Accepting Change

I have been thinking about change. For so long I wanted changes, big changes, like for all my symptoms to go away and for my health to return. At the same time, I didn’t want to change doctors, medicines or protocols because I didn’t want to risk having worse outcomes. But I knew if I wanted to get different results from the present, then I needed to switch things up. Some change is welcome, and other change is referred to as a “trade-off” or “the lessor of two evils.” Change is a guarantee and your attitude around how to steer your way through it is sometimes the only thing you have control over.

During my most challenging time, when I was struggling to gain ground on my health, I got a little stuck. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and I experienced little to no relief. I decided to set a goal for myself. Instead of being frustrated over all the things I couldn’t do, I decided to look for reasons to celebrate. My goal was to accomplish one thing per day. That meant anything from washing my hair or paying bills, to making a phone call. I also gave myself grace and permission to not HAVE to accomplish anything on days where I simply couldn’t.

Change started happening and for the better. I didn’t get results over-night. The shift was so gradual that I didn’t realize it, until one day, I was on my fourth errand, and it hit me. A wave of emotions flooded over me and feelings of celebration welled up in my heart. It is overwhelming to think back to those days where holding a glass of water was a challenge and the one thing I could accomplish in a day. Currently, I operate at a new pace of life. I am much more intuitive and find when I accept myself as is, then my productivity goes up. I take each day as it comes. When I have a symptomatic day, I prioritize my to-do list and reorganize. This makes for less frequent and shorter downtimes. I have learned to live within my limitations. That is some GOOD CHANGE!

Here is what I know: change is a constant. Change is coming for you and for me, and it’s not always easy. Here are three strategies that help me navigate the turbulence of change. First, normalize change. Set a realistic expectation that things will develop and transition. It is not a matter of IF change is coming, but WHEN. Embracing this truth will help you move toward accepting the shifts as they come.

Second, reach out for help. Talking to a friend, coach, or therapist who offer different perspectives can be extremely helpful. While a shift may feel defeating to you personally, someone else might be able to help you view it as an opportunity. Isolation is a limiting behavior. Reaching out to others and asking for help will bring acceptance.

The third strategy that helps me manage change is holding both the negative and positive realities. Let’s face it, not all change is good change. People are challenged with hard changes daily, like the loss of a loved one, a child getting involved in drugs, or a scary diagnosis. The process of accepting negative realities involves connection and community. Which area resonates with you: normalizing change, getting help or balancing the negative and positive realities? What difficult changes are you struggling with today and how have you overcome difficult transitions in the past? I would love to hear how you are doing!