Do You Enjoy Change?
Many people automatically respond to change with fear. Without even considering the new possibilities, their mind begins to race with thoughts like, ‘I can’t do it’ or ‘I’ll get hurt’ or maybe even, ‘I’ll die’. The mere thought of change quickens their pulse with a nebulous feeling of dread. And it’s not just the big kind of changes like breaking up with your sweetheart, or losing your job, or experiencing the lost of a loved one. I have seen small changes like being unexpectedly rerouted on the highway or having a regular schedule changed without warning, bring on the same kind of fearful response in many people.
Does change have to bring on an almost instinctive fear response? I don’t believe it does, yet resisting change and the feeling that ‘I just don’t like change,’ is prevalent in our society. But in the vast majority, that excuse is not only unclear, it is untrue. What if your economic situation suddenly changed when you discovered you had the winning lottery ticket and you could now pay off all your bills? Would you like that? What if you woke up one morning and the chronic pain in your back was suddenly gone and stayed gone? Or if your teenager decided to quit fighting you at every turn and instead started speaking to you kindly and began being more respectful toward you? Would those changes be acceptable?
So you see, it isn’t so much that we don’t like change, it is that we don’t like unexpected change. Unexpected change makes us feel out of control and that makes us afraid. Change brings out what we fear and that is uncomfortable. We would rather dance with the devil we know. We may not like our devil dance partner so much, but we know him and we’ve adapted, so we feel safe. We might not be happy, but we’re safe. Safe is better than happy most of the time. But is it?
What if you knew beyond any doubt whatsoever, that regardless of any changes that may unexpectedly occur, you would be just fine and maybe even thrive from the change instead of just survive where you are? Would you be more welcoming of change?
The good news is that with some awareness and willingness, you can adopt that mentality and while you may not get to the point of embracing unexpected change, you may at least lessen your fearful response to it and learn to go with the flow. How? Stop resisting. We all know that the one constant in life is change. So stop resisting change.
The first time I went white water rafting, the instructor told us that if we fell out of the boat, to go nose and toes to the sky. He further instructed that resisting the river would cause us to get battered upon the rocks and likely injured, yet if we let go and floated on our backs and let the river carry us, we were much less likely to get hurt and he would be able to get us back in the boat quicker.
That experience has become a strong metaphor for me. Perhaps it can help you as well. When I find myself suddenly launched out of my boat and things are not going as planned, instead of resisting the river of life, I go nose and toes to the sky and let the current take me along. While I’m drifting along, so to speak, I remember to breathe and focus on the sky, (my higher resource which I call Spirit). I remind myself that I have all the resources I need to handle any situation, because the truth is that I have handled everything that has happened to me so far, and I’ll handle this, too. Eventually, the current slows and I safely find my way back into the boat.