Getting from the cocoon to the butterfly calls for a change in the insect’s very being. It can teach us a great deal about change when we realize that out of a dark, enfolding cocoon, a butterfly takes flight and experiences a new world. Leaving my home after 33 years was an enormously difficult life change. Moving from Little Rock, Arkansas to Macon, Georgia was quite a challenge.
Eckhart Tolle has said that although some changes look negative on the surface, perhaps space is being created in a person’s life so that something new and exciting can emerge. His words somewhat take the sting out of the process of change. It is not unusual for a person to resist change or dread it. Change can be difficult. Change can upset one’s equilibrium. Change can upset us when we have settled in to life’s status quo.
It is true that most of us fear change whether the change alters our work, our home, our family, our relationships or any part of life that has become comfortable. Here’s what happens. Just when were set in our ways, when we least expect it, life sets before us a challenge to test our courage to change. We usually fight it for all we’re worth, pretending that nothing has happened, insisting that we’re not ready, declaring that the change is not good for us or anyone else. We fight and resist until we learn the hard way that resisting does not stop the change.
What if we just allow ourselves to move with the flow and gently move into the change we dread? What if we had the strength of will to face a sudden change head on, without flinching or fighting? What if we let the change happen in us? What if we learn to look at change in the way Terry Pratchett describes in A Hat Full of Sky: the ability to see where we have been and where we are with new eyes and extra colors.
The truth is that change is growth. Change is a remedy against stagnancy. Change may well be a way to embrace something new that will eventually cause us to be more alive, more aware, more self-actualized and self-confident.
Each time we embrace change and make it through, we become stronger for it. When are willing to do something differently, to meet different people, to go to different places . . . even to embrace a self reborn, er are embracing change.
About two years ago, I went through a very painful life and career change. It was not a change I chose, but one that was forced upon me in a rather unfriendly manner. For a while, I honestly thought I could not survive it. I definitely did not see it as being something that was good for me.
To be honest, the change was NOT good for me in many ways. But two years later, I have found one way that it was good for me. I did not realize it but I had lost some of my creative spirit. The change forced me to either languish or to allow my creativity to be renewed and restored. I learned something about myself that was important to know. I learned, in spite of all the weeping and wailing, that I do have the courage to start over and that starting over is not so bad.
So I’m for looking deep within myself and finding the courage to embrace change when it comes. I hope you will do the same.