Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall

It's finally feeling like Fall here. Of course, here it means highs still in the 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s at night. But it's a change from the heat of summer. Which means I find myself contemplating all sorts of changes now.

Warning: This post may sound Pollyannish. It isn't. It's very pragmatic. This approach is the one thing that's gotten me through incredibly difficult times in my life. If I hadn't looked at life this way, I wouldn't be here. It was the antidote to fears that kept me awake in the early hours of the morning. It was got me unstuck when I was paralyzed by the changes happening to and around me. It's the only thing I've ever found that consistently works no matter what challenge I'm facing. It has turned some of what felt like horrible days into some of the most important and—at least in retrospect—good turning points of my life.

But back to my post about changes. It can feel scary when there are so many changes happening. We've got political changes about to occur. The financial situation feels like it's changing just about every day. A lot of us have family changes taking place, too.

We as individuals get to choose how we will respond to change. Do we dive in and look for opportunities or do we try to hide from it or are we somewhere in between?

Change will happen. We can put our energy into worrying about it or we can put our energy into looking for the opportunities that change will bring us.

That doesn't mean we never grieve for what we're losing! Of course we do. At the same time, though, what if we looked for what could be good about our new situation? That question is a powerful antidote to fear. It's gotten me through some of the most difficult times of my life.

Take the economy, for example. That's scary for a lot of us—and with good reason. There's no question it's a hardship for many people. What about those of us who are not yet desperate—just really worried? What good could we bring out of it? Maybe a closeness to our families as we decide—as families—how we might cut back and ways to manage with less. Maybe we can turn to the elders of the family who lived through the Great Depression for ideas we might not think of ourselves. Maybe it's a chance to rediscover each other. Maybe it's a chance to figure out if there's something we'd rather be doing than our current job. Or maybe there's some other blessing. During the last recession, in one friend's case, being laid off meant she could be there for her mother who shortly after my friend lost her job was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She will be forever grateful that during those few short months before her mother died, she was free to be at her mother's side.

Maybe this financial crisis is a chance to sit down and look at what really matters, what are our true needs and what we've used instead to try to fill emotional needs by buying THINGS instead of facing the emotions.

It's hard to do any of this if we hide our heads in the sand until we hit desperation. But what if we embrace change early on and flow with it? What if we look for what could be good—and then act to bring that good about?

Wishing for all of us the wisdom and creativity to flow with change and grow from it. Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),
April_optimist

3 comments:

Strong and determined said...

Thanks for a great post on change. With all that is going on in my life right now, there are days when I wish I could just curl up or give up. That said, I feel much better when I am proactive about how to respond to the changes that are coming in my life. I feel better when I take charge of the little decisions that will step by step lead me to a better life.

Your fall sounds nice. :) It is now 23 degrees outside and fall has crashed into winter where I live!

gypsy-heart said...

I love your positive attitude...we are kindred spirits, my dear!!

April_optimist said...

Strong and Determined, I'm shuddering at the 23 degrees! Did you get snow, too? I grew up in a very cold climate--which might be one reason I'm now in a place that's warm most of the year! I'm glad you feel better when you're proactive about changes.

Gypsy-Heart, Thank you. And yes, I think we are kindred spirits indeed!