Embracing Change

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I love this time of year, perhaps the best of all. There is something that encourages thoughtfulness in me; a tendency towards contemplation on foggy mornings, the need for quiet evenings and warm blankets; the magic of the daily newness of trees blushing and bragging in bright colors. And no matter how many years out of school I am (please, don’t ask!) I still always feel somehow that this is a kind of New Year’s season. I tend to take stock of my previous 12 months and assess what I have accomplished.  And without fail, I am amazed at how my life has changed in that short time. Regardless of how badly I may wish for stability and stagnancy I never seem to find it. I am always being asked to adapt to new circumstances, shifting priorities, changing expectations.

It’s inevitable: things are going to change. There are countless adages and bumper stickers to this effect, and the universal messaging seems pretty clear: don’t get too comfortable.  Because just as soon as you do BAM! Another curve ball comes right at you.

Sometimes this seems like a good thing: a promotion, an engagement, moving to a new home. These are the kinds of changes that we typically perceive as heralds for an increase in our experience of happiness. But on the other hand: being laid off, having a car break down, a sick child; these kinds of circumstances can manifest a heightened level of stress in our already exhausted lives. And so we begin to create categories for life changes: the Good Kind, and the Bad Kind, and we address them accordingly. We greet with enthusiasm the changes that elevate our resources, and trudge along bemoaning our bad luck through the unexpectedly tough times.

And I’ll admit it: sometimes I get just so weary of the constant adaptation. I drag my feet, I experience higher levels of anxiety, and I can feel the skin tightening around the corners of my eyes in exhaustion. But this year, I’ve been thinking along different lines. And I’m not the only one.

But what if we were to try something different? What if we all tried in our small way to approach ALL change as innately the same? That is, what if we attempted to see that all newness presents the same opportunity for growth and expansion, that all things possess balancing potential?

 

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