THE SHAPES OF CHANGE

How do you answer the question, “Do you like change?”

Are you quick to answer with a “No!”?

Do you want to know the parameters of change before you answer?

Do you thrive on change?

I’ve always viewed myself as someone who can maneuver through change quite easily. That is, once I built a strong foundation that I could trust. It took years to build that foundation. It’s held me through thick and thin and I’ve caught, dodged, or hit the curve balls thrown at me – especially with that unwanted change that likes to sneak up hard and strong. I’m not afraid to step up or walk away when needed.

Change. It’s a funny thing. How it can be so welcoming when you want to lose weight, start a family, get your driver’s license (my boy is 16, I am reminded of how awesome this is) or set new goals. And on the same token how frustrating it is when you have to change. Lose weight you have to restrict what you eat. Start a family, you have to share your time with someone else. You want to drive by yourself, you need gas money, insurance and a car! Set new goals, you have to work to meet your commitments. Change is hard, even when it is a welcoming change.

What do you do when it is an unwanted change? You are laid off, the death of a loved one, your health declines, you age and your body just doesn’t move like it used to. Humor is always a good tool; however, not always useful. You can lean on your foundation – the people in your life who you know are your cheerleaders. If you don’t have that foundation yet, begin to build it. Seek a counselor to get you started and help guide you through the process. You’d be surprised how many friends in your life who want to be that foundation for you. Know your core values and focus on them. Your core values will keep your focus moving forward so you can grow stronger in spite of that unwanted change.

If that wasn’t enough, change doesn’t just shape our surroundings or bodies. Change shapes us on the inside, too. A shaping that I have felt the tugs and pulls lately. When my husband and I decided to uproot our family and move, we knew it was the best decision for us. And, it has been – Hands down! Yet, there has been a change inside that feels different. Unwanted. Becoming an emergency communications officer, or 911 operator as most know it, I have gone through a huge wave of emotions that I never experienced before. Perhaps I have experienced them, but with the multitude of changes in my life I am experiencing them differently. I find myself fighting with the encounter of change reshaping me. I also find myself embracing the pulls and tugs. It’s opening a part of me up that I thought I had “dealt” with and pushing me to really process that part of me.

What do you do when you feel the shaping of change from the inside out? I honestly believe it is one of the hardest forms of change to embrace. It has been said it takes 2 months to form a good habit. Allowing the changes of how you think, feel, view situations and experiences is not something that can be formed in 2 months. Not like making a better choice on snacks or setting goals. This change that truly reshapes you from the inside will take a driven tenacity to develop. Whether you are becoming more sinister, finding your confidence, losing or finding hope the reshaping will take time.

In the beginning, I asked if you liked change. I imagine your answer was based on how change applies to your life at this moment as I mine did. For the most part, change is easy to identify. It is reshaping everything around us and who we are. Undoubtedly, we will encounter both change we seek and change we wouldn’t wish on our enemies. In both cases, having the tools and resources will help us persevere the reshaping happening in our lives.