Saturday, November 19, 2011

Embracing Change

The only constant in life is change. This is one of those obvious things that we realize and experience on a continuous basis, but fail to internalize and accept. We resist it. We waste time wishing the changes had not occurred. We suffer. In the last few years, my life has undergone some extreme changes. Some I consciously chose and implemented on my own, while others were brought about by outside circumstances that were less than pleasant. But, these things happened and it was up to me to decide whether I was going to use these experiences as a catalyst for improvement or fall at their mercy and use them as an excuse to be unhappy, lazy or withdraw from life.

Perspective is everything. We always have a choice on how to view the things that happen to us. If you are facing a situation where change was thrust upon you without your consent, make an effort to view it in a different light. You may not be able to do this every second, you are only human after all. But, at least try as best you can. Instead of focusing on the negative things that may have resulted from this change, try to think of some good things that can come out of it. Maybe a relationship just ended, but it was the only thing keeping you in a town you hated; you now have the opportunity to live somewhere you have always wanted to. Maybe you lost your job, but you hated it and this change finally pushed you into doing something you had been putting off, like going back to school or entering a new line of work.

At first glance, you may think that nothing good can come out of the situation, but I assure you that there is at least one thing. You may feel entitled to be upset about the situation and you allow yourself to wallow in all these negative emotions. Sure, it may be understandable to be upset about certain things, but constantly holding onto these feelings simply because you feel it is your right to rather than making an effort to reduce them is a waste of time and energy and you will only prolong your suffering.

It may sound overly simple, but learning to accept the impermanence of everything can reduce our emotional reaction to the changes that occur in our life. You may still feel upset, you may still feel fearful, but reducing your attachment to things that are no longer, will serve you in moving forward in your life and making decisions that will increase your happiness. These negative reactions to change will lose their power.

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