I have learned, and many have told me, that change is the only constant in life. (Some of you might ask, "What about God?" Yes, God is constant. Yet, it is also true that our unchanging God is the very agent of all change and transformation. Consider that.)
So, anyway, if we are continually faced with change, why is it so hard to come to terms with? Shouldn't we be used to this dynamic already? We've all experienced a lifetime of it. Why is it so difficult to adapt to changes? Instead of fighting it, is there a better way to deal with change? Perhaps we should try to learn from it.
I think we're creatures of habit. New circumstances, new experiences, and new settings force us to consider embracing new patterns of living and (possibly) discarding the old ways. When our comfortable habits are challenged, it is unnerving. Change stirs us up and causes us to confront the things that we've been doing mindlessly for who knows how long. When change comes, we're forced to examine our lives. This scrutiny usually results in prompting us to make additional changes, just so we can survive. If we're lucky, the conscious changes we initiate in response to new circumstances can allow us not only to survive, but to thrive.
This is what recent changes in my life have taught me:
-My pride is not beneficial; it is OK to ask for help.
-Relationships shift and it is not natural to force them to be something they are not.
-Recognizing that people are different than me is not enough; I need to actually adjust for those differences and appreciate them.
-Plans can backfire. Rather than seeing it as a failure, maybe it just means there's another option waiting to be discovered.
-Advice should not be construed as criticism. It is often given by people who care deeply and want the best for me.
-Sometimes, for certain periods of time, you have to do things you don't particularly enjoy. That's life.
-Ignoring things does not make them go away. Often, they just get worse!
-I need to stop making assumptions.
-When I let myself be flexible, good things happen.
-I cannot thrive without opportunities to express who I am. I need to be involved in settings that give me a sense of purpose.
-I am fearful of being forgotten.
-There is room to deepen my faith by expanding some of my former definitions.
-Downplaying who I am in order to please others is not successful. It only robs them (and me) of my real self.
-There is not one "right way" for everyone.