alters the familiar terrain of our lives over time.  It germinates inside us, sending out roots that slowly crack our foundation.  The roots go deep into our subconscious, taking form as small dissatisfactions with our current lives.  As these roots get larger, we begin to realize we have to initiate change.  We’re not happy and we have no possibility of happiness while living a life which may be quite fine for someone else but which no longer is a good fit for us.

This self-initiated change is often more difficult than change which is forced upon us from external events.  We are the initiators. All of the energy comes from us. Outsiders who don’t have our perspective on the wrongness of our circumstances have no understanding, no sympathy and provide no support.  In fact, many times the people whose support we most need are the most opposed to our evolution.  They are the least likely to be there for us because we are forcing change on them.

When we change, others around us must also change.  We are not the same person with the same needs and the same way of being.  Therefore the same ways of interacting don’t work.  There is a ripple effect of this change which can alter our lives as deeply and profoundly as a change which is forced upon us.

Whether change is a rapid overwhelming force or a small nibble at the periphery of our lives, our role is to adjust to what has become new and different.

When making changes, however large or small, it’s important to have a support group, a community even if it’s just one person.  Sometimes our friends can help but unfortunately sometimes our friends and family can hinder our attempts to change.  In these circumstances, it’s nice to have a coach, someone in your corner who is looking out for your welfare.

What changes are you dealing with?  Who can you call on to help you with these changes?

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