“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”John F Kennedy
Very few of us like change. The status quo is usually where we feel safest and happiest – it’s not called a “comfort zone” for nothing! Yet we all know that change is as inevitable as death and taxes.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve largely lost my fear of change. I’ve come to accept – even embrace – it. Here are my 5 things to remember when life throws you a curved ball.
1. Resistance is useless. It doesn’t matter how much you want life to stay static, it simply can’t, any more than the ocean can stop moving with the tide. As with so many things, the tighter we cling the more painful change will be. You might as well relax and go with the flow.
2. We were born to grow. Becoming an adult was never going to be the end game. Growth often comes from discomfort. Stagnation isn’t good for any of us, physically, mentally or spiritually.
3. Not all change is bad. I have come to look at change as something that is largely positive. Obviously, the more tragic changes in life – bereavement, ill health, relationship breakdowns – impact us in ways that are lifelong. But even these darkest times often yield opportunities for growth, planting a seed for eventual happiness.
4. Attitude is King. Whether the changes in your life impact you negatively or positively is largely a question of attitude.Does that sound callous? If you’ve just lost your job and are wondering how you’re going to make rent, you are probably cursing me right now. I’m sorry. But as I always told my children (they hated me at times too!) it’s not what happens to us in life that matters, but how we choose to react to it. Remember – this too shall pass!
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare
5. Embrace what is. Finally, there is peace to be found in surrender. Not as in giving up and allowing yourself to be swept along like flotsam, but that acceptance frees us from the fight to stay the same and releases our energy to be spent in making the most of the opportunities that change so often presents. Which really brings us back full circle to point number one – resistance is useless anyway!
If you are struggling with a life altering change right now, I send you my love and my best wishes that your natural born strength will pull you through.
For the rest of us, once we accept that nothing is more certain in life than uncertainty, we can embrace change and find the adventure within it.