As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, says, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Sometimes, life changes in ways that are barely noticeable in day to day reference. Other times, change storms through our lives in a tidal wave and there is no time for accepting, welcoming, or embracing it. There is just the instinct to survive, keep your head above water, and not drown.
If you are living your own personal tsunami of change, how do you not only survive it, but become better because of it?
Change is rarely easy and often our instinct is to fight, holding on to “what is” as tight as we can, fearing the unknown of “what will be.” This wastes your focus and your energy. Think about swimming against the current. You are going nowhere and exhausting yourself for nothing. Change is happening. The current is strong. The only real choice you have is to go with it.
This does not mean you give up or become passive with your life. It just means that you accept the reality of change. Even if you feel you have lost control over direction or destination, know you will always have control of your attitude. You have the choice that wherever you land you will make the best of it. That is the only control you really need.
A few years ago, my family was impacted by the recession and I often refer to it as a tsunami because it wiped out life as we knew it. The change was too sudden and too dramatic to fight. Even so, both my husband and I worked hard to make sure that we were building up something, as our lives were being torn down. He went back to school. I began writing. Change was happening. As this river was pulling us, we focused on a good place to land and began maneuvering towards that destination using school and writing as rudders.
In the end, this change brought us to places we never would have reached without it. For me, being the author of two books and being part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family would have been unfathomable before this all happened. My husband is now pursuing a career which is a much better fit for the second chapter of his life. He never would have gone back to school unless forced by changing circumstances.
Know that opportunities will come in the midst of change and look to capitalize on them. You can’t do that if your focus is on the past or what might have been. It is much like swimming upstream; you are using a lot of energy and not getting anywhere. At some point, when survival is ensured, you need to accept this change, let go of the past, and embrace your new future. When you do, the magic will happen. You will see the blessings. You will see the benefits. You will move from surviving to thriving and life will be better than you could have ever imagined.
Change may be the only constant in life, but having the right attitude about change can make it a welcomed constant in your life.
Read more posts by Darlene Butts. Darlene is a blogger for JenningsWire.