For many, change can be challenging. When you are in the midst of it, what used to feel comfortable now feels unfamiliar. Anxiety drops heaviness on your chest at the worst times. In general, life can just feel exhausting. Am I talking to anybody?
Regardless of our attempts to keep things the same, change will greet us from time to time throughout life—it is inevitable. So what can you do when change comes knocking?
Accept the fact that everything changes—including you. No one stays the same forever. Our bodies change. Our interests change. Our preferences change. Our emotions change. Seasons change. Learning to accept the fact that change will occur helps to prepare your mind and heart for the moment it does. Fighting change only causes heartache. What would it look like in your life to embrace change rather than fight it?
Appreciate what was. Often when change occurs, we experience a sense of loss or regret. Unfortunately, we tend to drown ourselves in those emotions in a way that doesn’t honor our past experiences. When we can find things we are grateful for in what was, we may find it much easier to close that chapter of our experience as we move forward. What about your past experience(s) can you appreciate or be grateful for?
Anticipate what will be. On the other side of change is a whole new chapter waiting to be written. For example, parents can look forward to a different type of relationship with their adult child—one of friendship, freedom, and possibly grandchildren. Sure they miss those times when their child was small and they could watch them explore the world with wonder, but now they can sit together over coffee and talk about life, love, and joy. What can you anticipate on the other side of a change you are experiencing right now?
Today, make a choice to see change in your life as a doorway—a transition from one experience to another. In doing so, may you find that change is not as ominous as it seems, and may you face it with grace, poise, and peace at every turn.
Could you use a little creativity speaking love and appreciation to others? Here are a few suggestions to inspire you:
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION: Do you have a social media account? If so, establish a “Tell the World” Tuesday (or Thursday, if you prefer). Every week, create a post about someone and all the things you appreciate about them. It can be written or in video form. Either way, don’t forget to tag them so they see or hear your kind words.
ACTS OF SERVICE: Gather a small team together and declare a work day to spruce up the building and/or grounds at your church or local shelter. If you live near a park, organize a neighborhood cleanup project to bless the kids in the community. Keep your eyes open for ways you can serve others in your neighborhood and community. Acts of Service start with eyes that are open to the needs around them.
GIFTS: Technology has given us wonderful opportunities to give the gift of learning. If you know someone who is interested in a topic, trade, or craft, consider gifting them an online course. There are many online schools out there, such as Masterclass, CreativeLive, Udemy, that host classes on a wide range of topics. Do a little exploring, and see what courses could be fun to gift.
QUALITY TIME: Summer is a wonderful time for a road trip with your loved one or family. Whether you plan ahead or prefer to be spontaneous, don’t rush to any one destination. Stop along the way to enjoy sights, attractions, a “city favorite,” or “must try” restaurants. Enjoy the journey together by putting away the devices and being intentional about interacting with each other.
PHYSICAL TOUCH: For some, there’s nothing better after a stressful day than to come home to a gracious and generous hug—well, except maybe a hug with a back scratch. Next time you find yourself on the giving side of a “welcome home” hug, imagine that your embrace is melting away the stress, anxiety, and tension from your loved one.