change

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There are those of us who find change to be a wonderfully invigorating experience, and those of us who find change to be terrifying. Since I belong to the first group, I find it hard to understand those who belong to the second group, but I recognize that as my shortcoming, not theirs. I like change because I'm used to change, and because I've gone through change regularly. I know how positive it can be because I've experienced it, and I've seen the results of change. I know that even the changes that seem to be very negative end up being positive--how many people who have been laid off have found even better jobs doing work they love doing, though they never would have done so--never would have changed--if they hadn't been forced to?

A wonderful friend now lives a couple of thousand miles away because her husband was laid off and found work elsewhere--but they love where they are and what they're doing. It's the same for another friend who's a few hundred miles away now--she loves her new job and her new life.

Change terrifies because the status quo is usually comfortable. We can pay the bills and keep food on the table the way things are, so why change anything? That's one way the military gets people to re-up: focus on the pleasantness of the secure, steady income, and remind people of the risks of getting out into the real world.  But change shouldn't be terrifying if we trust life and trust God. Life goes on no matter what happens to us individually, and it's always rife with opportunity and possibility, yet somehow we focus on the limitations and impossibilities. If our lives change, then we have to examine the change and search out the positive in it, search out the potential in it.

Having grown up in a family with a father in the military, we were forced to change our entire lives regularly, and it never hurt us. We learned a lot from the change, and though there are times when I wish I had some roots somewhere, someplace I could call home, I know that what I learned about myself and others from having gone through so much change is invaluable in my life. The change sometimes wounded us, and we missed out on long-term friendships and relationships, but it never killed us, and we always got something from it.

Change is not without its dark side, of course.  Change is inevitable, and it seems to have become much more common in our culture. We change jobs, homes, families, spouses, cars, everything much more often and readily than we used to, and many people use change to avoid facing problems that are extremely important parts of their lives.  The people who give up on their marriages without making a true effort to work through the problems are causing more problems than they're solving -- running away from problems is not true change, but avoidance.  These people are not growing through change, but trying to use change to help them to avoid potentially difficult effort and soul-searching.

Most change is very positive if we look at it in a healthy way, yet there are still many who balk at change, who allow the possibility of change to terrify them, to take away their lust for living, to make them back away from life. Change and risk go hand in hand, and the life without risk can not be a full life, for human beings are by nature dynamic and full of life and energy. Let change happen, go with it, move with it, learn from it. Don't let it pull you down or make you feel afraid. Trust life and trust God that the change will be for the best, then look for the best--don't expect it to announce itself to you.

  

The difference between a grave
and a rut are the dimensions.

Dale Carnegie

Nothing endures but change.

Heraclitus

   

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One must never lose time in vainly regretting the past or
in complaining against the changes which cause us discomfort,
for change is the essence of life.

Anatole France

  

Nature's mighty law is change.

Robert Burns

   

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Mohandas Gandhi

  

Those persons are happiest in this restless and mutable world
who are in love with change, who delight in what is new
simply because it differs from what is old;
who rejoice in every innovation, and find a strange alert pleasure
in all that is, and that has never been before.

Agnes Repplier

  
None of us knows what the next change is going to be,
what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner,
waiting to change all the tenor of our lives.

Kathleen Norris
 

If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the
same objects.  They reflect one's mind and psyche of yesterday.
I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.  I keep nothing to
remind me of the passage of time, deterioration, loss, shriveling.

AnaÔs Nin

 

Change is the end result of all true learning.  Change involves three things:
First, a dissatisfaction with self--a felt void or need; second, a decision
to change--to fill the void or need; and third, a conscious dedication
to the process of growth and change--the willful act of making
the change; Doing Something.

Leo Buscaglia

 

In spite of all our hopes, dreams, and efforts, change is real
and forever.  Accept it fearlessly.  Investigate the
unknown; neither fear nor worship it.

Joseph A. Bauer

 

I think that all human systems require continuous renewal.  They rigidify.
They get stuff in the joints.  They forget what they cared about.  The forces
against it are nostalgia and the enormous appeal of having things the way
they always have been, appeals to a supposedly happy past.
But we've got to move on.

John W. Gardner

 

Those who reject change are architects of decay.
The only human institution which rejects change is the cemetery.

Harold Wilson

  

  

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time;
what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.

Sydney J. Harris

 

Not everything that is faced can be changed.
But nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin

  

God knows change can make your life richer.  Live for today but hold
your hands open to tomorrow.  Anticipate the future and its changes
with joy.  There is a seed of Godís love in every event, every circumstance,
every unpleasant situation in which you may find yourself.  Donít get
stuck in a rut or hung up on an outdated blessing.  You serve a God of change!

Barbara Johnson

  

Nearly all great civilizations that perished did so because
they had crystallized, because they were incapable of adapting
themselves to new conditions, new methods, new points of view.
It is as though people would literally rather die than change.


Eleanor Roosevelt

  

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Life belongs to the living, and those who live must be prepared for changes.

unattributed

   
   

We have a hunch that it is possible to live a better, more balanced, and less
stressful life, but many of us firmly believe that we donít have the time or energy
to make the necessary changes, even though perhaps just one small change could
significantly reduce our stress levels.  Instead of striving for attainable incremental
changes, we sometimes complain as if our lives are completely out of our hands!

Gary Egeberg

 

Why should anyone be afraid of change?  What can take place without it?
What can be more pleasing or more suitable to universal nature?
   Can you take your bath without the firewood undergoing a change?  Can
you eat without the food undergoing a change?  And can anything useful
be done without change?
   Don't you see that for you to change is just the same, and is equally
necessary for universal nature?

Marcus Aurelius

  

That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the
first mark of existence.  It is the ordinary state of affairs.  Everything is in
process.  Everything--every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals,
insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate--is always
changing, moment to moment.  We don't have to be mystics or physicists
to know this.  Yet at the level of personal experience, we resist this basic
fact.  It means that life isn't always going to go our way.  It means there's
loss as well as gain.  And we don't like that.
   Once I was changing jobs and houses at the same time.  I felt insecure,
uncertain, and groundless.  Hoping that he would say something that would
help me work with these changes, I complained to Trungpa Rinpoche about
having trouble with transitions.  He looked at me sort of blankly and said,
"We are always in transition."  Then he said, "If you can just relax with that,
you'll have no problem."

Pema ChŲdrŲn
The Places That Scare You

  
   

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The powerful potential behind change lies in the possibility that each
new beginning will bring us greater joy and freedom than we have ever
known.  Whether or not that actually happens--whether or not we
continue to grow through the cycles of our lives--is largely up to us.
We play a part in what happens by choosing how we see our changes,
our beginnings, our endings.  We can see each ending as a tragedy and
lament and resist it, or we can see each ending as a new beginning and
a new birth into greater opportunities.  What the caterpillar sees as the
tragedy of death, the butterfly sees as the miracle of birth.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life
   

Cultural transformation announces itself in sputtering fits and starts,
sparked here and there by minor incidents, warmed by new ideas
that may smolder for decades.  In many different places, at different
times, the kindling is laid for the real conflagration--the one that will
consume the old landmarks and alter the landscape forever.

Marilyn Ferguson

   

Let us turn to our own childhoods--no further--if we will renew
our sense of remoteness, and of the mystery of change.

Alice Meynell

  
  
At some point in your life you will decide you want to change something,
whether it is to quit smoking (which you should never have started), or quit
drinking, or quit overeating, or whatever.  However, saying, "I want to
change" isn't enough to actually change.  Yes, it's the beginning of the
process, but it will stop there if you don't go to the next step.
   The next step is to burn your bridges.  Make it impossible to go back to
the old habit or way of being.  This may mean creating an uncomfortable
scenario if you fail.  In other words, if you say you will lose 25 pounds
by the end of the season or donate your car to a person or cause you don't
like, you have leveraged yourself for success.
   The lesson here is that you can motivate yourself for change with a decision
and with the leverage to succeed.  Create a win-win for yourself, knowing
that you cannot fail, because your bridges have been burned.

Joe Vitale
Life's Missing Instruction Manual
  

The more rapid the rate of change, the more dangerous it is to live
mechanically, relying on routines of belief and behavior
that might be irrelevant or obsolete.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

  

For the greater part of human activity is designed to make permanent
those experiences and joys which are only lovable because they are
changing. Music is a delight because of its rhythm and flow. Yet the
moment you arrest the flow and prolong a note or chord beyond its
time, the rhythm is destroyed. Because life is likewise a flowing process,
change and death are its necessary parts. To work for their
exclusion is to work against life.

Alan Watts
The Wisdom of Insecurity

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge
into it, move with it, and join the dance.

   

  

 

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