Blog: Dealing with Change

 

“I’m not so sure where I have been

I don’t know just where I’m going

Hard as I hold it in my hand

I can’t stop the wind from blowing …”

Melissa Etheridge: “Change“.

“Change”, by Melissa Etheridge is one of my favorite songs. The refrain of the song, “the only thing that stays the same-is change” rings true in all aspects of life.  It’s easy, almost magical to watch a baby grow into a toddler, then a child moving into their teens followed by young adulthood. As parents we know we have done our job if our kids make it to adult hood with very few scars. As time goes on, other changes take place.  One of the most difficult changes to witness is watching someone you love become ill and sometimes changing into someone we don’t recognize. It doesn’t seem fair and sometimes it doesn’t seem real.

Wouldn’t it be nice if things remained the same? If our loved ones didn’t age into oblivion but instead stayed healthy and happy once they reached their age of maturity.  When I was a kid, I think I thought this was how the world worked. But unfortunately, it doesn’t.  The only thing you can count on is that every once in a while you will get thrown a curve ball and life as you know it will never be the same.

So how do you deal with change?  Mental health professionals advise living in “the moment.” That seems like good advice, but what if you “moment ” is a living hell? What if you are caring for an aging parent or sick child?  What if you are battling your own health issues?  Where do you get the strength to deal with the fear, anger, sadness and frustration that normally result from these situations? The answer is actually inside of you and here is how to find it.  First, take a deep breath.  Try to look at the situation  as someone on the outside looking in. What would other’s think or feel if they were in your shoes? Would you expect them to be scared? Angry? Depressed? Those all seem to be normal reactions to the type of change they are experiencing, right? So why do we beat ourselves up when we feeling this way? Is it because we feel inadequate? Do we feel weak?  Those are normal feelings too, especially if you are not accustom to taking care of someone or if you have been doing it for a long time and are simply running out of gas. If you are feeling these things, it is okay to feel them. However, it is not ok to dwell in those feelings for too long.  The key to dealing with all this is to feel the feelings then move on.

Change makes us feel out of control.  So many of us have been taught to always be in control. For many of us, it has become our security blanket, but in some cases it does more harm than good. We need to let go the notion that we have control, because realistically, we don’t have control over very much that happens in our lives. Fighting change leads to frustration.  Frustration can lead to anger. Anger turned inward can lead to depression. Once we learn that we don’t have to control what is happening to us, believe it or not, things will begin to  feel better.  If we look at change as an opportunity instead as another road block thrown in our path, some interesting things may start to happen.

In Melody Beattie’s book, The Language of Letting Go, Melody states ” Controlling is self-defeating. It doesn’t work. By over extending ourselves to make something happen, we may actually be stopping it from happening. Force yourself to let it go. Put as much energy into letting go as you have into trying  to control the situation. ”

There will be many times in our lives when we don’t understand why things are changing.  But the best way to deal with this is to trust that whatever is happening is meant to be and that it is a process that will make us stronger and take us to something good.  Let’s face it, we have all gone through changes in our lives;  major changes and we have survived. We may be a little older, a little more tired and a bit weary, but we can still get through even the toughest times if we continue to believe in the process and believe in ourselves.

Having a difficult time dealing with change or have you found a new way of dealing with it?  I’d love to hear about it.  Email me at mariaciletti@mariaciletti.com.

The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie: http://www.amazon.com/Language-Letting-Meditations-Codependents-Meditation/dp/0894866370/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437653437&sr=8-1&keywords=melody+beattie+the+language+of+letting+go

I Have to Leave You Now: http://www.amazon.com/Have-Leave-You-Now-Caregivers-ebook/dp/B00OJJIAKA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437654611&sr=1-1&keywords=i+have+to+leave+you+now

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