If we are 100% certain everything will remain as is then there is no need for positivity, or negativity for the matter. If ‘things’ are great now, then it’s fait accompli. The same for the so-called ‘bad stuff’. Realistically, there are few things that are truly ‘bad stuff’, rather perspectives.
Experience is not what happens to you – it’s how you interpret what happens to you. Aldous Huxley
Life is dynamic, like the ebb and flow of the moontide, our life smiles at us and it grimaces too. Life changes. Not just the so-called ‘life-changing’ events but rather, the miniscule changes in our lived moments that in most times we missed until their cumulative effects are finally felt. Such as a simple putting off writing for one day which, as the days go, becomes a habit. Then the psychological barrier of ‘it’s a habit so it must be difficult to break’. It is not, just begin a new habit with one day…
So it is that we employ tools to deal with change – through thoughts, words and deeds. We think positive thoughts to lift us, to propel us forth; we re-frame the stories we tell, we encourage; we reward ourselves with a good book, a walk… to improve our sense of wellbeing.
By the way, we cannot manage change. Change is not an object we can manipulate or mould. Even as we grasp hold of what change is, it has changed once again. What we can is choose how we are in the face of change. And then perhaps we can influence the change in the next moment by having been aware of how we are in the previous moment…
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time. Anna Freud
Ultimately it is how we respond to change. Your and my responses to change differ, and they differ for the many situations we find ourselves. Our responses today will also be different from our responses tomorrow for a similar, not the same, situation. The statistical or scientific illusion of ‘all else being equal’ … well, things are never equal. We can only measure what we know and can measure. There is a mystery to everything else… how exciting! But I digress.
Music is the space between the notes. Claude Debussy
So reflect upon and explore our responses to change:
- Do you recognize change as it happens? Are you aware of the ripples in your life? Our body knows, at least it can provide some signals. Is it the tingling down your spine, the shortness of breath, the tensing of your shoulders, the denial in your mind, the grin on your face, the sigh of relief, the involuntary exclaim… What helps you identify change?
- How do you react and why? Is your initial reaction one of drama, quiet confidence, excitement, dread or …? Is it because we are feeling threatened that we say those hurtful things? Is it because we are happy within ourselves that we can give so freely? Is it because we are reminded of our past that we re-act intensely to the situation? Is it because we have always had ‘good luck’ that we leap into this?
- What choices do you make in response to change? I use the word ‘response’ as opposed to ‘react’ because for me, response comes from awareness. After the initial feeling of doom (a reaction!) and being aware of your ingrained habit of maintaining the status quo, do you follow through with negativity or do you choose to be open to the possibilities?
Away she hurried, not beautiful, not supremely brilliant, but filled with something that took the place of both qualities — something best described as a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encountered in her path through life. EM Forster
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