We all experience change in our lives, whether its something we choose or something that happens to us. When we find it difficult to adapt or understand or accept the change we can often find ourselves stuck, trying to resist or control it.
That can lead to physical and emotional pain as our bodies and our minds fight the feelings of being under threat or of feeling that our life and everything we thought it would be is changing or even spiralling out of control. We can become destabilised and it feels like the ground and our foundations are shifting.
There are times in our life that bring natural changes, such as when we leave school, start a job, or leave college, or move out of a family home, a bereavement, when we move house, when we meet a new partner or when we end a relationship. Even what society normally sees as good things like a holiday can bring change that for some can create stress and uncertainty. If you are someone who likes or needs control or structure in your life any of these changes, however inevitable or part of our normal life journey, can cause undue stress or apprehension.
Learning to cope with change and how to trust and accept the process is a bit like sailing on a stormy sea—the waves come at us and we can flounder and rock for a bit until we feel steady and can continue to float.
How quickly we can do this depends on so many things— what does this change mean to us, how much choice do we feel we have over it, what skills have we learnt in our life to cope, how well do we look after ourselves as we learn to re- negotiate our life? And what will I be like when I get to the other side?
Emotional change often comes from our acceptance whether it’s of ourselves or whatever is going on for us or processing what has happened to us in the past.
It might be about letting go of something we hoped for, of letting a relationship go or letting go of emotional pain we carry because we’ve never allowed ourselves to talk about it or understand it.
Whatever the change we are going through it requires something of us— whether that’s a leap into the unknown, a different way of dealing with things or a practical decision. We can only change our responses and how we cope when we face it head on and understand what it means to us.
When we bury our heads in the sand and hope it will go away then we may just be making it harder on ourselves; sometimes we just have to go with it in order to make sense of it.
Here’s a little inspiration from the Dalai Lama!