There’s a familiar quote by Saint Francis of Assisi that says:
“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can, and
the wisdom to know the difference.”
There are only three things in life that are guaranteed: taxes, death, and change. There’s not much we can do about taxes and death, but the one thing we do have some control over is how we respond to change. Even though we know that change is inevitable, some people still resist change and get caught up in the difficulty and emotions that life’s challenges bring.
Every day in my practice I see people that are faced with change. Obviously, some life changes are more challenging than others. It’s normal and expected to experience some turmoil in the face of big life changes, good or bad. Still, even in the face of difficult challenges, some people seem to ride through the wave of changes as they happen, while others get caught in the storm.
It always seems as though change come in waves. I’m sure you’ve all been in a situation where it felt as though many things were all happening at once. This has certainly been my experience. Every time I am faced with a wave of change, I think that there’s a lesson to be learned or wisdom to be gained that will propel me forward in my life.
Those who are better at riding the wave of change usually embrace this way of thinking as well. Of course, it time and practice. I find that those who have experienced a lot of changes and challenges are often better at riding through it than those who haven’t, but it is never too late to learn.
I have personally been faced with many changes throughout my life. At times I sit back and wonder why my life seems to be so filled with change while other people lives are so “quiet”. I’m sure that part of the reason is because I invite change into my life. I see change as an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person, partner, mother and naturopathic doctor.
Lately, I have been faced with more change than usual. The passing of my grandmother this winter, followed soon after by my father, put me into a state of deep reflection. I’ve been thinking a lot about how these two very important individuals have impacted me in my life. When I reflect back, I realize that while the influence wasn’t always positive, there were many lessons for me to learn from both my grandmother and my father.
Similar to the way our body deteriorates if we are stagnant, I believe that we are faced with change to keep our spirit from becoming stagnant. I also believe that change comes to us when we are ready to learn a lesson or move to a deeper understanding of ourselves—whether we feel ready or not.
Life is short. Change happens. There are many lessons to be learned and much wisdom to be gained in the face of change. Embrace change and look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn about yourself and those around you. Your spirit will thank you.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent,
but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
Some of my favourite books on embracing change are:
Mending the Mind, Minding the Body by Joan Boreschenko
The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn