“Change is the essence of life; be willing to surrender who you are for what you could become” ~ Unknown
One thing in life is certain: change. Things are constantly changing. From an external standpoint we can see that our bodies are constantly changing – cells are constantly reproducing, our skin is shedding and being replaced with new skin, we grow taller and get older.
The earth is also constantly changing. The geography of earth changes, trees die, trees grow, bodies of water dry up, and the weather changes. Culturally we are also in a state of constant change.
The music changes, fashion changes, and even things like television programs are drastically different than they were 50 years ago. It’s pretty evident that in the world we see, there is literally nothing that stays the same always. But what about internally?
If we can see that everything outside of us never stays the same, does that also mean that who we are internally is constantly changing? The answer is unequivocally, yes.
Of course who we are is constantly growing and shifting. The person we were at 10 yrs old is drastically different than the person we are at 25 years old. Given that the evidence of change is all around us, it is a wonder that so many of us resist change at all costs.
We may cling to things like jobs or friends or romantic relationships that at one time made us happy even though the evidence is right in front of us… things have changed. We have changed. They have changed.
Even worse, there are those of us who are still completely attached to the thoughts, beliefs and ideals they had 10 years ago. And even worse than that, there are those that still have the EXACT SAME thoughts, beliefs and ideals that their parents taught them, which were old thoughts, beliefs and ideals passed down from their parents to them.
Since the certainty of change extends to who we are internally and our consciousness level as well, it is assured that the more we cling to old beliefs we are inhibiting ourselves from being able to evolve fully and with ease. From an internal standpoint this may mean that we hold on to old hurts or resentments. We may also be completely closed off to new ideas or people who don’t live a lifestyle that is conducive to what we believe is “right.”
Looking outside of ourselves, our resistance to change will translate into our lives in any number of ways. We may stay in relationships with people too long, or in places or careers too long. Or we may hold people to an image of who they WERE without ever taking notice of who they are now, which can lead to constant frustration from us and them.
Point blank, the sooner we embrace change with open arms the sooner we can discard who we were or who we thought we were and become an even better more efficient version of our former selves.
In order to fully accept and embrace change we must first confront what it is about ourselves that has become in such resistance to the change. Anytime something is holding us back from becoming a better person, or being more open and accepting to our ever-evolving lives and an ever-evolving world, it is most certainly one culprit: FEAR.
Fear peeks its ugly little head in so many different ways. It may be fear of the unknown, fear of being wrong, fear of losing control, fear of losing part of our “identity”, fear of feeling emotions, or even fear of success, but whatever the case may be it is the number one thing that inhibits us from being open to change and moving forward with our lives.
Confronting our fears can be the most beneficial thing we can ever do for ourselves. Anytime we are completely closed off to hearing the other side of the story, or to losing a “label” we have for ourselves, or to entertaining new beliefs and learning new ways of doing things or looking at things, or making judgments on people or groups of people that are condemning them, we can always trace these things back to fear.
It may be a little frightening at first to confront head on everything we thought we “knew” about life, or ourselves or other people, but unless we do it, we will remain internally stagnant.
Life will still be changing around us. We will be growing older, society is changing, friends, and family are changing but until we get on the “I’m open to change” bandwagon, we run the risk of living the exact same year over and over 80 years in a row and calling it a “life.”
We may become so attached to an ideology, and what we believe is definitively “right” and what is “wrong” that we don’t open ourselves up to understanding people or things from a different perspective, which in turn makes us angry, and critical of others. When we are rooted in fear we automatically close ourselves off to moving forward and becoming better people.
We are not born knowing everything, and if we think we know everything now that should be a red flag that we have closed ourselves off from seeing the world in a new way or from learning something new or from opening ourselves up to new possibilities.
“Change is inevitable, progress is optional” ~ Tony Robbins
Change is inevitable. With that knowledge we have two choices, we can hold on tight to every belief, thought, emotion, friendship, relationship, or whatever to the point that we become completely rigid and afraid of anyone or anything that threatens our little bubble of wanting to remain exactly the same person, with exactly the same personality, with exactly the same life that we always have been.
Or we can become open to every possibility. We can consider all ideas, be willing to be spontaneous if we need to be and allow ourselves to be guided by love instead of paralyzed by fear.
If we can look back at the person we were 5 years ago, or a year ago and safely see that we have become more loving, open-minded, more compassionate, happier or healthier then we can be rest assured that we are progressing forward and changing for the better.
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