Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Change Happens

Kate leaves today. Jim arrives today. This afternoon we review renovation plans. Tomorrow we start tearing walls apart so we can make the bathroom and hallway bigger. This, of course, will make the bedrooms smaller, but only the guest bedroom. The master bedroom will lose a small bit, but it will still be plenty big enough for me and my wheelchair. In fact with the new 36" doorways, it will be big enough for me to use my power wheelchair inside the apartment, something that will become important as time goes by. Change is a good thing.

One of the persistent problems in my marriage was my ex-wife's inability to adapt and deal with change. She would not only resist it, she would refuse it, reject it, ignore it, and when it finally happened she would be distraught about it, seeking someone to blame for the change. Yet after change was forced upon her, she would adjust to a new reality and ultimately deal with it. The problem was more with me; I was unable to withstand the rigours of her process. It simply wore me out and eventually the battle against change became so difficult that I switched rather than fight.

I find it interesting, the people who resist change so strongly. Change happens. If you fail to see it coming or refuse to believe that it might happen, you end up destroying other parts of your life in order to avoid the change. The problem isn't the change so much. It's that change implies loss. Whenever something in your life changes, one thing goes away and a new thing arrives. That's what change is. For those who fear loss so greatly, who are so loss averse as to be immobilized by its possibility, change is a terrorizing experience.

What these people fail to understand is that change doesn't just take away, it also gives, bringing something new, some exciting possibility. The problem for many of those fearful of change is that they fail to see the opportunity in the new, that getting it means letting go of the old. That old thing, so comfortable and reassuring in its constancy, may be a bad thing, a hurtful thing, The thing that needs changing, even though it may be safe and secure, may be a thing that is holding back, keeping you from learning and growing.

I don't really like change a lot; very few people really like it a lot. In fact I think it is part of our anthropologic makeup, a survival skill, to be suspicious of change; it helped us in our caveman days. Change can be exciting, interesting, and it is inevitable. Trying to stop change in one area simply makes it pop out in another. It's like trying to squeeze a balloon in your hand and not have it bulge out anywhere. No matter how hard you try, eventually it comes out somewhere. My goal is simply to accept that change will happen, and then to find the good parts. They're there; you just have to look for them.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing thinking Richard. You are an amazing man.
    love you