The Importance of Embracing Change
Suppose you are a college-goer. You wake up every morning, take a bath, have your breakfast, rush to the metro, reach college, study, come back home by 6 in the evening, then do your college-related work, and then after dinner finally go to sleep. This is your everyday routine since the past month or so, you were not able to give yourself a break like watching a movie or reading a book or creating art. You were just working, working and working. You will soon reach a point where you will be fed up from everything and crave for a change: a break from your everyday routine where for once you could just be yourself. To break the cycle, you take a small vacation with your family. After a long time, you are enjoying yourself without any workload and by the end of the trip, you feel energized more than ever. You come back and you enter your earlier routine but the feeling of being stuck at a place goes away. You feel more productive and work towards attaining your goals. All of this just because of a little change.
Change refers to the act or process through which something becomes different. It is the most fundamental basis of nature. No matter whether it is big or small, positive or negative, we all need a change. Change is by far the only means which helps us to understand the intricacies of life: it helps to acknowledge how unpredictable yet beautiful life is. Without it, growth is not possible. Whether it is wanting to lose weight, start a blog, or develop a hobby, we need changes to bloom.
Changes that occur in the behavior and personality of an individual depends on their ability i.e whether or not an individual is capable of a change, and intention i.e whether or not they want to change. When individuals have both the ability and intention, then they change.
It can not be overlooked that not all changes give us pleasure. Events like loss of a loved one, an accident, or recovering from an illness are some of the examples of changes which impact us negatively. Due to the unpleasantness of change, we run from it. We find it difficult to embrace them, to accept them, and move forward with them and hence, are aversive to them. We are scared to even undergo a little change. But what we forget is that acceptance and internalization of such painful experiences take us a step forward to freedom by liberating our souls from the darkness. Only after a long and gruesome process, a larva changes itself into a beautiful butterfly. Similarly, to grow, changes are required.
While it is easy for individuals to accept positive changes like waking up early, starting a blog, learning a new hobby, etc., it is difficult to accept and sync with negative ones. Humans are born with the tendency of protecting themselves from any sort of unpleasant experience: we either ‘fight’ the situation or we ‘flight’ from it. When we fight, the rate of acceptance of the new situation increases, hence making individuals stronger. But, when we choose flight or try to escape from a change, it becomes troublesome. As we are running away from the influx of emotions arising due to a change, we do not get a chance to understand them, and hence, we are dazed and confused.
The lockdown proved to be a negative change for many individuals because it forced them to stay with their thoughts and processes from which they were running for so long. This change, of stepping outside from their comfort zones has proven to be distressful which has caused a spark rise in anxiety, depression, and mood fluctuations. There is no denying the fact that indeed yes the situation created by COVID-19 is something no one ever thought of and yes, it has brought an immense change not only in society but also in individuals. But we cannot also overlook the fact that it has provided us with an opportunity to deal with emotions and thoughts which were unattended for a long period. It has given us a chance to understand them and accept them and hence, embrace the new change and grow.
When we start to accept changes just like another human being in our life, we become more kind, not only to others but to ourselves; we see a new version of ourself which we never even knew existed. The fact that Stephen Hawking was able to accept the changes that Lou Gehrig disorder bought in his life helped him to do breakthrough research on black holes and in quantum physics.
The universe never allows us to run from any change whether it is a feeling, emotion, event, or experience good or bad alike. Even if we try running from changes, it is not possible to do so after a certain point of time. So instead of running from them, we should accept them and embrace with open arms no matter how they are because just as every little grain of sand forms a pile, similarly, every little change within us and around us makes us who we are.
As said in the book Ikigai by Hector Gargia and Francesc Miralles “….it is so important to expose yourself to change, even if stepping outside your comfort zone means feeling a little bit of anxiety.” So the next time life throws a change at you, embrace it with a big smile and wide-open arms.