Adapting to Change
The leaves soon will turn into the familiar shades we love to remind us that the seasons change and nature transitions. People also experience transitions requiring adjustment. We experience loss, whether it be in the form of a person, pet, place, job, habit, or object. We experience loss in the form of change. We experience loss within ourselves.
Loss is scary. It is unsettling and can feel overwhelming. With it, feelings of sadness, nostalgia, anxiety, and confusion may arise. It is difficult to fully accept loss. After the immediate loss, the brain rejects change and resists adapting to the new version of what your life will be. Resisting change only intensifies our reactions of fear and panic.
Change forces us to examine our lives and to pause and gain perspective. It is possible that change or loss will cause one to look into the past, leaving one feeling helpless at what is now different. It can also cause one to look into the future and not understand how he or she will function without that part of his or her identity.
Throughout our daily lives we are faced with choices. With each decision, we have a mini-loss of the other option. We also have a gain of what we did choose. We have many gains, shifts, losses, and transitions, whether they seem grand or seemingly insignificant, throughout every day of our lives. This flexibility allows us to maintain forward movement in our lives. However, when we experience a great loss, a subtraction that leaves us frozen, we can temporarily crumble.
The beauty of life, and human beings, is that we are adaptable. We adapt constantly. We shed and we adjust. There are some losses that can leave holes in our lives, voids that could never be filled — but when we learn to accept that life is full of loss, we can expect it and let go of the idea that we can control it or prevent it. We can learn to accept that certain losses cannot be replaced, fixed, or mended, but instead honor it for what it represented and meant to us.
Feelings of joy, excitement, euphoria, hope and anticipation of what is yet to come can come from positive change. It can propel us forward and motivate us. Sometimes it can seem impossible to see the positive changes amidst the tragic ones. Like the seasons, however, we keep growing, and blooming, and living.
We keep walking. Change can cause some of us to walk in place and feel stuck. It can cause some of us to walk in circles, wandering and lost. But the easiest thing to do is to keep walking forward, even if it can sometimes take an uncomfortable amount of effort to do so. It is hardest on us to stay still. It can paralyze us. To keep one foot in front of the other will keep you growing, learning, exploring, adapting, accepting and carrying on.
DeName, K. (2014). Adapting to Change. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/adapting-to-change/