I write often about change and transition and the usefulness of embracing these as opportunities for personal growth. Very often we have an oppositional relationship to change and transition where we are kicking and screaming, pushing back and resisting.
As I’ve said before, change can be uncomfortable, painful even. Change can be difficult to face even when we want things to be different in our lives. It can interrupt our usual way of doing things. It can disrupt our roles in various areas of our lives with which we are confident and have grown comfortable. Change can turn our lives upside down and the thought of things being different than how we have known them can bring on anxiety as we ponder over the many “what-ifs.”
Change can sometimes appear ugly and painful and hard and wrong when we view it at the surface level. Initially, while going through it, change can sometimes feel to us like we are under an attack of some kind. And, when we feel attacked, it is natural for us to want to defend ourselves. We defend ourselves usually by fighting back and so we, unable to recognize what is actually happening, commence to the kicking and swinging and pushing back against what we think is an enemy-change.
What we later learn is that all of our energy and efforts were actually impeding our own journey to progress. That journey is what I think of as transition. And so, change brings about periods of transition where things are shifting and settling into a new normal. We realize that in all the ways change appeared to be wreaking havoc on our lives, it was actually, as Eckhart Tolle wrote, “ ... creating space in your life for something new to emerge.”
Periods of transition are the paths by which we reach the next place in our lives, the place where we are supposed to be. The place where the change we experienced has given us the tools and resources to navigate. It is the place where we are thrust out of complacency and blind routines into a space where we can begin to grow again. It is the place where we learn something more about who we are and shed more of the preoccupation with the limiting and superficial measures of identity we use to define ourselves.
Change is not an enemy launching an attack on our lives from which we need to defend ourselves. It is perhaps much more useful to think of change as a great facilitator helping us to be better and moving us forward. Even our new normal will undergo change. Maybe it is a matter of getting out of our own way and making room for life to bring us the situations or circumstances that are necessary for our progression, enlightenment, and heightened conscious awareness-our personal expansion. That is what growth look like.
Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.