HOW STRANGE THAT THE NATURE OF LIFE IS CHANGE
How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.
The only constant in life is change and yet. like Elizabeth Lesser says, we have a great resistance to change. We might know things need to change – like the way we are living on this planet, or the relationship we re in, or the job we have – and yet we often would rather remain in the comfort of the known, even if it makes us unhappy, than move into the discomfort of the unknown.
So what makes change so challenging, even if deep down we know it’s good for us and that in fact it is the only guarantee?
Change brings up all of our fears, worries and anxieties. It uproots us from the familiar and demands us to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone. Sometimes it’s exhilarating, more often it’s terrifying and almost always it ends up better than what we expected it might be. You might have heard the saying 99% of my fears never came true. We fear the worst in our minds and often it is that fear that holds us back, or perhaps it is even the effort of change, because in truth, yes sometimes change takes great effort. But who’s to say that effort equates unhappiness?
We need to learn how to be in the discomfort of uncertainty and begin to actually get comfortable with it. It requires us to let go of expectations, of limiting beliefs, of trying to control the outcome and always know. It invites us to trust, surrender, to ask for support, to think creatively and take a more positive outlook that life could mysteriously and pleasantly surprise us and that in fact it is guiding us to towards what is best for us.
But lets come back to the challenge and how to be with it. Whether we agree that change is the only constant, or that change can lead us to something good, the truth is that the challenge within the transition of change is still very real. So what can we do?
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I have learned that acceptance, trust, letting go of the ‘why’ and the things you own end up owning you’, are all important elements in being with the challenge of change.
ACCEPTANCE: We have to first accept where we are. We may not want to be “here or have to go ’there’ but the truth in the moment is that whatever is happening is happening. The more we can surrender into that and let go of resisting it. wanting it to change, or trying to get rid of it. the less we suffer.
TRUST This one is a tricky one because trust is not tangible; you can’t hold it in your hands or point to it. It s a felt experience that needs to be practised.
But trust, knowing that somehow, someway, we don’t in fact need to know how. we are supported, we are guided and we will find the way. When we are going through change we often feel as if we are in the dark. Maybe at times we feel we have a small flashlight that splashes glimpses of clarity along the way, but most often we feel we are completely in the dark, wishing those stadium powered lights would just turn on, shedding absolute clarity on everything. But life keeps us on our toes in this way and when we fall into the dance of trust and surrender, wonderful things can happen that surprise and amaze us.
LETTING GO OF THE WHY: It is so easy to get stuck in the ‘why is this happening to me?” story. It can take us in circles, repeating, replaying to no end and with no answer. When we get stuck in the why we lose our power and presence to be able to move forward, and ultimately we get in the way of what is already there and available for us. We may get so consumed in trying to figure out the answer that we miss the clue that lies just before us. the hand that’s reaching out to help us, the path that will lead us to where we need to get to.
THE THINGS YOU OWN, ENDING UP OWNING YOU”: Amidst change, or even the desire for change, we can get bogged down by the things we own, the logistics and of course money, so much so that it can stop us from creating the change we in fact need. I have learned that even though it can be challenging to sort out the practicals, if we allow them to take control we may end up never living the life we dreamt of. At the end of it all. we don’t remember how much that cost, or what we did with the furniture, or even the struggle within the transition. What we remember is if we lived a happy life, a fulfilled life, a life of no regrets.
So I invite you to practise these four things and to perhaps take a new perspective of change – not by needing to get rid of your fears, or pretend to be brave, # but instead by being with the challenge of change by embracing your fears, being open to the possibility that life does in fact care about our wellbeing and happiness, and that always, in the end. we make it to where we need to be.