I am usually a big proponent of change, even if I have trouble with it sometimes. At other times, I actually force myself into a change in order to challenge myself. Sometimes, though, there are changes that come along that you don’t want to happen. You talk, you argue, you compromise, you negotiate, but eventually the only thing you can do it accept it.
Of course, accepting it intellectually and emotionally are 2 completely different things. I can tell myself a hundred ways to Sunday why the change isn’ t bad, just different. I can try to convince myself that it won’t be that much of a change or that much trouble. I can even understand intellectually that I am being stupid, petty and ignorant to complain about the change. Still, emotionally, it can be a challenge.
One of my first big challenges when accepting a change I cannot avoid is to stop all complaining about it. Complaining after a decision has been made hurts everyone and helps no one, yet it can be so difficult to stop. You still haven’t accepted the change emotionally, so complaints just bubble up and spill out before you have regain control. Your emotions flare and — there it is!. This only leads to more arguments, more rehashing of the situation, more recriminations and just generally makes everyone uncomfortable, stressed and even angry. Even though it is tough to stop complaining, when there is little else that can be done, you simply must stop.
This then leads to an entirely new set of problems for you, though. Suppressing your emotional discomfort with a situation can drive anyone into a period of depression. You wanted life to be one way, but it just didn’t work out that way. I’m no expert, but I would guess it is some form of grieving. Grieving for a lost opportunity, a lost situation, something that simply didn’t turn out the way you planned or wanted. The important aspect about this to remember, though, is that at this point the problem is no longer “out there”. It is no longer a problem with someone else, something else, somewhere else. It is your own problem. It exists only between your own two ears and blaming the change on others does absolutely nothing. The only true solution to solving your discomfort, your upset, your anger is to find your own solution, your own “new normal”. If you don’t, the change will simply eat you up.
I have seen this happen to a lot of people over the years. Unable to deal with a health issue, bad relationship, career failure or worse, they simply turn inward and cease to change at all. They build walls to try and keep the world (and change) out, but all they are really doing is walling themselves in. If you wall yourself off from the world you will, indeed, bring some sort of stability to your life, but you will also deeply limit what accomplishments you might obtain. You will freeze yourself at a point in time and change very little, if at all. I think my fear of this is why I force myself to change sometimes. I can’t imagine a world where I am not learning and growing.
Now for the harsh part of today’s blog. If the change you face is due to the actions of another person, and that person does not see the change as a problem, they are telling you something very, very clearly with their actions, if not their words. They are telling you that this change is more important to them than you, your fears, your emotions. As you can imagine, this can be very difficult to accept, but when a person makes an active decision to ignore your feelings about a change and presents no other options, I see little other meaning. They have come to a decision. Now you must come to yours.
What are you going to do now? Can you find a “new normal” that allows you to eventually continue on in this new fashion, or will this cause a break — a parting of ways — if you will, that might never be resolved? That, for better or worse, is a decision you must come to by yourself. That decision will be different for every person and every unique situation. What are YOU going to do next? The change has occurred. How are your going to adapt to it? That is what you need to ask yourself now.
As you might imagine, these are very important decisions, often the most important ones in your life. They cannot be taken lightly, nor should they be. You need to decide what will happen at this particular crossroad in your life. The decision is entirely in your hands, and that can be very frightening, but also very liberating, if you see it that way. Change lead to decisions. Decisions lead to progress. Progress leads to a better life for you and those around you — even if it can be very, very, difficult.
What changes do you need to accept in your own life and what decisions will you make? It’s time you faced these decisions and got on with the rest of your life.
Previously on End of the Day:
- Speaking, Cooking and Teaching — End of the Day for January 9, 2014
- The Kids are Alright – End of the day for January 8, 2014
- Technology, high-tech, high-touch and balance – End of the Day for January 7, 2014
- An afternoon in Middle Earth and diving back into the school and work year — End of the Day for January 6, 2014
- In the neighborhood — End of the Day for January 5, 2014
- Having friends over for dinner – End of the Day for January 4, 2014`
- The theater is about more than just theater — End of the Day for January 3, 2014
- Trying everything and anything – End of the Day for January 2, 2014
- End of the Day for January 1, 2014