There is an old saying, “there are only two things guaranteed in life, they are death and taxes!” I would add a third guarantee—change. Change is an inevitable, inescapable phenomenon. In fact, even as you are reading this now, something about you is changing—what you are thinking, what you are feeling in response to what you are reading or perceiving this very moment!
Sometimes the changes that come along in our lives are welcome changes—a job promotion, a new relationship, or the birth of a child, for example, however, sometimes the changes we encounter are anything but welcome! Since change is unavoidable, our greatest challenge is to adapt to whatever life throws our way! And while change, at times, can be incredibly difficult or extremely painful, the good news is that we are designed to grow in all facets of our existence—biological, psychological, and spiritual. It is often the case that during our hardest times, we experience the greatest growth.
To illustrate just how innate the human growth process is, I like to tell the story of the potato. If you place an ordinary potato in a pantry where there is no sunlight, no nutrient rich soil, no rain, in other words, nothing to stimulate or encourage its growth, regardless of its poor conditions, tender shoots emerge and, in fact, those shoots if left unattended become unruly. The same is true in our lives--in our darkest, most somber times, we have the great potential to grow in new and unthinkable ways.
I don’t know about you, but I have thought about change a lot, and I realized that really, we have only two choices, resist change, or roll with it. It seems pretty obvious that resistance only brings greater headaches and heartaches, but if we can learn to overcome our fear, to accept and even embrace change, we might discover that change brings with it many new opportunities leading to a richer, more meaningful existence.
Mark Twain expresses it most eloquently. He said, “What is joy without sorrow? What is success without failure? What is a win without a loss? What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”
So how do you handle change? Sometimes we just need a listening ear, a non-judgmental companion, or reassurance that what we are feeling is, “normal.” Other times, we may need to develop new skills or learn tools for coping with the challenges we face. That’s where I come in. I would welcome the opportunity to support and encourage you as you navigate the changes in your life.