How To Embrace Change
We are creatures of habits - even the bad ones.
We want our coffee fixed the right way, no detours, our favorite jeans to always fit, the same parking spot at work, or pew in church. (I've never seen someone lose their religion quicker than when their seat is taken by someone else.) And don't get me started when there is no Duke's mayo on the grocery store shelf.
We don't like it when something or someone comes along and disrupts our carefully planned life. Yet it happens ALL the time.
Change is quite ironically the one constant in life.
Seasons change. Nature transforms. People come and go in our lives. Even the time changes. (Although the sun and moon don't actually do anything different, as humans we just like to try and control things.)
And that's the root of the problem. We think if we try hard enough, we can stop the change.
The key is not to stop it, but to learn to embrace it. (On a side note, did you realize that CHANGE and CHANCE or only separated by ONE letter??) Sit on that a minute.....
I am all for traditions and stability. There are certain customs and practices and beliefs that are solid and important and need to be sustained and held dear.
There are also things worth fighting for. A marriage that is experiencing a rough patch. A child that is on the wrong path. A misunderstanding with a friend or family member. You certainly don't need to walk away from every situation just because it is difficult.
But there are times when something is out of your hands and the change happened without your knowledge or consent. It is those circumstances that you must now learn how to embrace. So it doesn't break you.
Take The Tree
The tree is a good example of how to embrace change. A tree has deep roots. It is solid and strong. But it is not rigid. Winds come and storms blow and their branches will sway and bend, but the tree stands. There are even times during extreme conditions where they may even lose a branch. But the tree survives.
You can withstand more than you realize. The key is to feed your roots but refuse to be rigid. Be open to new ideas, opinions, opportunities.
It Is Ok To Grieve And Be Confused
Some change starts as a loss. A job. A relationship. An ideal.
The path to somewhere new involves closing the door on the past. Maybe that door was slammed in your face while you were still trying to make it work. But it does no good to stand at that door screaming and trying to beat it down. Learn when it's time to walk away.
Resist the urge to pretend you have it all together. Sometimes you just don't. Don't be afraid to say you don't understand what happened, or you really don't know what to do next. Hit the pause button for a minute.
It is OK to take time to mourn the loss. Lick your wounds. (Did you know that phrase actually comes from the animal world because dog and cat saliva actually contains enzymes that help promote healing.)
You just can't stay in a defeated state too long. Life is too short to spend looking backward. Keep moving!
And Then There Is The Flounder (I Bet You Thought I Was Going To Say Butterfly)
Ok, I know, I know. Every article about change uses the butterfly as the example. It starts as a worm, builds its own version of a tiny house, and emerges a beautiful winged creature. While this is true, I wanted to dig deeper to find another example of adapting to change.
Cue in the flounder