The Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted that the only constant in life is change. I think we ALL know this to be true in this COVID-19 existence we’re experiencing. Accepting change, especially abrupt circumstances such as this pandemic, can be more than a notion. Any disruption to our definition of “comfort” can make anyone uneasy. However, throughout this time of quarantine, and even before, I’ve considered some roots behind my own feelings regarding change. Here’s what I realized.
Difficulties of Change
Our responses to change depends a great deal on the circumstances. For me, getting a divorce was one of the biggest life changes I never expected. That change was HARD! It took a serious toll on me mentally and emotionally. I fought it for the longest time because being a single mom was NOT the life I planned for. I think that’s the biggest reason why people have a hard time accepting change. We simply don’t want it.
Fear and uncertainty fuel much of our apprehension to new or different circumstances. Change makes things uncertain, and security is one of our basic needs as humans. Change also threatens our peace and forces us to face the unknown. That can be ridiculously scary, as we all have experienced recently with COVID-19. What do you do when you’re not sure what you can hold on to, or if there will even be anything TO hold on to?
Accepting change can be extremely painful. For me, that was the worst part of my divorce. Though it was the best thing for everyone involved, that didn’t erase the hurt while going through it. I’m so grateful that I had good friends I could run to and talk things over. Having regular check-ins was one of the most powerful tools I had at my access, and it’s one that helps me deal with change in all areas of my life. Talking things out allows me to vocalize my fears, and bringing those fears to light gives them less power. Communication is a tool that keeps our minds from making up things internally, reinforcing resistance to change.
Accepting Change Like a Crow
I read a meme somewhere about accepting change like a crow, and that piqued my curiosity. I found out that crows have a natural curiosity. When faced with a challenging task, they seem to have an innate understanding that they may have to think differently about solving the problem. Their natural curiosity helps them to regularly consider how to do things beyond what they typically know. That process of thinking makes so much sense to me. It’s something I think we humans can learn from them when considering change in our lives.
It’s also interesting that when a crow discovers something new, others in the flock will observe it to learn from whatever happens. I think if we did the same in all of our experiences, we would be better people. When change happens, good or bad, it would behoove us to expect to gain something from it for ourselves. If the result is positive, we learn about things we’re maybe good at or enjoy. If it’s a negative result, we also get a better understanding of our needs, desires or areas for improvement.
I also discovered that crows adapt to any environment they’re in, and they will eat almost anything. Because of this, they can survive practically any situation they find themselves in. How much strength would we gain within ourselves if we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would survive any change that happened in our lives? That’s so empowering! It’s a challenge I’ve presented to myself, and I love having that perspective as change happens in my life. No matter what happens, I can handle it, and I will survive. Not only will I survive, but I will THRIVE throughout and beyond it!
Accepting change may never be easy, but neither is it impossible. Expecting change is the best preparation, and that preparation will only help you be more successful when it occurs. Talk out your fears and concerns with a trusted confidant, and make plans to secure your needs should the unforeseen happen. Believe that whatever change happens, it will usher you to a good, maybe even better, place in life.