Boy, do human beings ever dislike change! We don’t like it when we have change thrust upon us. If something changes without notice, well, then, I am unprepared, maybe taken unawares, feeling out of step or off kilter. We prefer to call our own shots, to have predictability in our lives. We don’t even like it much when the weather changes, even though it is eminently clear that the weather means nothing personal.
When we see the need for change in our own lives, we often resist it. Even if we want the change, seek it, work toward it, sometimes we get in our own way. Obstacles arise, apparently by themselves. Inertia settles into the body. We may actively sabotage our own efforts to change our behaviour. Then we give up, saying, “It’s too hard. I’ve been okay like this so far; I don’t know why I think I want to change anything anyway.” Then we settle for living less than our full lives, sighing with resignation. “I can’t change. Things just won’t go the way I want them to. There is no hope…”
I respectfully disagree! Change is possible. In fact, change is inevitable. We work incredibly hard to try to keep things, including ourselves, from changing. But change is going to happen. We can prepare for it, try to focus it in a particular direction, and let life change us. The key is letting it happen rather than trying to force it, or force ourselves.
People come into the office wanting something to change. Sometimes they want circumstances to change, but mostly they know that the change has to come from within. Sometimes people want harsh measures, and they are particularly punitive with themselves. “I have to lose twenty pounds and so I am not going to eat anything good for the next two months…” Sometimes they want me to be punitive with them; it may be the only kind of relationship they know. How different it is to allow change rather than to force it! How different to set an intention rather than create a goal and rigid steps to achieve it!
Change is happening to you, right now. It is happening to me, it is happening in all of our lives. What one tiny step can you take right now to move that change in the direction you prefer? Maybe you can step outside for a walk, or maybe just a deep breath to change your relationship to your work. Maybe you can email a friend, to change your social connections. Maybe you can pick up a bit of litter. Maybe you can send a positive thought to someone you fear, to change how you relate.