5 Tips for Dealing with Change

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Eventually all of the pieces will fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.

– Orebela Gbenga

I write about change – about personal and spiritual transformation – because it’s what I know; and I want to pass on what experience has taught (and continues to teach) me about the process.

As someone who has undergone a radical transformation over the last five years, I know how difficult the journey of transformation can be. I am well aware of the sacrifice and determination it takes to effectuate real and substantial change, in ourselves and in our lives. I’m also well aware of its rewards. They are many and great.

The processes involved in healing and self-realization can be frightening and, at times, arduous. To change our lives from the inside out, we must take the steps necessary to uproot negative thought patterns and internal belief systems that no longer serve us . . . and we must engage in a tremendous amount of letting go. As we go through these processes, we watch as the circumstances of our lives adjust and alter in accordance with what’s changing inside of us. At times, it can seem like things are getting worse, instead of better. But it only seems that way. In the long run, everything is working out exactly the way it needs to work out for our greater good.

When we stay with the process of transformation and we refuse to give in or to give up, we begin reaching one new ideal after another. We reach the other side of change, one experience at a time. It is incredibly empowering to hang in there long enough to see the good unfold and to receive the benefits of necessary change.

Still, getting to the other side of change can be very challenging.

nt4rHT8Today, I’d like to pass on to you 5 principles that have aided me tremendously when I find myself right in the middle of an unpleasant change experience. These general premises are basic concepts you can contemplate and adopt, if you so choose. There are many caveats I could add, if I were trying to make them apply to every person and every situation. But that’s not the purpose here. The purpose is to give you the concepts that have worked for me and to trust that you will know how to best apply them in your own life.

Dealing with Change

1. Trust that whatever is happening right now, even if it feels unpleasant, is happening for a good reason. Look at the situation, as objectively as you may, and ask yourself why the change is occurring. If you have been developing self-awareness, you will find all the answers you need about why the change is necessary. Understanding why the change is necessary will help you understand that, in the long run, what is happening is for your highest good.

2. Turn to your higher power for both strength and guidance. In the middle of change, you might feel completely overwhelmed – unable to endure the pain and uncertainty of change. Have faith that you are not alone. You are loved and cherished by a power much greater than any circumstance you might be facing. If you ask for strength and guidance, you will surely receive it.

3. Try not to act out of fear or anger. Often, when we’re watching circumstances shift and situations reshape, we become frightened or angry. To a certain extent, we are hard-wired to resist change. The biological and emotional responses associated with our tendency to resist change are very distinct and real aspects of ordinary brain function. Our brains want us to continue with old habits and familiar experiences because it requires less energy to do so and because new, unfamiliar experiences can trigger our threat response functions. When we are faced with a potential threat (real or perceived), the sense of fear or anger that springs forward to “rescue” us can take over, if we allow it. Try your best to step back from the situation and determine whether there is anything that really needs to be done, right now. If there is no real emergency, try to avoid making any final decisions or otherwise acting until you have had an opportunity to calm down. You don’t want to infuse an already uncomfortable situation with the bi-products of desperate acts. Keep calm and, to the best of your ability, let the change unfold the way it needs to unfold.

4. Remember what is most important to you. Remember that significant changes within us will always involve significant changes outside of us. Often, what we are experiencing in times of difficult change is a kind of cosmic rearranging of our life experiences to match what has changed within us. These changes can be huge and upsetting. In these instances, refer back to tip number 3; and remember what it is that is most important to you. Focus on the condition that you desire most in your heart, not on the circumstance that is happening now. For example: If what you desire in your heart is loving, trustworthy friendships, some of the people you consider friends now might not be able to contribute to that condition. As such, they may need to pass out of your experience. Instead of focusing on the unpleasantness of what is changing, you can focus upon the long term goals you’ve established for yourself and for your life. And trust the process.

5. Always be gentle with yourself. When you’re hurting, when you’re afraid, when you’re just not sure whether you’re doing anything “right,” be gentle with yourself. When you make a mistake and the price you’re paying seems more than you can afford, be gentle with yourself. When the tears are pouring down your face and the inner critic tries to tell you that you’re weak or damaged, do not accept those thoughts as true; be gentle with yourself. You are much stronger than you can imagine. You will make it through your periods of change. And, if you pay close attention to the lessons you find along the way, you’ll emerge from any difficult experience a little wiser than you were before.

Live Free! Be Happy!

© 11/13/2013
All rights reserved.

Photos by Danka K.

 

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12 Comments

  1. matthew de Lellis

     /  November 13, 2013

    What a great post! One that, in the times we are all living in and through is so topical. Thanks for all this insight. Sloan and for your continued authentic, honest and loving advice. Love and Endless Light, m

    Reply
  2. I love your empowering suggestions Sloan. I used to be so terrified of change even though I was unhappy the way I was. But now I have the faith to know that all things happen for a reason and that I know have the strength to manage change.
    Your advice to be gentle on yourself is something I need to remind myself of. Thank you!

    Reply
    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Carolyn. And we all need reminders of what we already know, from time to time. Have a wonderful afternoon, Beautiful Soul! Love & Light, S

      Reply
  3. Stephanie Whittaker

     /  November 13, 2013

    Hi Sloan, what an inspiring post. Great insight in how to handle change and to be gentle with oneself. All things happen for a reason.

    Love & Light,
    Stephanie

    Reply
  4. Overflowing with Wisdom as usual Sloan!! Great advice and I appreciate it as I continue down my path to change. Much love to you..

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Sweet Shauna! We are ALL learning & growing, together. Love & Light to you, Beautiful Soul! Namaste, S

      Reply
  5. In Christianity there is a concept, a truth, about being made new. It goes way beyond the traditional view of being born-again. And it fits so well with the five points you’ve written about here, Sloan.

    In a nutshell, Christ did three things for us. He died for our sins. He was buried and our sins were buried with him. He rose from the dead and we were raised with him to newness of life. Too many evangelicals focus only on the first two things God did for us. But the last thing, being raised with Him to newness of life is eye-opening and “transformation.”

    So what happens when we are made new?

    1. God is not just with us, He takes up residence in us.
    2. He is not just in us, He becomes ONE with the new us.

    God is not a distance figure to be sought, He is part of us, in us. We are not the old person we were. We are fused, through faith, with a powerful and loving God. How is that for a new identity?

    Setting the religious aspects of this aside, I want to explore how this concept enhances your five points about change.

    If what I say is true, many of us are NEW and have intimate access to power beyond our comprehension. We may be new, but we live and think like the old person we were. And this puts a very sharp edge on the issue you so accurately describe. We have been changed but either don’t know it or can’t get our brains around it.

    Think for a moment and consider the awesome possibilities. God lives IN me, and I am ONE with Him! When one meditates just for a moment on this, how could we ever be afraid again?

    You are right when you correctly identify “our thinking” as the issue. We have been transformed but don’t know how to live it. Like a pauper, through some twist off fate, who learns he is heir to the throne. While He may be a king-in-waiting, he is more comfortable thinking like child of the streets. He may have been transformed, but his thinking has not. Someone will have to teach him.

    Point: in us we have two identities. Who we are, and who we used to be. In us we have the thoughts of a King or the old programming of a street kid. It all comes down to accepting which person we really are. When we see the truth of this it WILL change your life.

    Reply
    • Bill,

      Thank you for your insightful and beautiful comments. We are all in this together – learning & growing, as we each travel the path we have chosen. Thank you for sharing, in the spirit of unity, a little bit of you with us. Many Blessings, Sloan

      Reply
  6. Excellent advice! Crisis = change = growth.

    Reply

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