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How To Embrace Change

We are creatures of habits - even the bad ones. 

We want our coffee fixed the right way, no detours, our favorite jeans to always fit, the same parking spot at work, or pew in church. (I've never seen someone lose their religion quicker than when their seat is taken by someone else.) And don't get me started when there is no Duke's mayo on the grocery store shelf. 

We don't like it when something or someone comes along and disrupts our carefully planned life. Yet it happens ALL the time. 

Change is quite ironically the one constant in life. 

Seasons change. Nature transforms. People come and go in our lives. Even the time changes. (Although the sun and moon don't actually do anything different, as humans we just like to try and control things.) 

And that's the root of the problem. We think if we try hard enough, we can stop the change. 

The key is not to stop it, but to learn to embrace it. (On a side note, did you realize that CHANGE and CHANCE or only separated by ONE letter??) Sit on that a minute.....

I am all for traditions and stability. There are certain customs and practices and beliefs that are solid and important and need to be sustained and held dear. 

There are also things worth fighting for. A marriage that is experiencing a rough patch. A child that is on the wrong path. A misunderstanding with a friend or family member. You certainly don't need to walk away from every situation just because it is difficult. 

But there are times when something is out of your hands and the change happened without your knowledge or consent. It is those circumstances that you must now learn how to embrace. So it doesn't break you. 

Take The Tree

The tree is a good example of how to embrace change. A tree has deep roots. It is solid and strong. But it is not rigid. Winds come and storms blow and their branches will sway and bend, but the tree stands. There are even times during extreme conditions where they may even lose a branch. But the tree survives. 

You can withstand more than you realize. The key is to feed your roots but refuse to be rigid. Be open to new ideas, opinions, opportunities. 

It Is Ok To Grieve And Be Confused

Some change starts as a loss. A job. A relationship. An ideal. 

The path to somewhere new involves closing the door on the past. Maybe that door was slammed in your face while you were still trying to make it work. 

Resist the urge to pretend you have it all together. Sometimes you just don't. Don't be afraid to say you don't understand what happened, or you really don't know what to do next. Hit the pause button for a minute. 

It is OK to take time to mourn the loss. Lick your wounds. (Did you know that phrase actually comes from the animal world because dog and cat saliva actually contains enzymes that help promote healing.) 

You just can't stay in a defeated state too long. Life is too short to spend looking backward. Keep moving!

And Then There Is The Flounder (I Bet You Thought I Was Going To Say Butterfly) 

Ok, I know, I know. Every article about change uses the butterfly as the example. It starts as a worm, builds its own version of a tiny house, and emerges a beautiful winged creature. While this is true, I wanted to dig deeper to find another example of adapting to change. 

Cue in the flounder

Most of you know that the flounder is a flat fish that has both of its eyes on one side. But did you know they were not born that way?? 

Flounder are born looking like other fish. They swim upright and have an eye and nostril on each side of their body. As they grow into adulthood, and in order to survive, they camouflage themselves by swimming along the bottom of the sea bed to blend in. 

This 'change' creates the need for them to adapt physically. As they mature, the eye and nostril on the side of the body that slides along the bottom actually move to join the eye and nostril on the 'top' side of their body. 

They literally do not keep their eyes in the sand. They have found a way to adjust so they can see and breathe clearly!

My you understand that I'm saying? They have learned how to adapt and embrace the change. As you face uncertainties and look to survive a setback, retrain your focus. Keep your eye on the prize and your goals. 

One Day At A Time

Whatever is happening today, whether good or bad, will not last forever. Change is headed your way. 

The more you fight against it or deny it, the greater the struggle. We all have to learn to accept change and embrace the next chapter of our lives. 

Life is lived one day at a time. One victory. One defeat. One recovery. 

Life is also a beautiful journey. Seeds turn into glorious flowers. Cubs turn into fierce lions. A few raw ingredients yield a delicious dish. Some paint on an easel becomes a work of art. 

Let your work of art begin today!

And as always

Hope With Abandon

Hope Out! 

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