On Dealing With Change (Part 5)
Dealing with change isn´t easy. So many people I speak to want other people to change or struggle with making changes, only to have those around them resist the change they are trying to make…
Fact is you can´t force change on anyone else. The only person you have any control over is YOU.
That being the case, dealing with change and learning to let go become a process of accepting that we can’t control other people, places or things.
Control is only an illusion. Let it go.
Parenthood is a perfect example.
In the beginning, it seems you have complete control over your child´s life. You control their food, their clothes, what they do and how they live. You take pride in shaping this young child into the person you want them to be.
As they grow, though, it becomes harder and harder to do. They stop behaving the way you want them to. They become interested in things you´re not. Their values take a turn in another direction and you begin disagreeing about more and more things.
It doesn´t matter how much you want to control them, they become their own person – individual and independent.
And, while it´s true you may have been able to influence them in the beginning, you really never had control over them at all.
Reaction, Influence & Letting Go of Control
Even when your child was a baby or a toddler, they made internal decisions about how to react to the things and people around them. Different babies react differently and, in turn, we react to their reactions.
When you think of it like that, our children actually influence us just as much as we influence them!
This is true of everyone in your life. You don´t control them. You can´t.
What you can do is influence them. And they can influence you as well.
Learn to let go of wanting to change people. They will only resist, and resistance is natural.
Dealing with change starts within each of us. That´s where we have the most control.
Quite often it requires a shift in perspective. Sometimes it requires changing yourself. Do what you can to deal with the challenge – focus on being a shining example. Be compassionate. Be caring. Do your best to be supportive of your needs and the needs of those around you.
Nothing Is Forever
One of the truths that I’ve learned in life is that nothing is permanent. No person, no thing, no situation.
Even the person we think we are is continually changing.
Nothing is permanent. Not even the pyramids, the forests or the mountains. Even the most solid, dependable things around us are constantly growing older, decomposing, and becoming more fragile.
Dealing with change and this sense of impermanence can be scary but it can also be tremendously freeing!
When you open up to the inevitability of change inside and around you, you begin to realize the insanity of trying to hold on to what is.
Because what we think is…really isn´t. It is always evolving, moving, and changing.
Dealing With Change Means Letting Go
Can you see how trying to hold on to something that´s always changing is why we struggle and suffer? It´s also why we spend so much time steeped in fear. Why we…
People are creatures of habit. We want things to stay the same
…and yet, they never do.
So, how do you deal with this fear of constant change?
Learn to accept it.
Change is what life is all about. We can continually try to fight a losing battle or we can learn to accept what we cannot control.
With Acceptance Comes Freedom
Understand that you are different today than you were yesterday. And you will be different again tomorrow. Don´t let that scare you. Instead, see that as an opportunity to continually be reinventing yourself.
Who you are and who you were is not engraved in stone. You can reinvent yourself to become whatever you want to be.
A few minutes ago I was struggling with writing this post. I was procrastinating and tempted by distraction. And I had a choice…
I could have given in and thought to myself: What a procrastinator! You will never be a good writer!
Or I could let go of that mental image and reinvent myself in the moment by simply starting to write!
If you struggle with bad habits – let go of that past self. Yes, let it go!
Because in reality, it´s already gone.
So, instead of dwelling on it, create a new self, and then a new one.
If someone you love is angry with you, understand that anger stems from suffering. And suffering can be changed, it can be eased; just as the pain you feel can be changed as well.
Let go of feeling wronged. Call on your compassion and empathy to give comfort to the one you love. You decide how much pain you are willing to feel, just as you decide how much compassion you are willing to share.
Your relationship can be healed, because it is constantly being reinvented.
I´m not trying to say that the past doesn´t matter – obviously it impacts both the present and the future. But I honestly believe we are not completely bound by our past. If everything is in a continual state of flux, that includes the pain and suffering of the past as well.
I know all of this may be a bit hard to grasp – and I promise to share some more concrete ideas with you as I proceed with this series…
For right now, understand that dealing with change means learning to let go. And letting go helps us deal with reality as it is, rather than how we´d like it to be.
If you have questions, let me know. Otherwise, join me back here next week, when we´ll look at loss and how not to let it rule your life.