If you’re like most of us, change is uncomfortable. That applies whether we’ve asked for the change, or not. Change can be as small as changing your haircolor or as big a deal as moving across town or across country. Some adults mimic Peter Pan’s Lost Boys, adamantly insisting they won’t grow up. If that’s you or someone you care about, check out five good reasons it’s a good idea to view change as a relentless part of being alive:
- Gain Perspective: I’ve got an old pair of glasses I wear around the house. While I’m used to them and they’re comfy, the truth is that I’m limited in what, and how well, I see. Not seeing clearly what’s in your life is like a horse wearing blinders. True, you remain focused on one spot, but the trade-off is how much gets passed by. What comes to mind is the professional focused on business success who complains, years later, about the unattended soccer games and school plays.
- Freshen Up: Habit is soothing; knowing what you’re doing and how to do it takes away our fear of appearing incompetent. What’s left out, though, are new experiences. Meeting new people, going to new places, trying something different are examples of keeping our brains engaged. Brain science suggests that people who remain engaged stave off the negative side-effects of aging.
- Grow Up: The 60s are gone, so are the 90s. Even if those were the best days of your life, those days don’t reflect your world as it is now. If time-travel was possible, seeing what lies ahead would be an interesting and fun exercise. Many cinematic characters have been given this gift — Jimmy Stewart in the classic Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. What would you learn from a trip to the future? And what would you have to change now in order to assure it? So what’s stopping you?
- Get What You Want: Have eyes set on a certain job? A new car? A life partner? When plans are made to acquire what we want, change is prominent in the mix. For example, attracting a partner may mean you have to work on issues that are getting in the way, like trusting the opposite sex. When the burden of old thoughts is released, the domino effect of change starts in motion. The effects include being more comfortable in your own skin, smiling more, being more positive about life. Your changes affect everyone else in your life. Everyone. Amazing, huh?
- Keep What You Have: When partners say, “That’s not the person I married!”, I say, “Good!”. Aside from Bunny-Love-Sex, who would trade how the years have forged a new and different partnership? Adding children, for example, insists on change from an “I” stance to the “we” stance of co-parenting. All relationships insist on good communication and flexibility in order to be ready for change. Without it, no relationships can grow,
Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist and Relationship Coach working especially with couples experiencing the effects of invisible, or hidden, disability. As a military brat, growing up changed scenery more than for most. As a child, she remembers seeing the black and white television production of Peter Pan. Trying to fly off her bed became a months’ long obsession. She lives her grown-up life in Colorado with her husband David, and their two cats; in a world of change, Petey and Lucy ground them. More about Kathe and what she does can be found at http://www.BeingHeardNow.com.