The Secret of Change…

 “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”–Socrates.

We are talking about change this month. This can be a disconcerting and annoying subject. As much as we want change–we want it in the WAY that we want it. We want certain things to stay the same because they are good or because we are comfortable. An important truth of life is that we have to learn what is in our control/in our realm of ruler-ship and what is not.

I can change the color of my hair.

…the TV channel

…what I eat

…what music I listen to

…whom I choose to hang out with

and so on. This is valuable insight in a life that is full of things I cannot change.

I cannot change the person driving in front of me…

…the person I have to work with

…the disease that my loved one has

…the addiction of my family member

… the number of hours in my day

There are also a lot of things in life that can’t be changed quickly but can be changed over time.

I can change my attitude…I cannot change yours.

I can change the present but I can not change the past.

I can choose to be positive even when I cannot change the circumstances I am in.

A great question to ask your self when you are in a tough situation is ” What CAN I change here?”

I know most people don’t like reptiles but their ability to shed the outer skin is a great example of what Socrates was talking about. The past can haunt us with our fears, failures, and foul-ups. I don’t deny that my life is full of them but that is not what I choose to focus on. I do not deny that they happened; that I messed up badly; that I made an ass of myself  but I can learn to shed those nasty layers and focus on what I can do now.

Paul, a first century writer, missionary, and theologian, puts it this way “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin (bad choices, hurtful words, negative thinking, wrong doings) that so easily ensnares (traps) us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1 NKJV.

I try to make amends to those I have hurt, including myself, and then I press on–looking at what I’ve learned, at what didn’t work, and at how I can do it better. This is change that I can control.

Remember the season of life that we talked about last time?

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress. Charles Dickens.
Change often happens while we are unaware of it. Time sneaks by and brings subtle and not so subtle changes.
I am growing older…
I am acquiring some wrinkles.
I have gained weight.
I need more sleep.
I am changing… and so is everything and everyone else around me. I can work in and with change or I can fight (futilely) against it. Working with change is empowering and is needed to intentionally have a HOPE-full life.
I can find hope in embracing change.
Is it easy?  No.
Is it hard? Yes.
Is is scary? Yes.
Is it possible? Yes.
Some tips for embracing change:

* learn to savor the good/ learn to shed/discard the negative

* learn from the past/ be in the present

* be joyful in hope.

We will talk more about these tips in the coming weeks. Be blessed. Be fearless. Be changed.

Heidi Mull, fighting fear, embracing change.

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