There are some big changes happening in my family right now – not to me directly, but it still affects me personally. It has really made me focus on change, what it means, and how fear can drive our direction or suppress our growth.
What is change? The dictionary definition of change is: the act or instance of making or becoming different.
My first reaction to reading that definition is ‘but I don’t want things to be different. Different is scary. I like things the way they are.’ Oh if only I could live in a bubble for the rest of my life where nothing changed. Well on second thought, that doesn’t sound too appealing either. Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.
Change can be small – you change your clothes. Change can be drastic – you change your job, where you live, your marital status, etc. Some changes carry more weight than others and all impact us and those we love differently.
I have been through the gamut of changes in my own life. I have experienced multiple moves, divorce, loss, but all of these changes have also made me the person that I am today. There is good that has come from the bad. Change can be bittersweet.
Change is a normal part of life – healthy even. It can be incredibly scary. Fear of the unknown and the what-ifs are enough to make anyone stay put right where they are. Fear of failure. Fear of being wrong. Fear of hearing the ‘I-told-you-so’s’ we so aptly love to throw back at our loved ones when they fail (as if that were helpful).
My point is change is going to happen. We are constantly ageing. We are constantly learning. We are not always meant to stay in one place. Sometimes growing means leaving our comfort zone and trying something new. It means taking that new job. It means moving to another place.
With change undoubtedly comes the thoughts and opinions of others. Family and friends are quick to chime in with their concerns. Healthy discussion of big changes can be great too, taking into consideration the wisdom of those you trust, and then making the decision that is best for you. But do not let the fear of others hold you back from making a change that might just be the best thing for your life. Trust yourself.
So yes, change does mean different. But different can be good. Different can teach you something. Different could present a new opportunity. I will strive to remember these things as change comes my way and in the lives of those I love. What is most important during times of change is to love one another and know that whether the change brings joy or failure, that your loved ones will always have your back.