“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~ William Somerset Maugham
It seems so much of our struggles in life exist around change. Our sweet little children become independence-seeking, mind-of-their-own, adolescents. A stay at home mom who lived a very predictable life suddenly wants to explore yoga, meditation, spirituality, or join a running group. There is a new manager at work who wants to change the way things have always been done.
Such changes most certainly affect us. They upset our equilibrium and may even feel threatening.
A typical knee-jerk reaction is to resist the change, or even to attack the one who is changing. This is the ego aspect of our being that wants everything to stay the same so we do not have to adapt.
However, in resisting change we create conflict, chaos and discomfort. We may even seriously damage relationships. It is the reaction that causes the problems, however most often the “reactor” blames the one who is changing.
If we think about it, we know teens have to go from children to independent adults during a six to eight year period. This is a gradual process that has to start somewhere. They will change, so we had best think about how we will change to accommodate the process and maintain healthy and loving relationships. Teens cannot become strong, confident human beings if they are attacked, put-down and criticized throughout their adolescent years.
As for the mom who takes up new interests, it is important to realize that while she stayed home cooking, cleaning and changing diapers, her husband likely went to work every day. He gained stimulation and adult interactions that kept him moving forward.
Portions of her life and growth were put on hold. It is quite natural, when the children are no longer so tiny and she can leave them a bit, for her to want to get back out into the world. She needs to use her brain, exercise her body, and have social contact. To deny this would cause her to stagnate and become depressed.
Rather than hassling her about it or making her feel guilty, the highest growth path for the husband would be to encourage and support her, showing interest in what she is doing.
As for changes at work, we must realize they are inevitable. Technology changes, the economy changes, leadership styles change. Unless you are the boss, you may not have a say.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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