02 May Why should we consider every change as a rebirth?
Because of the loss of reference points it involves, change frightens: in front of him, our first reflex is resistance.
And yet, whether we like it or not, we have to face it permanently. Our social and professional life, the world, the climate, the society, change is everywhere. That’s the reason why our responsibility, if we want to be happy, is to accept it and to welcome it with confidence. It’s the better way to avoid suffering.
Watch out! It doesn’t mean that you have to change everything in your life at every moment! When you feel in perfect harmony with your existence, it’s important to recognize it and to appreciate it. When everything’s in place, and every aspect of your life fills you with joy, enjoy, and try to make it last as long as possible! But when you feel that something is a bit uptight in one of the fields of your life, and that your dissatisfaction seems to be lasting, try to be open to change and to silence your prejudices about the unknown.
It’s our responsibility to adjust our perception about change: instead of considering it with fear and worry, why don’t we consider it like the perfect occasion to take stock of our needs, our aspirations and our dreams?
Changing is natural, standing still is not
”Nothing stands still, except change”
Heraclitus of Ephesus
When you observe nature, you can see that everything is changing, permanently. The sun is rising, the light evolves all day long, the weather changes, the wind blows, days, weeks, months, seasons and years go by, the life appears and disappears, the caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly and most of animals molt… As a part of the ecosystem, the human being is no exception: as in the world, movement is permanent, evolution is constant, both physical and psychic.
However, by the way we built our societies, and therefore our lives, we set up a system in order whose purpose is to give us stability and security, but that can turn against us and give us the feeling that everything is still and rigid. A system that makes each choice a definitive one. Like doubt and hesitation were carrying the most serious threat: miss your whole life.
Ideally, we should feel free to be curious, to try, to fail, to try again…
In fact, we are. Most our limits are in our mind, built to make you stay in your comfort zone, and are fed with with subjectivity, according to your education, your meetings, your experiences… What looks impossible for someone looks easy for someone else and vice versa. The main difficulty is to find the balance between what you really want today and is likely to please you as long as possible, on one hand, and to remain attentive to your « natural movements » and your inner development on the other hand…
Because a perfect situation today doesn’t necessarily mean the perfect situation for tomorrow.
Change gives rhythm to our lives
”Changing is not becoming someone else; it’s to become who you are and to accept it”
To start, let’s consider our professional life. The « system » is like this: during our studies, when we should be focus on learning, we already have to choose the way to go for the rest of our life… But who can say at 15, 16 or 17 what he’s certain to want concerning a professional orientation? Around the 30’s or 40’s, how many people can say they have the same wishes than 10 or 20 years before? How many meetings, experiences and questionings have given rhythm to your existence since you have chosen a way over another?
The world of work is changing. When you listen to the news, everyday means a new company
restructuring and new redundancies, what is very stressful. It’s a fact: because of profit or technological progress, many jobs disappear, and many workers are thrown away. This means a lot of anxiety, questionings and human tragedies.
But they talk far less about new opportunities and new jobs created in fields where everything has to be invented and to be done. Let’s not overwhelm ourselves with bad news and unemployment rate. Let’s consider things differently: there’s a room for everyone and everyone has a potential to carry out their plan, to achieve their dreams and to devote energy to a meaningful task. Those who start their own business, or those who invent a new concept, are driven by this state of mind…
It’s exactly the same thing in our personal life: how many people feel stuck in a desperate situation? How many people stay with someone they don’t love anymore, sometimes in a toxic relationship, just because they are frightened by change? If we were able to address the change as soon as we need it, with confidence, by giving it the benefit of the doubt, many of our problems would disappear, and many suffering would be avoided…
Change is an opportunity to be reborn
”Everything is change… Not to disappear, but to become what it’s not yet”
We come into the world, it’s our first birth. But, all along our existence, by considering change with kindness, we get many opportunities to be reborn, again and again. It takes courage and willpower. But who knows how hard it is for the caterpillar to metamorphose into a butterfly?
But there is good news.
First, it’s never too late to be reborn. Whatever you are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 or more…
And secondly, even if we didn’t decide to be born, we can decide to be reborn. Yes, it’s all up to you. It only depends on the state of mind that you choose to adopt.
Can you imagine how powerful is a person who considers things this way?
In practice: how to address change with serenity?
The cycle of change can be broken down into four periods:
- The period of stability: everything is ok…
- The period of desynchronization: dissatisfaction, nervousness, need of renewal…
- The period of crisis: withdrawal, depression, boredom, search for solutions…
- The period of renewal: mutation, new challenges, energy, creativity…
It’s important to know the process in order to situate yourself in the cycle and understand what you’re going through. It’s easier to accept a difficult period if you can prepare for the next one. So, you can say « that’s the way it has to be ».
The first step to address change with serenity consists in investigating your level of satisfaction in each area your life where something’s wrong, by wondering: « Honestly, what’s wrong with this situation today? ». Don’t censor yourself!
The second step is to imagine the alternative scenario: « If I’m not ok with it, what do I really want instead of it? » Listen to your dreams!
The third step is the transformation of « a possibility » into « a probability ». You take the decision and plan actions to reach your goal: improve your life.
To conclude, I would like to offer you these lines from the poem Invictus, by William Ernest Henley, written when he was in a hospital, in very bad circumstances…