Facing Change This Year…

Not EVERYTHING that is faced can be changed, but NOTHING can be changed until it is faced.

~James Arthur Baldwin


Changes are never far from our door, whether it’s breaking up with an ex, having a best friend move away, the death of a relative, the loss of a job or a demotion or something that once meant a great deal to you but that has not turned out the way you hoped it would. Being prepared your changing world involves flexibility, strength of self-purpose and belief in one’s own worth. Here are some ideas to help you.

Be prepared. Life is full of unexpected surprises; don’t let this be a lesson you refuse to learn. Death, loss and strange situations will be a part of your life, no matter how much you may try to cocoon yourself with reasoning, savings and assets. The major key to coping with change is to accept the reality of change and its inevitability.

Realize there’s only one thing you can control – yourself. Once you have accepted the reality that you cannot change others and that the only way they can change you is if you let them, then you suddenly find yourself empowered. Empowerment is a key element of change acceptance and change management. When you feel empowered, you will roll with changes as a whale rolls through the ocean waves, commanding and unbothered by events but conscious of a need to roll with the surrounding effects to lessen their impacts.

Take time to recoup. If you are grieving after a death, be it a person or a pet, do not let anyone tell you how long to grieve for. That decision is yours. It does make sense to make a decision in your own mind about what grieving you need to do, as your life cannot meander in sorrow forever. However, it is most clear that those who avoid grieving end up worse off and can experience break-downs and inability to cope at unexpected times. With grief for death, there will always be a piece of your heart missing but if you accept this and you are willing to carry the memories as lively as can be for the rest of your life, this will help you reach some acceptance of what has happened. If it is a job loss or some other personal loss that is not death, you still need mourning time to assuage your sadness and grief over a loss of something that once filled a large part of your life. Perhaps a small ending ceremony of some sort will help to give you a sense of closure and allow you to move forward.

Be purposeful. Change occurs but you do not need to be buffeted by it. Have a purpose in life, no matter what it is, that serves as your own personal anchor. While it is important to be open to change and to be flexible as to the possibilities that change opens up for you, it is also important to remain true to yourself and the dreams that you hold in life. This self-belief and your dreams are your anchor. Whatever else life throws in your way, these are the barometers by which you can measure your progress in the world and how you are reacting to change. Be prepared to question your methods of getting to where you wish to go but be less prepared to change your destination if it means dismantling the person you are inside.

Look for the silver lining of change. Remember the adage Every cloud has a silver lining. There is a reason for this saying – wise humans of the past knew well that change could herald both fear and opportunity. Once the fog of shock, despair and anger pass, look for the opportunities that exist in the change. There may be an amazing find, such as memoirs written by a lost one that were uncovered when his or her house was emptied out and these recall many wonderful times of all family members. Or the fact that there is a gain in time for those who have lost employment, time in which to reanalyze one’s life and direction and make fruitful changes to oneself and one’s sense of direction. Look for the opportunities that you can make use of rather than continuously viewing the change as a deep loss from which time nothing will ever be the same.

Leave harping on behind you. When a change thrusts you into complaining, it can be understandable for a short period of time. Friends and family will rally at the beginning of a misfortune. However, as time progresses, constant complaining turns you into your family’s and friend’s misfortune and does absolutely nothing to improve your state of affairs. Rather, you may alienate the very people who would be happy to support you through your hardships if you turn into a grouch and someone who feels permanently victimized and scolds the entire world for your troubles. A little ranting is fine at the beginning; a sourpuss for life is someone who becomes increasingly isolated. Do not allow this to happen to you.

Move on. You cannot remain rooted in the current or a past situation. It may feel comfortable and returning to a habit is always the simpler path of least resistance. Yet, change requires change from you as well and you will need to learn to resist turning back to the past and trying to recreate what once was. Forge on into the future and stand proud. Use what you have learned but don’t let it use you.


7 thoughts on “Facing Change This Year…

  1. I really like the powerpoint and the analogies!

    Your message was deep. You talked about change, but also a lot about loss. I think this is critical because many attribute the change of a year as overcoming loss; starting anew. Unfortunately many also start with a fresh mind, but end up recalling and carting past demons into the new year because of the challenges that arise. They remember how they once felt and relive it, instead of changing their outlook. If we just kept the pictures of carrots, eggs, and coffee beans in our peripheral as well as the message represented, and we believed in truly moving on and allowing the past to serve as lessons, then the entire year would be a resolution. More than just an empty promise to ourselves, but true, deep-rooted change!

  2. Wow, I agree with Taj that message was truly deep and on point. Your words hit me on such a personal level, that for once I am speechless and that doesn’t happen often…lol. I really needed to hear truth….

  3. @ nti, Glad this helped. As I have said before, we are too busy acting like passengers in our own lives. We play the role of victim and accidental result.

    The truth is that we have waaaay more power to control our lives than we command. If you don’t like where you live, move. If you don’t like your job, get another. If you think you’re over weight, walk, run, or join a gym. If you never have time for things, MAKE time.

    This incarnation is VERY temporary and we need to start living like so. We need to take control and command change. We need to be purposeful in our lives within our wants and needs. Time to stop making excuses. Kids try and adults do, be an adult.

  4. Wow Dimitri! If that isn’t the truth, then I don’t know what is. Preach on brotha! “…passengers in our own lives.” A reality check we all need.

  5. Interesting fodder, D. Two questions — I know you read and research constantly, how do you find pieces such as this that align with your own philosophical beliefs in totality? Do you edit out parts that don’t? It would be interesting to build a repository of authors and sources within your blog as a go to of resources.

    There are pieces within this post that I am challenged with given certain circumstances — for me, as within most thinking, there is alignment within some aspects but not all. I embrace change and couldn’t live with status quo, but there are those foundational pieces of life that form the philosophical beliefs that define who we are. Yes, we must always be willing to reflect and position for adjustment over time, but not always is change a fit or appropriate. Many times, change is the easy path but not always the right.

  6. @Victoria, I know your questioned is addressed to Dimitri but I would like to say that:

    1.) I agree with your statement that change is not always an appropriate fit within certain circumstances. It could more or less be an easy way out, or simply a rebellion if you will against the “status quo” or against peace not necessarily grounded in morality or meaningful transcendence. Genocide in many African countries stands out to me in this way, and the less comprehensive changing of oneself superficially (nip/tuck) to stand out or fit in. I’m sure there are plenty of examples that you are thinking of Victoria, but my point is your statement makes sense in context.

    2.) I can’t speak for Dimitri, but my understanding of the post was change as a means of surpassing difficulty and not becoming disillusioned by unfortunate circumstances in your personal life. I would say in this context, change is very appropriate. It is irresponsible to me to understand that as nature changes rapidly, so do our emotions, our circumstances, and our environment, but not adjust with it. As I read this post, this is what I gathered. Not necessarily a call to change our philosophical beliefs, but not be to overcome or disheartened by other things that are changing around us that may not like or understand like death or financial hardships, and he didn’t mention it, but even the changes in weather patterns that are beginning to effect us on a more obvious level. What are we going to do?

    I don’t know, I could be wrong. My understanding is subject to change…

  7. @ Vic, 1. Well most of my blog (I’d say 90%) is out of my head as I have not found to date any one resource that matches my thought process or outlook in totality. 2. I pull from experiences, passages, readings, and observed behavior to arrive at such points. *I* am the resource…lol

    As far as your second point, Not sure I agree. To me, change is not easy at all or a “way out”. To me, change is the way to get to a point of optimal efficiency, realized solutions and sustained success and like anything change must be done in used when appropriate. If you could give me an example of how change is a easy path?

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous :)

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