This is a topic that has taken me a while to grasp in my life and career.
In my life I often find myself letting my caveman brain lead the way.
I try to control and calculate my day, tasks, actions, risks, rewards. As humans we love consistency, habits, and routine.
There is a lot of positive to having these things. I benefit from them daily. But there is a beautiful tension in life that is between what is and what will be.
That is change.
The world is always changing, we as humans are always changing.
Emotions and feelings are always changing.
The universe is always progressing forward.
I have struggled over the years with change. Usually, change requires growth, hardship, retraining of thinking or action. It requires all the body and mind to move towards a new direction. Many people do not like change for this reason.
IT IS HARD.
You can not stop change. You can only be apart of change. To act like the world does not change is foolish. You need to be curious about change. Embrace change. See where change starts and stops. If you look outside for one minute you will see hundreds of things changing in front of you that you have no control over. If you think about the sun rising and falling, the seasons, all these things are changing, life, death, rebirth happens right in front of us everyday. Things change.
The way I have started to approach change is with curiosity.
To be aware of when change starts and stops.
Often we make broad blanket statements about ourselves and others when things happen or change. This sometimes can become universal statements that we identify with or label others with. Maybe a friend gets a divorce, maybe someone accomplishes something great. We often identify strongly with these things and then label them onto ourselves or others for all time.
This is not fair. It is not true to the world we live in.
Sometimes my days starts out well, sometimes I wake up and never want to leave my bed. Whatever feeling or emotion I am experiencing, I am curious about it.
I am gracious about it.
I think... "this is a feeling or emotion". This is tired, this is happy, this is anger, this is sore legs from a workout etc...I notice that it is present, but also acknowledge that it is not my identity nor is all moments in my life. If I look over my life, I see a wide range of beautiful emotions and feelings and experiences. When we go through good and bad, we often identify so strongly with those emotions that we get blindsided to things ever being different or changing.
When we are sad, we often feel like we may always be sad. When we are happy, we often get lost in the happiness and can't believe we were ever a different way.
I have found that being aware of when feelings and emotions start and when they stop is very beneficial to accepting change in life. When I am happy, I notice I am happy. Being happy eventually goes away as daily stress creeps in but then it comes back. This is the key. It all comes and it all goes if you let it. If you are willing to acknowledge that change is happening all over the place, then it gives hope and excitement that we as humans can change and grow and do better.
We are never stuck, we are never static.
Where we are is not where we have to be forever.
It's important to see and acknowledge change in yourself as it leads to appreciating everything in life more. Change becomes something like anticipation, excitement.
I am here.... I can be there... I am grieving, but I know that I can be and will be joyful again.
This is not a self help or positive thinking approach.. nor is this a suggestion to rush over grief. There is beauty in the grief and struggle. This is seeing where you are at currently and having the wisdom to look back and forward and see that this moment is not all moments. This is the foundation of life.
Trees emerge new life with leaves and then those die off. The next year it grows leaves again, they are similar but different. Things change and that then creates new things to experience. That same tree is changing every minute of everyday. For us as humans, this should excite us not frighten us. It may take time to sit with change, to become friends with it.
We have to be gracious with ourselves as we do this. Not judging, but just being aware of the tension or grind we may feel from seeing that things change always. It was hard for me at first, but over months of training and noticing change.. it becomes less frightening and more of a normal part of life. If we are out of shape we can get into shape. We fully believe in that as humans. We often feel like nothing is happening and then after 6 months of exercise and eating healthy we see a new person.
This is exactly how our mind can work too if we train it and embrace the process of change. During the process we often feel like nothing is changing, but it is. Everyday it is changing. Often when I have a new feeling or emotion it is easy to assume that it may be there forever.. but if I look at the history of my life, I see book ends.
I was sick, I am healthy. I was sad, I am happy. I was hungry, I am full. I was tired, I am rested.
I use to eat my emotions, now I do not.
I use to drink too much, now I do not.
I use to see my identity as my emotions, work, accomplishments, now I do not.
Change. All of this is change. All of this is good.
You can change for the worse. This is possible too. We can not acknowledge the good change without knowing that there must be the possibility of bad change. But this once again does not become our identity as a person. I used to have habits that changed me for the worse. I then made changes in my life that now have made me a better man, husband, son, and friend.
What I used to do, good or bad, is not who I am. It does impact who I am, I do have to make room for it in my narrative, but it does not have to define who I am for all eternity as we are all given the chance to change at any moment. We as people have to be gracious to those who want to change. If someone was mean or hurtful, they may seek help or forgiveness. It is our job to see how they were one time and now notice the change they are making and see them in that light.
They were mean to us, now they are nice to us.
Take today to look back at all the seasons you have experienced... of life and death and rebirth. Things starting and things ending and then starting again.
We are forgetful people who often miss how much change has happened in our lives and truly how beautiful it can be to have the ability to change.