Friday, October 6, 2017

Why Change Is Painful

No one seems to like, to enjoy, change even though it's a Cosmic Law and change is the name of the game. Humans are change agents but they find change distasteful. Why is that?

From my experience with being a change agent and having learned to accept and make changes in my life, I have found that it's not the actual change we humans find so abhorrent. Not at all. What we, as a species, find so loathsome about change is the in-between time of our decision to change and the actual occurrence of the change itself. During the process of change, we often find ourselves in a no-man's land of not being what we were and not being that which we desire. We are in transit and it is in that time of transition to our new selves that we often find uncomfortable enough to cause us to quit and go back to our comfort zones. Why is that?

We quit when we are about to reach our goal, to be the change we want to see in the world because that's when it's the most dark. It's that time of darkness right before the dawn. We get cold feet because we believe we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. How can we develop more confidence, more faith that we have made the right decision in changing and stick to our guns in the midst of chaos?

Self-actualization is tricky and the best way I have found to stick with the process of change in myself for the better is making small changes, a little at a time, that my persona/psyche/ego can accept and where I'm willing to deal with that in between time where I'm in transit to my change because I don't have anything to lose and much to gain. I practice with small changes at first and when I achieve these little changes in myself, I gain more confidence and faith in myself that I can do it. Once I discover, with these small changes, that it's really not that painful, I gain more will power and can take on larger changes in my life.

I cannot tell you what a small or big change is for you. I can only share my experience. Here's an example of a small change I have made: I discovered, through my bi-annual physical, that my triglycerides had increased, that is, there was more fat in my blood. I decided to make a change in my diet to lower my triglycerides. Where I had been making a lot of corn, pumpkin and banana bread and eating most of it myself on a continual basis, I completely stopped baking and eating those. I would see those boxes of bread mix at Trader Joe's and developed the will power to walk away from them. My triglycerides went down. As far as a large change in my life, I decided to take on a large project after my wife had been gone for four years where I had been inactive in my community. I got involved with a local, professional theatre company and wound up being asked to be on their execurive board of directors and helping them write grants and fundraise. This completely changed my life as I got very involved with the local theatre scene, met many new people, became more active and more enthused about my life. It was a major change. I became busier and much more involved in my community.

Change is not easy but it is a must for us humans because we are inherently change agents who find great motivation in moving out of our mundane comfort zones. It takes practice to change and it is in the practicing where we find renewed strength, confidence, faith and happiness.

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