The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance • Alan Watts
If you are not very happy in your situation you probably wish to change it. You might not be brave enough to give up your current status quo but you at least wish for change to occur. But what if you are happy and love where you are right now? What if things were really great in you life but something unexpected happened and forced you to accept change you never wished for? What if you had no choice other than to adjust your attitude and accept what went on?
A few weeks ago I received an information that changed my current life scenario on the spot. I felt as if someone slammed a hammer over my head. I couldn’t believe that something like that was even possible and yet, it happened.
I experienced a cascade of emotions. Anger, rage, sadness, disappointment, pain, more anger, more rage, more sadness. For days I couldn’t find a place for myself in this new situation and I rejected everything that came with it, trying at the same time to figure out how to apply my “tools” to restore balance and happiness.
You must have heard the saying that change is the only constant in our lives. Most people who wish to improve their circumstances invite change, but even a welcome change can bring a lot of stress with it.
But what if someone made the change for you without even asking you if this were O.K. with you? What if you did not have a say in the situation?
Accepting change that comes out of the blue is not easy and takes a lot of strength and determination. The only choice you have is either take it or leave it. And when “leave it” is not an option, you have to accept it.
Years ago I developed a set of “tools” that could help anybody face difficult situations. People who used these simple tools were able to deal with their circumstances and move forward. I used these tools in the past and remembered that this technique worked for me as well. It was time to apply it once again.
- Accept what is going on – To accept your current situation does not mean that you have to give up and resign yourself to your fate. It means that you have to stop resisting it. Resistance comes with a cascade of negative emotions. Things are the way they are! Once you accept change with all its consequences you can start working to make the best out of the situation and move on.
- Stop writing a book! – Many people create an entire vision of their future. When a “negative” change occurs they already have a full book written on how miserable things are going to be. Instead of writing a book explore the new possibilities that come with a change. There is always a silver lining.
- Stay in the present – Drifting between “oh, how great things were” and “how horrible it is going to be” does not help you deal with the change. Instead, focus on the present. Honestly assess your current situation and try to figure it out how you can use the new circumstances to make them work for you.
- Do not judge – When a change is perceived as something negative you will keep rejecting it and suffer even more. How good or how bad the things are going to be depends only on you. You are the master of your own fate! No matter how difficult the circumstances, you are in control how you feel and deal with adversities. A bump in the road is only a bump in the road unless you attach a different meaning to it.
- Love yourself – Things will not get any better if you believe that what happened to you is unjust and you feel hurt. Love yourself! Love yourself when you see that no one can really understand what is going on. Self-love will give you strength and you will not have to blame or hate others for what was “done” to you.
A healthy dose of detachment and a change of perspective are necessary in any difficult situation. To help myself deal with the change I changed my focus. I try to look at things with curiosity. I cannot be curios and angry or disappointed at the same time. The unexpected change in my life became a chance to experience new things. This in itself is a reason for joy!
By Dominique Allmon