Meeting Changes in Our Lives
Some people strive to change their lives, while others fight tooth and nail against change. I guess it depends how happy you are with the status quo. Is the change you are facing the loss of something good/bad or the gain of something good/bad? I think it’s like Hamlet said, “for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
In my own life, when my partner died in the fall that was a change that felt as though the earth had opened up and I had fallen into a dark abyss. Later that month, there was another change. I got a dog and was lifted out of myself to take care of a being who stared at me with huge brown loving eyes, opening up my heart.
Often we struggle with change. Will the loss of a relationship slip us into loneliness or will we find a new friend who will enrich our lives? Does a rent increase force us out on the street or will we move in with someone who will become our best friend? Does a loss of a job mean having to live without some basic necessities or will we find another job that we will actually enjoy doing?
Even good change can be stressful. We are pushed beyond our comfort zone to something better but we still need to stretch ourselves and walk a few uncertain steps.
The one thing we cannot and should not do is try to fight change. This is futile. We can make lemonade but if we try to hang on to the lemon it will rot in our hand. We can try to find the positive aspects of the change and work towards them but holding on to something that we feel shifting is useless, and worse, a painful waste of energy. Some of us were born with a brain that sees the positive side and the potential in every situation. In other cases, either through the misfortune of having muddled wiring in their brains or because of damage from early trauma, some people tend to see the world as an unfriendly place full of misfortune.
I like the way Kipling put it: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same.” How we choose to frame or perceive the changes in our lives affects our outcomes.
I thank God for having given me a Pollyanna attitude that allows me to live with the illusion that in every moment where the sands of change shift under my feet, I can use that change to end up with a better life.
Can I invite you to occasionally share in my happy illusion that every change is an opportunity to create what we want?
Manon is a resident of Boyle Street and an active volunteer in the community. This column contains her own opinions, and is not affiliated with the Boyle Street Community League.