“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey
As the earth spins, days pass, and as we evolve and progress, one of the most difficult parts of life is accepting and adapting to change. Change is inevitable and healthy, albeit quite intimidating. We tend to fall into comfortable patterns and we cling to what we know, sometimes rejecting beneficial changes. We all have those friends- the ones that call with desperation in their voices,sharing tales of woe about how they fight consistently with their boyfriend or girlfriend and worry that the relationship is weakening. We supportively tell our friend that maybe they’re hanging on to what their relationship used to be and that maybe it’s time to consider moving on. They seem to listen intently, ingesting every pearl of wisdom you have to share until the next day when the happy couple returns to the status quo. We can plan to repeat this same routine next week.
We place a lot of importance on history and shared experiences, but just because we have fond memories with someone or we’ve shared special times with them, does not mean that the relationship we have with that person will never change. In fact, it’s likely that it will. As individuals, we constantly evolve, and our evolutions as individuals inevitably impact our relationships with others.
Fearing change is natural and organic and sharing memories and experiences can absolutely be a means of bonding to other people. We also need to be willing to accept that having shared memories and experiences does not mean that we should hang onto a bond that is not what it once was. We cannot pretend that nothing has changed. When a relationship begins to do more harm than good, we must be willing to let go.
Admittedly, there are so many times that I wonder, “How did I get here so fast?” I am so often amazed at how quickly my life seems to progress. I vividly remember my eighth grade commencement, my various involvements in high school, my high school graduation, and crying as I watched my parents drive away after helping me move into my college dorm. There is never a time that I take for granted how gracefully my life has evolved. None of these changes have been easy and each has incited great fear and apprehension. In review, there are some people that have been in my life since the very beginning, from kindergarten until this day, but there are some that were once so important, yet we’ve drifted. This change is okay and I’ve accepted it. By no means have the memories and experiences I shared with these people faded in importance. They are still very much a part of me, but as I’ve grown as an individual, change and evolution have allowed me to mature from them.
I’ve focused on change a lot in this blog, and it’s a topic that never lessens in importance. Shared histories and experiences are so very significant- they help us to grow into our full selves, but clinging to the past because of fear and apprehension of the unknown is unproductive and harmful. A willingness to evolve and learning to let go allows us to look ahead to our bright and beautiful futures.
I think at the start of a new year, this idea of accepting change is so valuable. Of course I’ve made resolutions to get in shape and work hard, but I’ve also resolved to do my best to “go with the flow.” I need to be flexible and adaptable and I know that 2012 is the year to learn to do just that!
What are your resolutions for the New Year? Have you had any significant changes in your life that have shaped you?