“Drum sounds rise on the air,
and with them, my heart.
A voice inside the beat says,
I know you are tired,
This is the way.”
Change is, above all, uncomfortable. It often comes unexpected and is rarely welcomed. The unknown is crippling to many – it was to me. I wonder why it is so easy to forget that the only constant in life is change. If I know this to be true, why does change evoke so much fear? Life sends all sorts of obstacles and challenges to startle and awaken us. I try to look at the problems that come my way as opportunities to give up my illusions about myself and about life. Sometimes my problems have to knock me on the head until I see the stars of truth.
There is nothing as powerful as being able to shift your perspective from self-pity to self-empowerment. Victor Frankl wrote about his experience in the Auschwitz death camp in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. He powerfully wrote that “the last of the human freedoms (is) the freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given situation.” When you choose to learn and grow from the weight of the world – rather than berate and regret – you are putting your soul in charge of your life. You determine whether change will bring growth, or cynicism. I urge you to choose not the attitude of your smaller and more fearful self but rather the attitude of your soul, which is hopeful, growing, and eternal. You are then living for the deeper truth hidden in the pain of circumstance.
You can use all your circumstances to awaken you. You will find a wealth of information about yourself and the world in your challenges and daily annoyances. If you turn inward and face yourself in times of pain, you will discover the key to a more truthful and joyful life.
Adversity and change are a natural part of being human. Things do fall apart. When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we are not listening to the soul within. To listen to the soul is to stop fighting with life; to stop wrestling when things fall apart or don’t go our way. It means slowing down, feeling deeply, seeing ourselves clearly, surrendering to uncertainty, and waiting, allowing.
In these moments of surrender, you reap immense growth. You are freed of being stuck in the way you see yourself and other people. You are better able to reclaim your own power and step into your most noble and radiant self. What better reason is there to celebrate change? Do not resist it. Instead, embrace it. It is then, and only then, that you will grow.