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The Challenge of Change

This has been a year of change. And we've been bucking this year of change. We haven't wanted to accept the pandemic, our practices, or our reality. The more our daily lives were impacted, the more we kicked and screamed. No, we don't want any aspect of life to change. We don't want to break our constancy.

But when you look at it, this behavior is absurd. Whether big or small, change is the only true constant in our lives besides death. And it is this we struggle with: our craving for constancy in an ever-changing world. Constancy is our fabricated security blanket, making us think that everything will be alright, that we will never face loss or die. But facing loss and dying is what we're born to do.

All this sounds morbid and it is to an extent, but it is important to understand there is a positive side to breaking our constancy. While repeating the same reassures us, doing something new pushes us to break through the challenge to establish a new normal. For example, if you jog at the same leisurely pace every day, it may feel alright and give you a certain level of fitness. To push yourself to run just a little faster will feel like the hardest thing in the world at first, but if you challenge yourself to change and keep it up, you can achieve a new level of athleticism.

Breaking the imagined security of our constancy is a frightening aspect of change. It triggers us to think we are going to lose the comfort and ease that we had. We know we are not always guaranteed a perfect outcome with change. But there are ways we can enhance our ability to come out better off.

We can face change respectfully rather than try to fight or deny it, and we can try to adapt to it as it demands us to. We can also more proactively spearhead healthy change in our own lives, rather than wait to react. Being open to change on all fronts - mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional - is the key to combating the delusions of security born of complacency and the reactive fear of loss when change is imposed upon us. As much as change appears to challenge us, it is ultimately only through change that we progress. Indeed, at the end of the day, the greatest impediment to progress is the resistance to change.


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