“In our hearts we know that everything changes but we seek to establish a kind of permanence in everything we think and do in everyday life.”
Why do we want permanence in life? When change occurs, often our first response is to resist it and hope that life can stay the same or we convince ourselves we can create it again. The problem is, that life is naturally always changing, with or without our help.
In resisting change, we tend to create illusions of what we thought was once a perfect world when infact, it is exactly like it is now, it has its ups and downs, it has major and minor changes and is constantly moving.
The only life we can live is the one facing us now, so we have two choices, flow with the change and accept the present situation, or resist it and stay trapped in the past.
I find if something is not challenging me then it really cannot change me. In the past when I have dug my feet in and said “NO” to change, I never felt good. Infact, I felt angry! Angry at myself and others because I didn’t have the courage to move through it. Sometimes it has been because I am not ready and that’s okay, but it doesn’t go away. It always comes back at another time, in another form to face me.
One person’s despair eg; a job change, or exposure to risk or change in their life, is to another person not threatening at all. Some people love risk or climbing mountains, whereas to others these are intensely scary things. Emotional response, and trauma, must be seen in relative and absolute terms.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is a wonderful Doctor and Author who worked with the dying and their deaths for many years. She discovered there are several stages of Grief we must go through and these are often the same emotional stages we must experience when we are faced with major changes in our life.
Elisabeth tells us the stages we go through are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Of course death intensifies these emotions but generally change is really about letting go and allowing part of our old self to die. If we stop at any stage of this process and try to keep things the same, we will find we get stuck, wishing and pretending that life can be the same again and this prevents us from living in the present and all it offers us.
I saw a very sad movie today “The Fault in our Stars” (Take tissues if you go!!) and one of the lines in it is, “Pain demands to be felt” and I agree. In all my ups and downs in life, through death and sadness, pain has always demanded I face it and feel it.
Of course, I don’t always want to and it can be very difficult to feel it, but when I do, I am so glad. When I have the courage to work through my pain and changes that need to be made, I begin to feel lighter, to have more clarity and become present to this moment and what is. I now understand this pain is here to help me grow and step into my full potential.
“Where there’s hope, there is life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
― Anne Frank