Life is a constant and unstoppable change, but necessary. However, we find it hard to accept it; because change always means losing, and we tend to resist that pain.
We have such a hard time fitting in that everything can and must change! It is difficult for us to accept it because any change, no matter how small, implies a renunciation, a loss. But if change and life go hand in hand, then it is inevitable and desirable; do not resist. If you embrace it, you can choose to be someone new every day.
Let’s accept changes in life and move on
Here I am going to tell you 9 keys to not get stuck in the doubts of the present and accept the changes that, inevitably, are presented to us on a day-to-day basis:
1. Run away from losing battles
The first step to face changes with a better predisposition is to accept that we can do nothing to stop them. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus put it in a great image hundreds of years ago: “No one steps into the same river twice”. When someone returns to the same channel, waters are not the same, nor is that someone the same person he was.
Change is inevitable and unstoppable. All attempts to stop, delay or nullify it are fruitless. It is a fight that we must abandon (because it is lost) and focus on how to “surf” the wave of change.
2. Inevitable and highly desirable changes
The utopias of eternity and the immutability of life are not only impossible, but if they were feasible, they would quickly become abhorrent. Can you imagine a life that is absolutely monotonous, eternally the same and yet desirable? I cannot. Even under the best of conditions I cannot imagine an unchanging existence that did not become, after a certain time, abominable.
Thus, change is not only inevitable but desirable. It is, perhaps, what makes our human lives not completely vain, and differs from the life of a mosquito or a marmot.
3. Changes you do not detect
Some time ago I distinguished two types of changes. The first, the “change in slope”, is made up of those small transformations that occur gradually and imperceptibly. The wear and tear of things, the growth of children, aging is a set of processes of “sloping change”.
4. When the change is drastic
The step change is one that is generated in a short period of time and more or less abruptly. In these cases we are fully aware of the changes that have occurred in our lives, being able to clearly recognize and differentiate between a before and an after.
Echelon changes sometimes happen on schedule and we can anticipate them, but other times, they catch us off guard or, more dramatically, hit us. A move, a new job, a death, a birth or getting married are all events that generate step changes.
5. Why do you want to resist?
Change is, as we said, unavoidable and yet many times we find ourselves trying, precisely, to do everything possible so that things remain the same, so that nothing changes. We want to delay the change, diminish it or undo it…
And when all this does not work, we still have a last resort: deny it; “nothing has happened here”. What is striking about the case is that all these attitudes appear frequently even in the face of changes that the person had wanted or for which they had actively worked. What is it that makes us recoil in the face of change?
6. To change is losing; take it at once
Changes throw us back for a simple reason: every change implies a loss. When something is transformed, it ceases to be in a certain way and begins to be in another: what it was ceases to be. That which has changed has ceased to exist; that is: it has been lost. And losses, of course, hurt.
We can then understand that our resistance to change is nothing more than an attempt not to face the pain of losing something that has accompanied us for some time in our lives even when we no longer want it.
7. Leave it behind to go forward
This does not mean that there are no positive changes. It is possible that the gain is greater than the loss, but that does not mean that we will stop feeling a little pain due to the disappearance of the initial situation. Pain is not determined by the outcome of a cost/benefit equation.
All changes are accompanied by the pain of leaving something behind and are followed by a period of “mourning” in which we work out our new situation. We must not confuse natural and expected pain at this time and end up thinking that we have made a bad decision; we would be wrong about it.
8. Pain is not a sign
I have met many people who, shortly after having decided to end a relationship, find themselves thinking of getting back together with that person. They say to themselves, “I am in so much pain; it must be that I still love him/her”. They confuse the pain of a loss with the desire to continue the unsatisfying relationship they had.
That desire may exist, but pain is not the measure. The same can happen to us with decisions in any other area of our lives. We should not confuse the pain of leaving behind what was at a given moment with regret for what it is today.
9. Being someone new every single day
Losing, leaving behind, changing, is painful… But it can also be liberating. This is the wonder of change: that it gives us a universe of possibilities. When asked if people can change, I answer emphatically: of course they can.
It can be difficult, painful, but it is possible. Nothing binds us to the past. We are someone new every day and we can choose, every day. To face the changes that will come and accept them, we must be willing to give up, but in return we will gain a huge range of options and paths.