Change. It can happen in the blink of an eye or slowly over time. It’s inescapable. It’s woven into the inner most parts of our being. From the time we are conceived to the time we die, we will go through innumerable changes. We change physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Our ideas change, our desires change, our tastes change… the list goes on and on. The reality is, life is filled with change.
So why then, does change scare us so much?
The way I see it, the problem with change is that we can’t predict it. Sure, there are warning signs. But often times, we wake up and hardly recognize our own lives. Change is beyond our control.
Change scares us when we find ourselves living a life we never imagined. Change leaves us in an unfamiliar place and that place can be incredibly daunting.
A year ago, my boyfriend and I broke up after years of dating. My life changed despite my every effort to escape it. Suddenly the future I was working towards was completely shattered and I was left trying to piece my life back together. I found myself struggling in the middle of a vast ocean without any signs that the storm would pass.
Going through such a huge change wasn’t easy. For a long time I tried with all my might to resist the change. I was digging my heels into the ground and stubbornly wallowing in self-pity. There came a point where I couldn’t keep fighting the past. It was exhausting. I had to stop. The truth is, change is painful, but there’s nothing worse than staying stuck in that pain. I needed a major attitude adjustment.
In the wise words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” This past year, I’ve learned that the less I try to resist change, the easier it is to cope with it. I discovered that the circumstances in my life were beyond my control and had already changed. Moving forward, I could only control the outlook I had on my life in the midst of all the change. When I stopped resisting, it was as if suddenly the sea that I was fighting to stay afloat in became calmer waters. I found that my resistance had intensified the pain I was experiencing. Once I stopped fighting the waves of change, I felt more at peace. My situation wasn’t any different, but I had adjusted my mindset.
I began to recognize that not only was the course of my life changing, but I too was changing. I was no longer the person I was before my relationship or even during my relationship. I had gone through the biggest change of my life. I had to learn how to heal, how to be strong, and how to overcome. I had to discover who I was aside from my relationship. I realized that there was no way for me to become a more authentic version of myself without change. I began to understand that without change, there is no growth. My mindset had shifted from fighting the past, to shaping my future. I had a choice in who I would become.
I think butterflies are one of God’s sweetest reminders of change. Butterflies are proof that you can go through a period of darkness and still be transformed into something beautiful. Despite the painful storms of change that I have experienced, it has been a privilege to be able to grow into who I am today. I’m by no means perfect and my journey is far from over, but I can say without a doubt that the changes I have experienced have helped mold me and shape me into a truer version of myself. I couldn’t have predicted who I would become and I never thought that I would be able to move past all of the hurt. But here I am, learning to live life through all the changes. God has been with me every step of the way. That is a beautiful thing.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11