Change can happen in an instant. It is the only constant. It is happening all around us, everyday and all of the time. There is nothing more constant than change. With each passing second, we change. We don’t realize it, but that doesn’t matter because realized or not, the changes are happening.
So why then do so many people fear change? I suppose the best answer to this question is that people fear that which makes them uncomfortable and change very often makes us feel that way. When something takes us out of our comfort zone – the loss of a job – a death in the family – moving to a new town – being seriously injured – we feel uncomfortable because we are going through difficult adjusting. We are going through difficult changes.
Change challenges us. It forces us to look at ourselves, our lives and our circumstances. We are forced to make decisions, some big, some small, some we are comfortable making, others we are not. There are many times in which we fight against change wishing things to remain as they are, static and solid. We fear the unknown and what change might bring. Instead, we wish to remain in a state of familiarity and at times this fear of change literally paralyses us. It stops us from adjusting and adapting which can lead to missing out on a more meaningful existence. We need to learn to embrace change, however, even when it brings pain and sadness into our lives. As Patty Loveless sings so beautifully, “time will ease your pain, life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same.”
So many opportunities are missed by our fear of change and our attempts to remain as we are. The potential for growth through experience is lost because of our resistance to change. Somehow we’ve come to believe that living in the past, living in a memory, is a good way to live. How can that be? If only we could see into the future and see how new experiences will help us grow. If only we could see what we might learn and what great opportunities might be ahead for us because of this thing called change.
Each of us changes and each of us accepts change in different ways. I, for one, welcome change and what it may bring to me as I progress along this existence we call life. My hope is that I can be a catalyst for positive change not only in my life and the lives of those close to me, but to everyone I come in contact with.
It may be cliché, but the truth remains that change is the only constant and that life, in and of itself, is a never-ending chain of change.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.